The big project for me of 2009 was my collaboration with Joshua Baker AKA Offset Needle Radius. We recorded an entire record in Maine, in January, when I had pneumonia. We did a tour around Easter in New England, we released some buttons, a totebag and a CD. The vinyl version will be coming soon. I swear. Anyway, a half a year after sending out promo copies of Offset Needle Radius Vs. nickname: Rebel we are getting some nice and odd (sometimes both) responses back. Despite relatively little recent promotional push, the record has charted above such luminaries as Fuck Buttons, the Gossip and Mozart on Stanford University’s KZSU 90.1 FM, just last week. (We are also getting lots of love from KDVS and WREK… thanks!)
Of most interest to me was the review by the talented UK cartoonist, DJ and reviewer Ed Pinsent in his Sound Projector blog (He also spun us on his Resonance FM show and podcast. Does he really think these names are highly dubious, or is he taking the piss?):
Marc Arsenault and Joshua Baker come to improvised guitar music from a background in avant-rock bands, and now call themselves Nickname: Rebel and Offset Needle Radius respectively. On Nickname: Rebel Vs Offset Needle Radius (WOW COOL 24/005), they turn in some very credible meandering guitar-scaping episodes full of vast abstractions and intricate scrapey doodles, largely avoiding unpleasant noise or feedback in favour of continuous, real-time playing, only slightly enhanced with foreign-sounding effects and treatments. Intriguing material on offer, but I keep listening out for the moments when the duo cease to tread around each other like two cautious cats, and start to cut loose with some of the impolite energy that you might have hoped for from their punk rock backgrounds.
Hey… fair enough. Now I feel like I have the license to really throw down next time, if not kill….