HartWorks 1977-present

THE UNHEARD MUSIC - archived reviews
bhh music & art REVIEWED
Page Title

This is the home page of Bret Harold Hart. Not the wrestler, nothing against him, y'know? It contains a new collation of material, in an improvised sequence, in an effort to bring current this ongoing life of making things literary, things sonic, things tactile, things edible, and things visible.

DadSong 1

By Bret Hart (for his son and two daughters)


    I was born in 1959.

    This would be right around the time that Elvis' dance moves on The Ed Sullivan Show were shocking American conservatives from coast-to-coast. Until I was a teenager, I lived my evenings and Saturday mornings in a two-dimensional world. I started watching television before anyone we knew had a color set and remember seeing The Beatles, The Who, The Rolling Stones, and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown on TV. I saw a Republican president removed from office for bearing false witness, and maintaining to the last that he was “not a crook”.

I saw the first man to step onto the surface on the moon, the murders of Martin Luther King and both Kennedy’s, and images of naked, burning Vietnamese children running from a napalm strike. It struck many of my closest friends as strange and ironic that I served two, four-year tours of voluntary active duty in the Navy, after all we had seen of our world as children of the 60's. One stopped speaking to me after my 1982 enlistment.

    Outside our living room, in the 3-D, “real” world, there was plenty going on as well. When I was in 4th Grade, I watched the high school in our neighborhood burn during a race riot. I have watched the divorce rate in our country rise like a bottle rocket—and contributed to it. I have seen the longhaired older brothers of friends go to prison for years for possession of some marijuana, and stylish multi-millionaires walk off scot-free after destroying a thousand lives with their right-wing covetousness. I saw the dawn of cocaine as the drug of choice for the rich or desperate, now so much a part of American culture that it is ludicrous to ever consider the possibility of federal legislation mandating drug-testing for Presidents and elected and publicly-paid officials. It'll never happen. Believe it. Some "values" are not to be challenged in polite society.

    I have never had a silver spoon in my mouth, except at my grandparents' house at Thanksgiving. I have watched the cost of nearly everything increase during these 45 years, and have learned to cope with the stark reality that there is a very loose rope connecting income with cost-of-living. As a kid, I was not spoiled in any material way, but do not remember ever wanting for life's actual necessities. One thing I can tell you about my dad, he always had a full-time job and he always took care of the basics: food, shelter, transportation, and tools.

     Back to 1959... My dad was recently out of the Navy, having served in the Pacific theatre during the Korean War, and he was getting his newlywed civilian life in order. We must not have had much money, because we lived in some low-class places those first few years... squirrels in the walls and frozen plumbing thawed with a blowtorch in the winter. The first new car he could afford was a 1960 Volkswagen. I accidentally poisoned myself when I was three.

I can't be certain of this, but I think my dad used to drink a lot of beer when I was young. Being a discreet person, there were never empties lying around or anything like that--he would have kept it out of sight. There is a family portrait taken back around 1966 when my sister was two or three. Dad had to have weighed over 250 in those days, judging from his girth, and he's shorter than me.

I can't be certain of this, but those may have been very stressful years for him; which could account for some of the distance between us. I don't know. My dad and I were never close in any traditional Dad-Son kind of way. We did things together when I was little, but it doesn't seem that we ever got to a place where we valued each other's company very much. Plus, I was rootless. We uprooted and moved 8 times before I was ten. All company transfers with promotion.

       Nowadays, we have more in common than ever, so it is a lot easier to talk than it was before I became a husband, a father, a homeowner and bill-payer, a 'career man', and old enough to have chronic pain. As you have observed, Dad and I are very cautious and polite around each other. When we talk, it is usually about 'safe' subjects. To this day, Dad has never sat down with me to tell me about his childhood, teenage years and girlfriends, courting my mom, raising me and my sister, or retirement.

     I can't tell you anything about his childhood friends, hobbies, hopes and fears, or school days. I do not know whether my grandfather was as good to him as he was to me; whether they went fishing and "visiting" as we did when I was a boy. I have no idea how and if my dad related to his own dad during his growing-up years. I wish I knew these things.

     I wonder whether my father's silence has a willful purpose. Could it be that the grandfather I adored may have been as busy, distant, and cool a dad as my own? If so, silence would be his way of protecting my untarnished memory of the kind and affectionate grandfather I knew, and was in many ways parented by.

     Although my father and I have never been close, I love and respect him, and have always held him as close to my life as he would permit. I shudder when he falls ill or has an accident; because it is my greatest fear that he will die before I learn all the people he has been. My chiropractor advises not hanging one's hopes on a "Kodak moment" that isn't likely to happen.

     And so I ask you, my kid, "What hasn't your father told you lately?"

Portrait of the Artist as a Question Mark



I have an idea that has been rolling around in my head for a while that I may bring to actualization during the next few years. I don't know how much you know about my "resume", but I have a huge catalogue of work dating back to the mid-80's.


