Archer Spade Presents Spectrum Ensemble at The Whole Shebang

The second installment of the Spectrum Ensemble took place at the Whole Shebang in South Philadelphia.

In contrast to the Rotunda performance, smaller groups of musicians performed sets of improvised music, occasionally joining forces in bigger groups and making a bigger sound.

The Ensemble features musicians from the core Archer Spade(Dan Blacksberg, Nick Millevoi), Kud (Jesse Kudler), Van Sutra (Julius Masri and George Draguns), Sirius JuJu, Bender / Stein / Tini, and Press / Connor Przybyszewski / Gottlieb-Hollis , thee Eric Carbonara and many many more.

Archer Spade Presents: Spectrum Ensemble at The Rotunda

Featuring 24 of Philadelphia’s Outest Musicians, the brainchild of Dan Blacksberg and Nick Millevoi played a series of Sunday Matinee concerts in and around The City Of Brotherly Love.

The ensemble featured musicians from the core Archer Spade(Dan Blacksberg, Nick Millevoi), Kud (Jesse Kudler), Van Sutra (Julius Masri and George Draguns), Sirius JuJu, Bender / Stein / Tini, and Press / Connor Przybyszewski / Gottlieb-Hollis , thee Eric Carbonara and many many more.

Der Beste Von Deutschland


Dr. Simeone discussed how Germany always produces at least one great race car every decade. The National favorites from the 1920s, 1930s, 1950s, and 1970s were featured in this Demo Day Event. They were all great international winners of their time.

  • 1927 Mercedes Benz S-Type Sportwagen, the brainchild of Ferdinand Porsche while he was working for Mercedes Benz,
  • 1937 BMW 328, der erfolgreiche deutsche Sportwagen,
  • 1955 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing, the race car of the street,
  • 1970 Porsche 917 LH, the car that inaugurated Porsche’s wins at Le Mans in 1970 and 1971.

Fire Museum Presents: Bill Nace + Steve Baczkowski

Bill Nace is one of the premiere avant-garde guitarists active today. He has one of the most personal and unique pallets of sound ever to be culled from an electric guitar.

Nace creates a distinct, mind-bending cacophony and focuses his textures with intense precision and control. He works under various guises (Body/Head with Kim Gordon, x.0.4 with Jake Meginsksy and John Truscinski, a trio with celebrated percussionist Chris Corsano & Steve Baczkowski, a duo with Paul Flaherty, Northampton Wools with Thurston Moore, and Ceylon Mange with Dylan Nyoukis and Karen Constance) and his own name.

Multi-wind instrumentalist Steve Baczkowski lives in Buffalo, N.Y. where he works as a conduit for creative music of any & every sort. Baczkowski began playing alto saxophone at age eight, switched to baritone by the time he was twelve, and has since developed a wide array of woodwind styles & formidable breathing techniques.

In addition to organizing the Buffalo Improvisers Orchestra, and the Buffalo Suicide Prevention Unit, Baczkowski also performs solo, in duo with Ravi Padmanabha, Bill Sack, Nola Ranallo, Omar Tamez & Bill Nace and in ensembles such as Genkin Philharmonic, 12/8 Path Band, Necrophonia, the William Parker Trance Quartet, and frequent collaborations with like-souled folks from around the world.

Fire Museum Presents: Jake Meginsky

JAKE MEGINSKY (percussion/electronics) has collaborated and performed with such artists as Milford Graves, Alvin Lucier, Joan Labarbara, Greg Kelley, Bhob Rainey, Vic Rawlings, Joe McPhee, Thurston Moore, William Parker, John Blum, Daniel Carter, Paul Flaherty, Arthur Brooks, Bill Nace, and John Truscinski.

HUCK magazine describes his work as “constantly transgressing the boundaries between acoustic and electronic, analog and digital” and continues, “invention is at the heart of Jake’s work even before he strikes a note.” Volcanic Tongue recently called Meginsky’s 2014 solo record, Lâ appel Du Vide, “a hallucinatory electro percussion masterpiece” and in the WIRE Magazine review of the album, Nick Cain writes, “the album uses little more than a couple of sounds, extracting often head spinning complexity from a minimum of means”.

