FREE PERFORMANCE: Saturday, September 25, 2010, 2:00pm

CHICAGO: Corbett vs. Dempsey is pleased to host an event celebrating the release of new music by Hal Rammel. As part of this afternoon event, Rammel will perform duo improvisations with bassist Jason Roebke.

Penumbra Music celebrates two new limited edition recordings of solo music by Rammel: the solo amplified palette CD Midwest Disquiet and a 7″ 45 rpm single titled “Song of the Interocyter” (featuring new music for interocyter, an instrument designed and built by Rammel in 1996).

Midwest Disquiet is Rammel’s first solo recording on the amplified palette since the release of the Crouton 10″ “Like Water Tightly Wound” early in 2007 and is released in a numbered limited edition of 99. As a visual artist, composer, and performer Rammel has been designing and building unusual one-of-a-kind musical instruments since the mid 1970s. The amplified palette – first constructed in 1991 – is simply an artist’s palette with various wood and metal rods attached to be played with mallets or bows specifically designed for the instrument. Amplified with a contact microphone it generates sounds which on first hearing may be likened to a mbira (‘thumb piano’) or to a prepared piano or, when played with a bow, to a cello or viola.

The interocyter, featured on “Song of the Interocyter,” originated in the chance meeting of a billiard ball rack and the gracefully carved leg of a discarded footstool on Rammel’s workbench in 1996. It generates sounds from the deeply resonant to the delicately ringing when played with a unique set of mallets and bows specifically designed for the instruments three-corner assemblage of watch springs and music box parts. The two sides of this 45 rpm record – Rammel’s first recording on the instrument – explore its abstract collision of broken melodies and sonorous crashes. “Song of the Interocyter” is released as the fourth 7″ single in the Penumbra Music catalog and is available in a number limited edition of 99.


FREE PERFORMANCE: Saturday, September 18, 2010, 2:00pm

CHICAGO: One of the most fabulous furry freaks to make it out of the 1960s, Peter Stampfel was a pioneer figure in New York’s original underground folk scene.  In the early 1960s, he and Steve Weber formed the Holy Modal Rounders, one of the milieu’s flagship bands, and together in 1964 they recorded “Hesitation Blues,” which contains the first recorded use of the term “psychedelic” in popular music.  Stampfel’s storied career included work with playwrite Sam Shepard, who was a member of the Holy Modal Rounders, and a crucial stint in the proto-punk folk band the Fugs, with whom he recorded three LPs.  Irreverant, winsome, by turns silly and profound, with a hillbilly voice, hacksaw fiddle, and a genius for timing, Stampfel has an encyclopedic bank of songs in his head, some of the best his own.  He’s remained extremely active in the last few decades, performing and recording with his band the Bottle Caps, reuniting periodically with Weber, and going solo.  In this very rare Chicago appearance, Stampfel will play solo, with a little help on hand-drums and backing vocals from his daughter Zoe.  Later in the evening, Stampfel will play a full set at the Hideout.

“Next to Bob Dylan, Peter Stampfel is the nearest thing to a genius folkiedom has thrown up. His enthusiasm is unquenchable. I’ve never heard anyone – anyone – sing with the sheer enthusiasm for singing that Stampfel puts out. He knows his Harry Smith backwards and forwards. But unlike most folksingers, he prefers backwards.” – Robert Christgau, The Village Voice