It may be subdivided into 'chunks', and the big plan is to compose and publish a book or pamphlet collecting data and texts related to each chunk, publish these, and insert CDs into enclosed 'pockets' to complete the package. Two books, one disc in each.


1.    SONG and vision

    a. solo live/studio recordings (1979-present)

    b. band live/or studio recordings

         i. New York: The Blunt, Trouble Boys, One Night Stand, Johnny & the Lawnchairs, X's for Eyes, BENT (70s-80s)

        ii. Massachusetts: Maximum Love Vibes, Progress, HipBone, Kudzu, Jaws of Glee, Cheagles (80s-90s)

       iii. North Carolina: The Bob 'n Bret Show, The Cat's Pants, Trust Hollow


1.    NOISE and vision

    a. solo 80s-90s live & analogue multitrack structured-improvisation

    b. solo digital multitrack compositions and improvisation

    c. collaborative projects (30+ disc Improvised Duets Series, Some

Pig, 3-Way Switch, Building, Automatic Music, Autopoesis, etc)


The Ten Commandments- Political Edit 2004

by B.H. Hart (having read The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth by Thomas Jefferson)


Let's be frank. If anyone looking remotely like Moses, Jesus, or particularly John the Baptist began walking toward George W. Bush or Dick Cheney, you can be absolutely certain that the individual would be knocked to the ground and beaten senseless by guys with sunglasses and Garth Brooks microphones before you could say "Turn the other cheek."


I pray that a very public dialogue can happen in our lifetime about what being Christian in the 21st Century really means, and what hypocrisy Moses or Jesus Himself might angrily admonish were they here to speak to America on CNN tonight.


Let’s take a look at God’s Ten Commandments in a contemporary context and see whether some who claim to follow Jesus’ teaching of God’s Holy Word are walking-the-Christian-walk. We must repeatedly ask ourselves whether these "values" described as "Conservative" are something with a spiritual rooting in a gentle Prince of Peace's instructions regarding His Father's Word, or a mean and self-serving psychological prod designed to make the weak sheep weaker, the poor sheep poorer, the sick sheep lose their homes, and the world less populated in order that the myopic rich might harvest from and devastate it further.


Food for Thought:

I.                     “Thou shalt have no gods before me” - The scrutiny-free allegiance of many Americans to political leaders who reinterpret the Bible to gain personal power and manipulate others constitutes a solid violation of this first Commandment. “False Prophet”, anyone? Teddy Roosevelt (a Republican) warned strongly against such “morally treasonous” behavior almost 100 years ago*. Time, Status, and cocaine are other contemporary ‘gods’ that many Americans worship. How likely is it that Congress will ever enact random drug testing amongst themselves? As they say in New Joisey, “Fuggetaboudit!” Has Jeb Bush submitted to a bloodtest in any recent decade? Think about it.

*”To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”


II.                 “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images” – In our society, banknotes are graven (contemporarily speaking, “produced by engraved plates” – Moses preceded Guttenberg, but God knew we could figure out what his Commandments would mean in our own time). Hence, placing $$ above God is a grave (heh heh) sin.  Hmmm… Halliburton, Enron, MCI, shall I continue? The worship of money in government is so very rife that there is no likelihood whatsoever of the American people ever having any say over how much the elected are ‘compensated’ for their ‘public service’ with American tax-dollars.

Q: Why do congressmen have better pay, medical benefits, and retirement options than most voters?

A: Because, unlike any other career, they can vote them into existence. Try THAT in a career such as  “manufacturing“ (flipping burgers). If politicians had to live on what their constituents live on, sweeping social change would begin immediately.


III.               “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain” – Vain = “excessively proud of or concerned about one’s own appearance or achievements”.  Such a definition points directly at such individuals as might define their political career as mistake-free*. To politically fool around with Biblical semantics in order to be perceived as Christian (i.e.; talking ‘values’, while living in sin) IS taking the Lord’s name in vain. It makes me furious to see Jesus' pocket being picked for political gain. Taking the Lord’s name in vain is not just about people who say “G.-d.!” aloud when they hit their thumb with a hammer.

* Teddy Roosevelt also said, “There is no effort without error or shortcoming.”


IV.              “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy” - We are pretty good at this in the U.S., give or take.


V.                 “Honor thy father and mother” – Abandoning one’s parent to a nursing home is one of the most common violations of this. Few civilized cultures marginalize their aged so well as do we. God expects parents to value their children and that the Golden Rule will apply when the parents can no longer take care of themselves. The rule applies even if your dad "was a jerk" or your mother "mean" when you were a kid. SORRY FOLKS, Jesus admonished His followers to "love thy neighbor" and (this is the one that punches the big hole in holy-poseur's parachutes) to "love thy enemy". Wow! I guess that means everyone. An elderly parent with Alzheimer’s for example is, frankly, quite similar to a screaming newborn, irrational child, or overly 'independent' teenager. Non-stop, unconditional love is required because they have again become helpless 'children' (like you used to be).


