February 27th, 2015

the Making it Free Project

MUT001: A Journey to Happiness Island

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For our next conversion to free download in our on-going project to make every audio product we’ve ever put out free, we’ve chosen the first album Mutable ever released. A Journey to Happiness Island is a children’s album that’s not for kids, a darkly comic journey from the mediocre Ing-land to the fantastical Happiness Island. Mister Tadpole takes Billy and his friends on a journey to the bottom of the ocean and into outer space and to the outskirts of Jupiter, while all the while singing educational songs about quantum mechanics and not setting your sights too high. Lots of fun for the whole family of adult arthropods!

 

A Journey to Happiness Island came about one weekend when Malcolm and myself got together with a bunch of other musical troublemakers. We spent three days improvising our way from one side of madness to the other. And now, this story album is available for free download here. Be sure to keep checking in every month as we continue to make each and every one of our Mutable albums free!


February 27th, 2015

An excerpt from the God Game
Colin Jacks

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[We here at Mutable wanted to showcase a little bit from Jacks' lost classic on the game of game creation, the God Game---some copies may still be lurking somewhere but most of these books were destroyed during an unfortunate flooding incident in Chicago last summer. The below excerpt begins the section on the creation of role-playing games and their like. If you like what you read below, you can email us at mail@mutablesound.com to get a pdf of the full manual, so that YOU TOO can be part of our God Game focus group!]

 

 

1.‭ ‬Categories

 

1.0.0‭ ‬Does the ground consist of spires‭?
What is and what is not within the world that you are planning to create‭? ‬Does the ground consist of spires that reach to the tips of the atmosphere,‭ ‬or is the entire orb made up of a teaming mass of encephalocapsules‭? (‬Brain capsules.‭) ‬All of this begins with categorization.‭ ‬Create a series of types,‭ ‬beginning with animate and inanimate matter,‭ ‬or god and mortal,‭ ‬or up and down,‭ ‬and from these preliminary dichotomies you can create the great font of being,‭ ‬the million hordes and so forth.

 

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February 26th, 2015

Around London For...

A day about the British Museum
James Mansfield

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I remember visiting the British Museum as a child, when I must have been around five or six, with my father. I say this, but actually can remember nothing from the visit apart from my insistence that we make the return journey by taxi, as I was bored of not seeing anything on the underground. I have since then been to the Museum countless times, and now having founded my own Museum of Imaginative Knowledge, had a strong desire to try and spend some time there for the purpose of what I call pure research, or simply just hanging out. What would it be like to spend an entire day in the British Museum?

 

Room 13 (Greece)
I sat down and looked at a large sculpture of a seated figure. The wall text told me there were more of these figures in the Museum, somewhere, but I didn’t feel the need to see them. I was more interested in the book I brought with me, an account of the antediluvian civilization of Atlantis. I looked at the gallery attendant, who was writing a note in a small book. I walked over to three visitors, each with a map in their jacket pockets. I told them that the statue used to line a route between a Greek city and a nearby shrine, but both these places are now destroyed.

 

Room 14 (Greece)
As I wandered into the next room, I thought about the appeal of Atlantis and lost civilizations in general. I visited the Nazca lines in 2000 and remembered going to see a scale-model reproduction of the lines down a backstreet in the town. There aren’t many artefacts from Peru in the British Museum, which probably explains why as a child I was so keen to visit the country. Greek things are perhaps too embedded into our culture, I mentioned to the gallery attendant, who smiled. And then quickly added, but they keep people coming here. I chuckled and left the room quietly.

 

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February 25th, 2015

Letter from the Editor

Tom Clemons, Frank, and the Found
Gabriel Chad Boyer

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Those of us who are so involved in manufacturing the sorts of weirdness showcased in the award-winning film Frank are prone to be a little over-sensitive that others are chuckling darkly in corners at our futile efforts. We are the sensitive children others beat with mounds of dung. We are the ones who wore the dung-shirts for the sake of something greater than just coins of refined dung, but for the sake greater dung god in the sky sort of thing. Even while screaming this omniscient dung being does not exist. What is Frank?

 

Frank is a comedy that laughs at and with the musical argonauts—i.e. the fictitious band Soropfbs, and its lead singer/guru, Frank. We witness the strange man in the giant fiberglass head recording himself hopping in a field, and we witness his final falling apart. We are laughing at his confusion when faced with modern social media networks, and watch the audience within the film being chided for laughing at all the amusing footage the carrot-topped lead has been posting on the web this whole time. Which. Isn’t this exactly what we’ve been doing this whole time? As in, laughing at these musical iconoclasts? Am I thinking too much?

