Hearsay: Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Free Music!

Sounds a little tech-y and convoluted, but it really isn’t: One Hundred Second Dash is the name of a series of free downloadable compilation CDs of short songs curated by Chat Room Pub co-owner Ben Rogers and Eaton Lake Tonics’ Tony Ferraro. The duo’s first volume has just come out and includes contributions from such local heavy hitters as Telegraph Canyon, Tyler Rougeux (frontman, Whiskey Folk Ramblers), Matthew and the Arrogant Sea, J Gray, New Science Projects, Scene Girls, and Febrifuge, plus San Antonio’s Druggist and some obscure acts: Children’s Letters to God, Fuzzy Coos, Bishop Conrad Power, AABBB, and Francophones Heartstring Stranglers (who reference one of the most famous references to la Francais in American pop music, the “fa fa fa-fa” part from the Talking Heads’ 1977 radio hit “Psycho Killer”). True to the series name – and mission – every one of the two dozen songs on the comp clock in at under 100 seconds (1:40 minutes) apiece. The better-thought-out tracks are bunched up near the end (which is weird because the bands are listed in alphabetical order): The International’s soothing yet bitter “The Anti-Apocalyptic Manifesto,” Telegraph’s “Good With Knives,” Scene Girls’ “No One Hates You, Jenny,” Ryan Thomas Becker’s “I Think We’re Calculating the Nucleus,” and a couple of others. As you can imagine, most of the tuneage skews toward acoustic-based, indie-influenced shoegazing, though there are a few entries that come off as carefully produced intermezzos, of which Children’s Letters to God’s contemplative, often harrowing “Actual Executions” is the most unique – the rhythm is busily kept by what sounds like a buzzing dot-matrix printer, and the canvas over which a soft electric guitar is gently plucked and strummed is rainy and staticky, evoking a strong mood, of solemnity and loss. And have I mentioned that the CDs are free? Well, they are. The mission, according to a message posted on One Hundred Second Dash’s web page, is “to make good music free to all ears.” The artists retain all of their copyrights. Rogers and Ferraro are currently soliciting contributions for Vol. 2. According to the site, the only rules are: No songs over 100 seconds in length, no cover songs (unless the rights are owned by the cover-er), and no old or well-known songs – or, if old or well known, then new arrangements are encouraged. Bands who don’t have their own home-recording equipment can contact Rogers and Ferraro, who will “set something up.” Visit http://onehundredseconddash.blogspot.com/ or www.myspace.com/onehundredseconddash. … The Fort’s answer to Billy Ocean and Prince, one-man white-boy soul machine Browningham (né Nathan Brown) has returned home to Cowtown after a couple years sojourn in Little Rock, where he spread roof, got married, became a daddy, decamped for tours, and started his own company, The Dead Media, an online retailer and repair service specializing in vintage home electronics and recording equipment. Brown writes on his web page that The Dead Media also will be a label that will produce only 8-track recordings. Surprisingly, considering that no one under 60 years old probably owns an 8-track player, a few bands are already signed up, including three from Little Rock: The Crisco Kids, San Antokyo, and The Thing That Always Explodes. Recordings will be available at performances. Visit www.myspace.com/browningham.
Contact HearSay at hearsay@fwweekly.com.

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