VI.              “Thou shalt not kill” – Somehow, this 4-word Commandment from God Himself has been revised by men to include a fifth and sixth word, “unborn babies”.  Here hinges the strongest connection between Conservative politics and American Christianity. But, somehow, it’s entirely OK to send young men and women to their deaths/or to kill others in a “holy war”, particularly if you tell everyone, “I think God wants me to be Pre$ident”. Haven't a few serial killers claimed that they were spirit led? A "fundamentalist extremist” Muslim cleric said to the new Iraqi leadership this week, “You shall not taste Peace, you enemies of God!”. His words and moral tone keep reminding me of the Biblical paraphrase, “You are either with us or against us!” that accompanied our entry into war. At what point will researchers begin to compare the many faces of religious extremism?


VII.            "Thou shalt not commit adultery" – Why then is it perfectly acceptable in this “conservative, free-market society” to broadcast television programs full of it and web pages and web-services facilitating it?  Does not the Bible instruct that sins of the imagination are still sins? Yet another conundrum with those nasty graven images popping out of it. Maybe some "small businessmen" have been permitted a Republican revision of this Commandment also, adding the words "...unless it makes ya a bundle.” in order that they may contribute to "America's economic growth", which is always described as benefiting businesses, not families and individuals.


VIII.         “Thou shalt not steal” –

a.       American medical “in$urance” and pharmaceutical indu$try is a band of pirate$. With premium$ and deductible$ as crippling as they are (I pay about $4000 per year before any “in$urance” kicks-in), unspent in$urance money should be returned to payees every December. The “in$urance” companie$ would already have reaped mega-intere$t from it.  Maybe, the obscene multimillion-dollar salaries and benefit packages that their CEOs enjoy might need to be scaled back to human levels in the single-digit millions… which would also free-up enough sawbucks to put a few hundred thousand folks back to work.  Gosh, now wouldn’t that be in keeping with the Teachings of Jesus?

b.      Also, Federal legislation needs to be put in place to prevent credit card lenders from extending more credit than a person could possibly pay off in one year, particularly to young people. Limiting credit card borrowing to 2% of a person’s annual net income would be a safe place to start helping people borrow responsibly. Implementation of these two ideas would help break the increasing cycle of bankruptcy in our country.

c.       If The Incumbent starts pushing a national sales tax to replace the present income tax system, let us hope that basic human necessities are nationally tax-exempt: food, medicine and medical treatment and care, housing/shelter, gasoline/transportation, education. Let us also hope that the federal government will aggressively tax offshore financial havens for American wealth that presently allow the super-rich to avoid contributing to the nation that made them their riches.


IX.              “Thou shalt not bear false witness against they neighbor” – A true witness can only be one who has personally seen an event. Hearsay and opinion are generally not altogether true and what has come to be politically known as “spin doctoring” is nothing more than the refined Art of Lying and Character Assassination. How about American conservative-Christian leadership honoring this Commandment by making negative politics (“mud-slinging”) punishable by a very stiff fine, or removal from the airwaves? Imagine political campaigning based only upon candidates' strengths and goals. Americans would all be 'voting-for', rather than against their neighbor. It would be a concrete example of the Christian concept of loving your neighbor and your enemy at the same time.


X.                 “Thou shalt not covet” – Jesus taught that to truly “love one’s neighbor”, possessions should be directly shared with the needy. In some parts of the world, this is called “alms-giving” and eliminates the need for the very expensive “liberal handouts” that Conservative-Republicans so despise.  I might become a registered Republican if the party would powerfully advocate something that put feet to Conservative-Christian “values”; such as an "Invest 5% Into America Plan", motivating those Americans with gross annual incomes exceeding  $1,000,000 to voluntarily donate 5% of their before-taxes earnings into job creation in their own industry. Imposed "Trickle Down" Reaganomics, for those who claim it to be a good thing for America.

THEN, give them a tax-cut.




Bret Hart's artistic spectrum runs wide  

by Scott McLennan for Worcester Telegram and Gazette    [1998]