Meginsky’s recordings can be found on Feeding Tube Records (Northampton, MA), Rel Records (Providence, RI), Open Mouth Records (Northampton, MA), Hells Half Halo (Seattle, WA), Wooden Finger Records (Belgium), Ultra Eczema Records (Belgium), and Ecstatic Peace Records (Northampton, MA). He recently remixed Body/Head’s (Kim Gordon & Bill Nace) “Last Mistress” for Matador Records (NYC).

Fire Museum Presents: AKNKVN

aknkvn is a duo based in Tokyo and has been performing free improv and noise in tandem since 2009.

Akihiko Akkun Ando is an alto saxophonist born in Chiba, Japan in 1986. Since moving to Tokyo in 2001, he has been an active member of underground music scenes in both Tokyo and Kansai in western Japan, performing sax, effects and electronics.

From 2012, Akkun has been a regular collaborator with pianist Kevin McHugh who is a pianist, accordionist and improviser from Seattle, WA. After graduating from Oberlin Conservatory, McHugh won a yearlong Watson Fellowship to explore improvised music scenes in 5 megacities around the world: São Paulo, Cairo, Mumbai, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Since 2009 and after living in NYC and Oakland, Kevin has been based in Tokyo, performing and recording as an active member of Tokyo’s experimental music scene.

Fire Museum Presents: Lead Pipe

Lead Pipe is sound artists Stephanie Bonham & Paul Irvin Brinkley. Stephanie moved to Philadelphia from Austin in 2013. Her soundscapes incorporate field recordings, drones, infinite loops, synthesizers, effects pedals, drum machines and distorted vocals. She is joined by longtime collaborator Paul Irvin Brinkley , manipulating radio and records.

Brinkley played bass synth with Lead Pipe from 2012-2013 in Austin, moving to Philadelphia in 2014 when they resumed collaboration. Other projects he is involved in include Templo X, Mirror Travel & Mermaid Blonde.

When Beauty Is Not Enough: The Curious Case Of Alfa Romeo


Perhaps the greatest and most successful sports racing cars of all time were made by Alfa Romeo, particularly if one takes history back to the 1920s:

1925 Alfa Romeo RLSS:
These cars became popular luxury sporting models for individuals like Benito Mussolini who indicated that his car had a “magnificent engine” and the Aga Kahn said of his RLSS “a most interesting and enjoyable journey in one of the most excellent cars I have ever ridden in.”

1934 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Mille Miglia Spyder:
Consistent winner in the grueling Mille Miglia, both in the hands of privateers and the great Scuderia Ferrari drivers, these cars simply could not be beaten.

1937 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900A
Clearly, the most advanced sports car of the last half of the 1930s with double overhead cams and valves, two superchargers, a transaxle, independent four-wheel suspension adjustable from the seat, and a magnificent styling. Automotive experts believe that these cars could not be beaten on the track or on the road.

2015 Alfa Romeo 4C
Could Alfa Romeo bring back its glorious days?

Giant Killers: Light vs. Might

It is not always the biggest engine or the fastest car that wins the race. Certain cars regularly beat the bigger models because of their maneuverability and balance in road races.

The Simeone Museum demonstrated a quartet of cars that did surprisingly well against their larger competitors:

  • 1913 Mercer Raceabout, with a  relatively small 4.9 liter engine.
  • 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS, whose special instruction booklet insert was a convenience to Alfa’s English speaking customers.
  • 1934 MG K3 Magnette, which was capable of sustaining 6,000 RPM.
  • 1954 Austin Healey 100-4 BN1,  capable of great pulling power, so much so that the American versions have the first gear blocked out.

Bowerbird presents: Keroaän = Ian M Fraser + Reed Evan Rosenberg

KEROAÄN is a collaborative research project between Ian M Fraser and Reed Evan Rosenberg exploring composition of electronic music by artificial intelligence.

Pieces are diffused in real time with no human intervention whatsoever as the machine agent manipulates the qualities of chosen non-standard synthesis and microsound techniques.

In live diffusions, the machine agent additionally controls laser apertures and an array of strobe lighting which collectively act as a visual projection of the structure of its performance.

A distinctly non-human logic pervades the resultant arrangements of chaotic sounds and high-intensity lighting, presenting an immersive, alien environment.

The performance took place at The Rotunda in Philadelphia, PA.