 

Of course, Soropfbs are not really that iconoclastic as Stephen Rennick, who composed the score for Frank, has himself acknowledged. A little bit like a New Wave Captain Beefheart cover band with a little Daniel Johnston’s prose-y lyric stylings and outsider artist insane asylum status, and at least one Zapa-esque digression. Not to mention, Frank Sidebottom, the actual inspiration for the film.

 

Every time I watch footage of Frank Sidebottom, I always immediately think of the Residents. These days, when I think about what music is becoming in this age of the interweb, and then ponder back to the Residents and their Theory of Obscurity, or Frank Sidebottom and his Max Fleischer-inspired fiberglass head, these artists, that once seemed so intentionally and idiosyncratically obtuse, begin to appear more prophetic. We are living in an anonymous age, in which quality music of all variety lives in a kind of field of obscurity, a sea of unknown eyes and ears manufacturing endless hours of downloadable product on Soundcloud and Bandcamp. Of a daunting saturation of home movies and maverick videos on Youtube. It is the age of the anonymous creating public, and most of what we create are funny cat gifs. Which brings us to Tom Clemons.

 

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January 28th, 2015

the Making it Free Project

MUT015: Cast and Costumes

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We here at Mutable are going to be converting one album into a free download every month for the next six months, and we’re starting with a favorite of ours from several years ago. (Although, of course they’re all favorites.) Cast and Costumes is an album that should have received more attention than it did.

 

Cast and Costumes is the brain child of Paplib and Paplib is Germain Caillet. More than just a genius of psychedelic electronic rock, Paplib is truly unclassifiable. His music has a dreamy pop quality too and these jarring cut-up moments.

 

Listen to and download Cast and Costumes for free here, and check in next month when we make another of our many Mutable products free!


January 28th, 2015

Matter

The Least I Can Do
AD Jameson

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[AD Jameson, author of the Mutable release, Amazing Adult Fantasy, has a new story out at Matter, entitled, The Least I Can Do. The first three paragraphs can be found below.]

 

Antoine lived in Ontario, an awful place. Despite this, he’d never left. “I just like it here,” was what he said whenever anyone asked. Some people criticized him for not ever leaving town, not even on a day trip; they called Antoine a dirty, dirty chimp but they were just goosing him he knew.

 

Regardless, way up there, Antoine spent a good part of each morning at the Ontario Public Library, sounding his way through the words in one of its books. Today the book was called The Wishy-Washy Walrus. It opened like this: “Once upon a time there was a wishy-washy walrus.” After that, things got pretty complex pretty fast. It seems that the walrus, whose name was Washburn, was wishy-washy. To elaborate further, on certain days Washburn wished to be washed, and on other days Washburn wished not to be washed. You can see how that would be a problem.

 

Antoine finished reading, closed the book. And you’ve probably already formed a negative opinion of Antoine but it’s not becoming to make fun of adult illiteracy.

 

[To read more, go here.]


December 5th, 2014

MUT020

Gabriel Chad Boyer and Normal Feelings

No Place to Die

17 Tracks | Digital Download | $0 | Now Available

 

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

 

It begins with a few good lies. Then something terrible happens and those lies are shattered. You’re looking for someone to blame but also terrified and barreling off into god only knows where when you see something else—maybe a girl on a rock, or a hummingbird midflight, but something—and you see that where you are is just nowhere, and you see where you are for what it is, and everything becomes clear for a moment. You’re going to die someday, and it’s terrifying. This is the album.

 

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September 11th, 2014

On the Road with...

The Glasgow Pineapple Baron
James Mansfield

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[A one-day guide to Glasgow---13.35, departure time 16.12---from the co-founder of the Museum of Imaginative Knowledge.]

 

1. Kelvinhall to Buchanan Street

 

The Glasgow subway system is an underground railway which is small enough to be disconcerting. The water running on the tracks at Kelvinhall was disorientating, and the bright orange decoration reminded me of the subway in Brussels, New York and Milan. But not London. Yet having spent some time away from the metropolis, to visit another city was reassuring. On the subway I was reading Paul Theroux’s 1975 book The Great Railway Bazaar in which he travels from London across Asia to Japan and back again.

 

My journey on the subway was 12 minutes long and I almost stayed on longer just to carry on reading. I should perhaps have been studying my fellow passengers in the four carriage trains which circular around the inner ring and outer ring of the Glasgow system. It was enough just to remain in the system, looking up at the same adverts for Glasgow in bright pink. This tropical shade reminded me of the jacket worn by Douglas Dalrymple, a 19th century explorer and businessman. While the painting of him (hanging in the Kelvingrove Museum) may have been over-restored, his pink jacket was unlikely to be something he had ever worn.

 

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