  Bret Harold Hart (b. 1959) is a guerrilla-style operator looking to stage a coup for the arts. Armed with an eclectic array of sound and vision pieces that he unleashes on the knowing and unknowing alike, Hart is relentless in expressing himself, but refreshing in the subject matter he addresses. He's as much a Renaissance man as guerrilla artist.
         Hart is often seen at open microphone nights in area clubs, dishing out multi-textured tunes with lyrics that pop with a poet's playfulness. He records with all manner of musician. He collaborates with other avant-folkies, those inspired by the likes of Michael Hurley and Robert Wyatt. He plays in loud rock bands. He participates in spoken-word performances. He makes cartoon strips, diagrams, and posters, and he claims he can create billboards if the call arises.
         It's all done under the banner of HipWorks, which is dedicated to banging out and hacking away a course off the beaten path.
         "I see art as therapeutic and healthful," Hart said in a recent interview. He had with him a cassette of songs called "Maximum Love Vibes"; carried around a bound collection of pictures and thoughts he hopes to publish before the end of the year; and offered several strips of a Zen-like comic to anyone willing to run them…In the broadest sense, Hart's songs and drawings encourage people to get past, beyond, or around whatever obstacles life plops down in front of them. That is, when he's not delving into a surrealist pool of flexible imagery. His approach to life-affirming philosophy is grittier than what's conventionally seen on corporate motivational posters, but no less inspirational. "It's patently folk music, but I won't do sea shanties, Irish reels, or quaint songs about diners in Iowa. That's not what I do," he said.
         Hart began performing music when he was 18, back in 1977. He started in rock 'n' roll bands, but also coursed through Portuguese folk bands, New Age ensembles and, well, you name it. Living in Korea for four years also shaped Hart's artistic sensibilities before he arrived in Fitchburg at the dawn of the 90's. Hart moved to Worcester a few months ago and still maintains a studio in an old Fitchburg mill, as well as HipWorks at 157 Highland Street.
         Hart recently received a grant from the Worcester Cultural Commission to produce three 30 minute cassettes. Each recording will focus on a different aspect of the region's musical pulse, be it musicians who live around here; studios and engineers situated here; or songs inspired by being here.
         Hart is a busy musician, with an open-mic feature spot scheduled for 9 tonight…with a band called the Wormtown Rounders. The Rounders consist of Bob Jordan (Twang, B’s of Sunrise, Chadbourne Baptist Church) on 12-string guitar, Greg Sullivan (Jaws of Glee) on slide guitar and percussion, Pete Zolli (HipBone, Kudzu) on brush snare drum, and Steve Blake (Snakes and Ladders, Kudzu) on banjo and bass. The show begins at about 9 p.m. and will consist of "BretSongs" and cover songs with which each member of the ensemble is familiar. "The Rounders thing is fun and improvisational," said Hart.

       Which really seems like an appropriate description of all of the above.


It’s My School, Too

B. H. Hart


It feels like that scene in S.E.Hinton’s The Outsiders, when a gang of drunk rich kids are holding Ponyboy’s head underwater -- only allowing occasional breaths – justifiably inspiring his fear and contempt. And often I feel like his friend, ‘Johnnycake’; compelled to run away, fight back, or pull these helpless kids from the burning building No Child Left Behind has made teaching.

No Child Left Behind legislation has inspired fear and loathing unlike any Washington move in memory. We have lost our ABC incentives due to “reduced growth.” We have been told how much we must “improve those numbers.” We have been going to ever increasing “trainings” and staff “development” sessions. The Language Arts teachers are administering six extra multiple choice “assessments” this year. We hear that the much despised Accelerated Reader software has a Math version, too, and our students will get to figure out ways around doing that like they have AR.

The stark absence of Mind in my school has appalled me for half a decade. In a school, is not only hypocritical (given the setting) to suppress, ignore, or act in an indifferent way toward Ideas, but it also makes the workplace stressful, unsupportive, and quite boring. While it is polite and expected for schools to state that they ”welcome input from staff”, and may even receive your suggestion from your very own hand when you submit it, there is in fact no feedback tool upon which I can rely for a reasoned response.

We do not have in place a working mechanism for self-improvement. The grades levels and disciplines annually elect those peers who amuse them or are will ‘take good notes’ to represent their needs before a committee. To date, I have not seen a member advocating measurable change or improvement ever make it past a nomination. For six years, I have observed the output and effect of the variously-named school improvement gatherings here and their collective impact on what really matters – the stated objectives and responsibilities of the school to the Eden community to create “lifelong learners”.

Changes that have actually led to better or better shared teaching practices, reduced (student and teacher) apathy, dramatically improved Reading and Math scores, or measurably improved student social conduct or engagement in learning can fit in a thimble. I challenge anyone to show me a true correlation between staff development, new textbooks, or NCAT conferences and sustained improvement in our school.

Most staff development activities stop far short of delivering mastery, the big educational conferences in the cities that we send our friends to are fun, it’s fun to get out of teaching for a day or two, and the food is OK; but much of the time and expense spent on “enriching our teachers” is little more than scheduled hoop-jumping because someone said to jump through a hoop. We all recognize that decision-makers face many social obstacles to fair decision-making.

An administrator hiring a teacher expects that hire to use the resources at-hand.  Any “highly qualified teacher” possesses a mastery of the skills they teach. These skills are independent of any textbook in particular. For this reason, I believe that effective teachers rarely require expensive new sets of textbooks nor their expensive “supplemental materials” every few years. Sure, new books look better, but the money spent on this year’s “better” textbook might be better spent on new computers and classroom technologies that would bring Holmes into this century.

