Category Archives: Blog

Paisley Babylon Single: The Phoenix Lights

Written as a soundtrack piece (hence the repetitive theme that basically tries to pummel you into submission as you listen), the new Paisley Babylon MP3 THE PHOENIX LIGHTS, is a SkinnyPuppy-inspired track which does not yet have a home.

But there is some video work being shot in the Paisley Babylon studio that could act as a vehicle for it soon unless someone scoops it up in the meantime.

This track was inspired by a conversation with Nivek Ogre of Skinny Puppy at a recent horror movie convention (Horror Hound Weekend in Columbus, Ohio) about the nature and origin of the infamous Phoenix Lights unidentified flying object phenomena. After a couple of good chats with Ogre, it seemed like a good time to write something aggressive, analog, and old-school.

This track also marks the first with the new Paisley Babylon theremin, which was added to the gear roster earlier this week.

A video sculpture or similarly-intentioned visuals are pending for this track, it will be posted here when it’s ready…if you’re interested in licensing this track for a film project or other visual art, please feel free to get in touch: jwallace(at) turntabling (dot) net.

–Joe Wallace

DJ Paisley Babylon Now Booking: RetroMod Nights

DJ Paisley Babylon is now booking dates for RETROMOD, a unique blend of British Invasion, 80’s era Manchester sounds, Melodic punk, Shoegaze and much more. If you have a club night, special event, or private party in need of a DJ night full of sounds by The Fall, Paul Revere & the Raiders, Velvet Underground, The Zombies, Charlatans U.K., Stone Roses, Kinks, X, and other similar sounds, contact me for additional details. See the contact details below for more information. You can also listen to a sample mix of what this night would sound like.

Booking information for clubs: RetroMod features both vinyl and CD mixing. If you aren’t equipped with turntables, they will be provided. Please get in touch by phone or e-mail to discuss booking.

Booking information for events, parties, individuals: DJ Paisley Babylon has PA gear suitable for a medium-sized room approximately the size of a hotel ballroom or convention area. If you need additional sound reinforcement, please mention it plus the anticipated size of the event. DJ Paisley Babylon is available for private events but a minimum of three weeks advance notice is required. Rates are negotiated individually based on the event. We do select work for charity, fundraisers, etc. Please submit as much detail as possible when booking.

Contemplating Sound

I’ve been pondering the nature of sound and its artistic uses quite a bit lately. In today’s digital landscape, it never ceases to amaze (or please) me that audio-only projects are still of great interest in spite of YouTube, Netflix, cable television, etc. Like books, audio-only media isn’t going away, it’s just mutating, evolving, moving to more specialized audiences.

Print isn’t dead by a long shot, and neither is the audio-only format. Not all interesting media is visually oriented.

I started professionally in radio but transitioned into television and video. I spent a lot of time there but still love the audio-only format. I enjoy DJing, talk radio, podcasts, NPR, audio collages, mashups, musique concrete, found sound, audio surrealism, much more…but how to combine, collide, mash up, repurpose and reapproach audio in interesting ways using these formats not as the ends themselves, but as techniques? Sound is the canvas, but it’s also the paint.

I plan on exploring this problem with a series of productions in the near future. Something all at once old, timeworn and done before, but at the same time new and interesting. Collisions of the old and new. Part audio blog, part podcast, part mashup, part DJ, remix, etc.

The first steps will likely be a bit tentative–I’ve got some old material along these lines I only broadcast once or twice, but new material is being worked and coming soon. Over the weekend I plan on posting the first of a series of sonic experiments as a first step towards a regular series that will likely define itself and take on a life of its own as the concept develops.

This is all a bit murky–and not just to you, the poor reader stumbling upon this rambling for the first time. But as the journey unfolds, it will become clearer what the destination is to be. Here’s to the experiments!

Heading Off To Cinema Wasteland

Far TOO early on Friday morning, I'm off to Ohio to attend Cinema Wasteland, help run the Kitley's Krypt booth and shamelessly self-promote Turntabling.net. Should be a great time and I'll be posting a few reports from the show both here and on Turntabling.net. Today I spent a good chunk of the day flyering for the Paisley Babylon show at Transistor on Clark Street in Chicago…most hilarious moment of the day was the look of utter disgust on the face of the gent behind the counter at Andersonville Wine And Spirits when I asked him if I could post a show flyer there. What's the matter, Bucky? Did I take the jam out of your jam roll somehow?

I tried not to laugh–the sneer of contempt on his face was comical–but I don't expect I'll ever purchase another bottle of decent Italian wine from THEM again. My next special occasion purchase will be from Trader Joe's, thanks. But I babble. There were plenty of nice, supportive Chicago merchants in the neighborhood of Transistor including the Women and Children First bookseller, The Brown Elephant, and The Chicago Filmmaker's Society. Thanks, all!

Busy Busy…

Paisley Babylon shows are coming up soon so I’ve been spending a lot of time getting things ready for them including the usual flyers, postcards, artwork, shameless self promotion, etc. When I wasn’t doing that, I was trying to ignore a long string of bad news stories on TV about alleged terror plots in Chicago, seemingly random and pointless shootings and other craziness.
I don’t understand what makes people buy and own firearms in the first place, let alone use them on people. But I suppose the NRA would write off that notion as just another clueless artsy type whining about things they don’t agree with. Next weekend I travel to Cinema Wasteland, the annual weekend horror movie convention held in Ohio, sure to be an excellent time. I’ve never been to Wasteland before and there’s a waiting list a mile long to get a table for it so I won’t be running a Turntabling booth there, sadly. But I will be there with iPhone in hand so I’ll file plenty from the show.

Today is Saturday, a no-rest-for-the-wicked day for me. I’ve got flyering to do for the PB show at Transistor. Every time I have to do flyers I always remember the stories told in the most excellent tour diary/Hell’s travelogue GET IN THE VAN by Henry Rollins. (That’s the second time I’ve named-dropped him here since this blog started. People will begin to talk.)

The stories of putting up show flyers or posters using flour-and-water paste so strong the flyers simply could…not…be…removed cracked me up. If you try that in Chicago today, chances are you’d get shot. Or tazed.

And that’s another thing. I bought that new(ish) DEVO album, Something For Everybody and was listening to it a lot during the Vinyl Road Rage trip I took for Turntabling.net. Not knowing the album at all, when I heard DEVO sing the word “Bro” I thought they had lost their damn minds. That word has massive frat boy connotations, I just couldn’t believe it. Then I discovered DEVO was riffing on that “Don’t taze me bro” incident and it all made sense. But for about 45 seconds I was ready to hurl.