It is a widespread (and self-serving) belief amongst those in our profession, that teaching requires intellectual and ethical qualities that many jobs do not; and that if you teach, you are a noble person by virtue of having committed yourself to serving America’s children. Malarkey. Let us not forget those amongst us who insult children to their faces, mock children before groups of their peers, make them afraid, complain about them constantly, cuss when speaking about them, slander their beliefs, doubt their sincerity, underestimate their sorrow, ridicule their enthusiasms, ignore their successes, and otherwise exhibit no wisdom before them. The Devil is in the details, and sometimes in our own mouths.

What every member of the profession knows is this: many teachers are satisfactory, some teachers are mediocre, and a wee handful of teachers are the ones who are actually making a difference in young lives. Period. Everywhere. Even back when we were the students, we saw this.

Some of us are like non-voters muttering over draft beer that “The country’s goin’ t’Hell inna hand basket.” And sometimes, what with all of the pressure to be everywhere doing trainings and having to log-in with SEA numbers and here comes a 6-week interim test a few days before the writing test and computer performance test make-ups are the week after that and Scooby’s mom is outside wanting a conference now and my kid’s sick and it’s tax-time and I gotta get the car out of the shop and we’re out of milk and… sometimes, I feel like Fred Flintstone trying to start his car. Feet windmilling a mile a minute, and not even moving yet.

Teaching can be a job, or it can be a vocation. A JOB is an activity that brings us money; a VOCATION is a job that brings us growth and satisfaction. Jobs require exertion; Vocations require only love. Please accept my congratulations, and apologies, if you catch my drift.

This is my school, too.



A prayer for some souls in a small town called Eden
Father, I pray that you lead and guide us through another year of the Room in the Inn mission.
Father, give guidance to those whose short-term earthly wants cloud their fear of your wrath.
Father, give guidance to those who do not know where their next meal will come from.
Jesus warned that many will be called, but few will enter heaven. Please impress this truth into our wayward and self-serving congregations and those who steer them.
Jesus taught that there were ways that His Word might be sown among the thorns and that “these are the ones who have heard the word, and the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” [Mk 4:18-19]
Father, forge the rational connection, for those who cannot or will not, between television and addiction, sports and aggression, maintaining societal appearances and hypocrisy, and any other repetitive behavior involving personal choice that distances one of Your flock from Your word and Christ’s teaching.
Father, forge the rational connection, for those who cannot or will not, between failure and cocaine, self-destructive behavior and pills, exerting minimal effort and earning minimal returns, gambling and alcoholism, and any other repetitive behavior involving personal choice that distances one of your flock from Your Word and Christ’s teaching.
Father, please provide the help and strength Your children so deeply need to endure several hours without Channel 51. I ask that you fill their hearts with peace and comfort during such difficult times.
Father, please provide the help and strength Your children so deeply need to endure several months or years without TV; as well as without love, heat, light, real food, clean clothing, friendship, true compassion, medical coverage, furniture, hugs, transportation, nor family support. I ask that you fill their hearts with peace and comfort during such difficult times.
Father, please touch the hearts and minds of the defensively selfish. Direct their reading of your word to one of the hundreds of lines affirming selfless and patient conduct toward others.
Father, please help those who gladly do your bidding to effectively help the homeless.
Father, I pray that you punish those who have turned Your Word into an ATM of entitlement.
Father, please touch the hearts of Your sheep who, as Jesus warned, may find themselves in pews beside powerful and vengeful wolves intent on using Your word for personal gain.
Father, when, if ever, is it appropriate to be unspiritual?
Father, help us remember that You see our unspirituality where we choose not to.
Father, you are my help and strength.
In Christ’s name, I pray.

The InstrumenTales Records Masterdisc Library

"A clearinghouse for thought-provoking creative music."

    In the most widely understood definition and expectations attached to the term, we are not exactly a "record company".  In practice and in fact, we have more in common with a small library or rural reading room than with any commercial or independent label.

    The InstrumenTales 'catalogue' consists of a wide array of masterdisc recordings from many genres, predominantly Improvisation and Song, recorded with available means in small commercial or home studios.    High fidelity 16-track and lo-fi 4-track rest, "shoulder-to-shoulder", on our shelves, peaceably.

    InstrumenTales does not ridicule those working in poverty through the common American business practice of excluding unintentionally noisy things from our listing.

    CD-R  preview and review copies of all are available for a pittance.  When an item is licenced by a second party, it becomes available exclusively through that party.

Bret Hart   [head honcho & decider of how we do things around here] 

Bret Hart / Jeff McLeod: "Dynamic Negativism"
"Dinner Music for the Bulemic"  Hart solo improvisation combined with McLeod multitracking.  One step denser than the acclaimed Improvisational Duets Series of discs; many steps less dense than Jeff's own "Ye Shall Be Cut Into Many Pieces"

The Cat's Pants: "Live in a Coffeehouse in Eden"
Live and typical TCP gig, only months before the county consumed yet another groovy business.

Jim Eanes: banjo/ac.gtr, Scotty Irving: structured clatter, Christine Hart: vox/ac.gtr, Bret Hart: vox/gtr. Hear what this Bible Belt town fears!

Bret Hart: "solo improvisation - 2001h"
"There is nothing I can describe about this music that would communicate what this talented and imaginative artist does without you seeing for yourself so be sure and check out the link below to see Bret's homemade instruments. Think you know what a dobro sounds like? Think again. In Bret's hands it's like an avant-garde take on traditional ethnic sounds... and played like a percussion instrument." - Aural Innovations

Bret Hart: "solo improvisation - 2001g"

Bret Hart: "solo improvisation - 2001f"

Bret Hart: "solo improvisation - 2001e"

Bret Hart: "solo improvisation - 2001d"

Bret Hart: "solo improvisation - 2001c"

"Sections of intriguing beauty interspersed amongst his convoluted musings." - Cadence

Bret Hart: "solo improvisation - 2001b"

Bret Hart: "solo improvisation - 2001a" 

Frank O. Polizzi Band: "Da Basement Tapes"
Post-Beefheartian loop-splatter/musique concrete Pop

"D.I.Y. & proud, but more importantly, a jaded sense of musical humor that shoots him to thee TOP o' th' heap for this twisted set of aural appendages!" - Improvijazzation Nation 

Frank O. Polizzi Band: "Da Molasses Tapes"
More post-Beefheartian loop-splatter/musique concrete Pop

"For those musical aficionados who have "heard it all" - you ain't heard NUTHIN' until you lissen ter' THIS!...This is quite simply - NUTS!" - Improvijazzation Nation 

Fondling Giblets: "Wun"
Lawrence, Kansas crashes into Eden, North Carolina and mayhem ensues.

Featuring members of Turkey Makes Me Sleepy and Magic Potty Babies.

"Very industrial strength, feels like gargantuan steel forges coated in sticky glue, tryin' to dig deep into your brain cells."

- Improvijazzation Nation 

SOME PIG: "Wilbur"
A new folk music, requiring focus, from Ernesto Diaz-Infante and Bret Hart.

"These guys can wrench more sounds from their guitars than most electronic artists can produce with their high tech synths, and are no less mindfucked and freaky. The set opens with a bang with a guitar (and violin?) assault on which bowed, scratched and scraped strings duel to the death." - Aural Innovations


SOME PIG: "Templeton"
Stacked-improvisation "songs" from Bret Hart and Ernesto Diaz-Infante.

"We hear avant-improv guitar strums and attacks, quirky frenetic electronic percussion, freaky space electronics, and vocals that seem to crossover between folk and psychedelic." - Aural Innovations


SOME PIG: "Charlotte"
Ernesto SINGS!  [10/2001]

Bret Hart: "Mount Rushmore" (dbl-CD)
"I hear a lot of interesting takes on the avant-rock/RIO school, though some travel down its more abstract hallways. Nice guitar work and loads of sounds I couldn't begin to identify, though Bret provides a laundry list of the instruments used, both Korean and Western. The guitar work is creatively varied and beautifully atonal. I noted in a couple other reviews, and it's also the case on Mount Rushmore Vol 1, that much of this reminds me of what Fred Frith was doing on his Gravity and Speechless albums. I also hear a few bits that remind me of Robert Fripp, but only in the most demented Bret Hart way." - Aural Innovations 

Camera Obtusa: "TURTLE"
Soundscape and ambient-translations. Island arrangements of red dirt sourcetapes.

"Has much to offer listeners who are able to immerse themselves in th' energies generated.  The sense of tortoise is pervasive, "plod" leaking thru into your imagination & "heavy" th' keyword for the experience.  That does NOT mean it is "slow", or "lacking" in energy... the nuances (if you listen carefully) are clearly framed & enunciated." - Improvijazzation Nation 

ALONZO PHILLIPS    "Teeth in my Mind"
Reissue of tribal-psychedelic lo-fi classic from 1981.

"I puzzled for MONTHS as to who'n'l this Phillips character was.  This '90's outing features B.P.P's very agile acoustic guitar blooz', with some odd (& at times quirky) chords & percussives you won't BELIEVE thrown in.  His lyrics will FEEL like a dentist (mental or NOT) yankin' 'em out from th' rootz! " - Improvijazzation Nation 

Bret Hart: "Horsefly"
Hart calls it 'mountain music', but the North Carolina hicks who've heard it don't agree. 

Francis Woodbridge:   "GORED"
Dramatic and two-fisted imagery. Deeply seasoned with history and allusions to classic literature and Philosophy. 

Tina Hart  "Gettin' Over It"
Bare bones and extremely spartan presentations of songs old and new. 

BRET HART    "Bullwinkle Pond & The 5"
Extended technique and layered time-signatures abound, making this like an aural quilt of many colors.

"Sort of bridges John Fahey and Derek Bailey." - Pop Locker

"First released in 1988, the entire set consists of acoustic guitar workouts that run the gamut from John Fahey influenced to avant-improv, though despite the expected dissonance this is relatively accessible music." - Aural Innovations

AUTOMATIC MUSIC    "For Your Information"
Live recordings of undiluted electro-acoustic improvisation were hammered relentlessly into glimmers of the sourcetrax.  Fearlessly (and beerlessly) mixed by Bret.

CLANG QUARTET   "CQ: 4/15/00"
The only available whole-show live document of North Carolina's own Clang Quartet, aka Scotty Irving.

Scotty was recently featured in Modern Drummer magazine.

"Clang Quartet is the musical project of Scotty Irving (drummer for Geezer Lake, Eugene Chadbourne, Elvis X, and others). Live, Clang Quartet is predominantly an improvisational percussion/performance-art show, based metaphorically on the life of Jesus Christ. The recorded output features standard instruments like guitars, keyboards, and drums as well as Irving's own electrified hand saw/stapler/water bottle and cicadas mixed with sound collages of family tape recordings from his childhood. Truly experimental music in the spirit of Swans, Whitehouse, Merzbow, and AC/DC." - SilberMedia

Bret Hart    "INCISOR"
The Surgeon General has determined that listening to this CD with headphones may cause the growth of a second head. 

BRET HART   "Rice"
These compositions have been composed for performance using only instruments of home/homemade origin: The Bend-Guitar, The Boing-Guitar, Joe, The Howler, Saddam, The Arc, El Slab.

"The way that Hart approaches playing his Asian/alien-sounding home-made electric instruments is so thoroughly 70's Rock Radio that what results is a feeling that you've heard these melodies before...maybe while tripping." - EarChow ('91) 

HipBone:   "DECOUPAGE"

Maniacal guitars with biscuits and gravy...post-psychedelic, post-dense, post-twinkling, post-imploding.

"From North Carolina, Hipbone plays songs that are very much in the mold of Dire Straits, T-Bone Burnett, The Band... you get the idea. The songs are well written, the vocals passionate, and the guitars are non-flashy but well played and keep the music that backs these fine songs interesting and rockin'." - Aural Innovations

"Those who first discovered Bret in the "old daze" will hear a new Hart here... solid compz', some very rawk/volk-oriented pieces that will make all th' retired hippies teary-eyed. His vox are uniquely his, & the lyrics totally thought-provoking. If yer' lookin' for background music, go somewhere else! Hart is able to capture the joys & sadnesses with a punch & vigor that hearkens back to th' HOTTEST groups of th' '60's!" - Improvijazzation Nation
"Piper at the Gates of Neil Young's House." - Bret Hart

Hear Mp3 of "BIG HEAD" 

 HipBone: "Cho-Rok"
"A beat-heavy rock-'n'-roll freak- out...more fun than a live badger in your ex-wife's gymbag." - SNIDE

Hear Mp3 of "Our Love is Green"

Hear Mp3 of "Bet'cha Never Knew" 

HipBone:  "Grandfather's What?"
Combines all of the BIG EARS record with live versions of several songs from this disc, as well as a few surprises that only folks at HipBone gigs could have heard. 

BRET HART    "Duck or Mask?"
"Duck or Mask? boasts a more conventional approach...with elegant and earthy chops filling the project.  Vibes of The Band and early-70's Eric Clapton filter out the mix.  Hart and crew still throw down some challenging compositions, but the musician's pop sense is never buried deeply" - Scott McLennan (Worcester Telegram & Gazette)

Hear Mp3 of "It Just Don't Lend Itself to Words" 

BRET HART    "Walrus"
Electronics-laden acoustic folk music. With a strnge tribute to John Fahey, and a contemporarily pertinent biblical quote-soundscape that'll chill ya bones.

"Hart dives, chin-first, into some sort of dreamy Bob Dylan-in-Jujuland digital breeding pool." - CyberSong Quarterly     

CAMERA OBTUSA    "Pillar o' Salt"
CAMERA OBTUSA's  third collection of "headphonic transportation music." 

CAMERA OBTUSA    "Whistling Rufus"
Everyone we know thinks they're being insulting when they say,

"This ought'a be used in monster movies."Sure to frustrate Eno afficionados and Tangerine Dream deifiers.

READ entire Aural-Innovations REVIEW OF "Whistlin' Rufus" 

"What's becoming apparent as a trademark of Camera Obtusa's music is the scenery created by percussion and a dancing, bouncing variety of sounds, many of them having a strong percussive quality too." - Aural Innovations 

CAMERA OBTUSA    "Beating the Devil's Fiddle"
Sounds of strings, percussion, island field recordings, and domestic appliances gather for a strange and unnerving joyride. 

Progressive folk-Rockabilly and soundscapes from this adventurous, tho' short-lived "post- R.I.O. trio from rural North Carolina.

"FAUST meets Jerry Jeff Walker!" - SHAN'T RANT

"Features some nice guitar solo work & some very interesting Korean percussion instruments... there are so many rhythmic challenges on STEGOSAURUS that you'll miss over 50% unless you listen to this with headphones - about 20 times." -  Improvijazzation Nation 

WADE COLDWATER    "Minotaur on Toast"
"If you liked Pink Floyd's The Wall, steer way clear of this bizarre and turbulent instrumental metaphor.  Not as sappy and no cartoon. If ya like the music on recent Tom Waits or old records by The Band, this may make your brain smile." - The Galactus Guild

"Asteroid Schoolhouse guitarist Wade Coldwater steps out on his own for a guitar and space noise/electronic set that really held my attention with its avant space wildness packaged in a thematic presentation and feel. Many of the tracks are brief noise and ambience pieces that utilize sounds in a way that communicates a soundtrack of the Minotaur's story" - Aural Innovations
READ Aural-Innovations REVIEW OF "Minotaur on Toast"

Read  review from Jim Santo's DEMO-UNIVERSE   

ALONZO PHILLIPS    "Bee-Spit Architecture"
Got Rockabilly, got SpaceRock, got experimental folk music, got some stompin' artsy numbers...it's all here.

Hear MP3 of "Bee-Spit Architecture" (title track)


BRET HART   "No More Bandages!"
The 1st CD release by Bret Hart.  A collage of musical interactions while living in Worcester, MA (1996-1998).

Hear MP3 of "So, Whut Now!?"

Hear Mp3 of "Marcel Duchamp"

Read  review from Jim Santo's DEMO-UNIVERSE 

HE TALKS TO GIRAFFES    "Live 2/19/98"
Improvisations venture into rocking Beefheart/Monkees/Jeff Beck approximations, as well asinto gently collapsing universes of sound and ethnicity.  A fractal-jam. 

KUDZU    "Swamp Gothic"
"More women have bought this CD than anything else I've ever recorded.  Howcum?  I dunno." -bhh

Hear MP3 of "Dummy Down" 

KUDZU    "Incest is Bad"
A collection of songs centering around the national tragedy of child abuse and neglect.  Not many punches pulled.

Hear MP3 of "You Are a Great Container" 

TINA HART   "Planting That Seed in Their Heads"
"Killer slide guitar and session playing throughout...you can smell the swamp gas!" - Raygin Cajin Tunepage

"Some TUFF sound here... Christine has th' vocal chops to pull off, & does some pretty mean acoustic as well... Ms. Hart clearly has her own feelings to express & a style all her own! " - Improvijazzation Nation
Hear MP3 of "I Wanna Fly"


Metcalf/Diaz-Infante/Hart   "Fowl Turbulence"
"A pandemonium of sound". - Pax Records 

BRET HART    "Malaysia Tamed"
"Possibly the most aggressive electric guitar album  Hart's released to date" - EarChow. 

ASTEROID SCHOOLHOUSE    "Blame Your Parents and Move On"
harsh guitar/electronica space noise

"Asteroid Schoolhouse play lo-fi instrumental improvised space noise rock. Harsh stuff indeed." - Aural Innovations

READ entire Aural-Innovations REVIEW OF "Blame Your Parents and Move On" 

lo-fi instrumental improvised noise rock

"Fans of the avant-guitar experimentations of folks like Fred Frith, Henry Kaiser, and Derek Bailey will enjoy Asteroid Schoolhouse's noisier, and often spaceier, take on the genre." - Aural Innovations

READ entire Aural-Innovations REVIEW OF "Mind-Drill" 

ASTEROID SCHOOLHOUSE    "Two Big, Fat, Bass-playin' Dudes"
ASTEROID SCHOOLHOUSE are a collective of idiosyncratic musicians who live and craft in Southern Virginia. Three of them, who were art school classmates during the 70's, live in conjoined treehouse studios, connected by wooden bridges. The rest live near them and share a common vision uniting art, friendship, and on-going constructive criticism, into a strange and unique music-making force..

"Definitely not for the faint-hearted but if you're the type that likes to listen to improvisational guitar music in one ear and Hawkwind and Ash Ra Tempel in the other, then Asteroid Schoolhouse will gladly mix the two into one channel for you" - Aural Innovations

READ entire Aural-Innovations REVIEW OF "Two Big, Fat, Bass-playin' Dudes" 

Initially, while Faced was in production, Phillips stated that the record "would never see the ears of day".He has since acquiesced, mentioning that the new record "is as sparse as a catfish".Members of the space-rock band, Asteroid Schoolhouse, are featured on many songs.

Hear MP3 of demo version of "Morning Dove" 

PENGUIN    "Halloween with Penguin"
One-pass improvisation recorded in the HipWorks ArtSpace in Fitchburg, MA on Halloween 1994.

"It's almost beautiful, at times; grisly and visceral at others." - OINK!

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