Reviews

CatSynth regularly features reviews of music and art. The focus is on modern, contemporary or experimental work in a variety of media. We primarily cover the San Francisco Bay Area, but occasionally find ourselves in New York or such far away locales as an electronic music show in Tokyo or an underground club in Shanghai.

Check out the featured review below as well as other recent reviews. If you are interested in having your event or work reviewed on CatSynth, please contact us or leave us a suggestion on Facebook. Note that with a volunteer staff of one human and one cat, we probably won’t get to all of them.

Featured Article: no editions – live video series 2009

A little inspiration for things to come in 2010: no editions – live video series 2009 August 17 New York from no editions on Vimeo. I saw this via an article on PLANET magazine. Primarily a fashion article reviewing Christian Niessen and Nicole Lachelle’s No Editions label, but tt seems to intersect with various ideas […]

Feline NightLife at the California Academy of Sciences

Most Thursday evenings, the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco hosts Classroom Safari. I have long been fascinated by the small wild cats, so it was interesting to see them up close. The delightfully cheeky staff, however, started out the program with a “cat” that wasn’t a cat at all. This feline-esque creature is […]

Michael Tilson Thomas

SF Symphony Music for a Modern Age: Ives, Thomas, Harrison, Antheil

Today we look back at the San Francisco Symphony’s “Music for a Modern Age” concert that took place in late June. This wasn’t simply a concert or even a concert focused on American music of the last 100 years. It was a theatrical event, with video projection, staging, and more. The evening began with two […]

Positive Knowledge

Outsound New Music Summit: Karen Borca and Positive Knowledge

The final night of the Outsound New Music Summit featured a performance by Karen Borca, returning to the Bay Area for the first time in two decades. For those not familiar with Borca, she is one of the few bassoonists in avant-garde jazz and free jazz; and she had a long and illustrious career playing […]

Surplus 1980

Outsound New Music Summit: VOCO and Surplus 1980

Each night of the Outsound New Music Summit is different, but some more different than others. Such was the case with the fourth night of this year’s festival which featured two loud rock-oriented bands. The tone of the evening was set with the opening sounds from VOCO. The group features Alex Yeung (of Say Bok […]

neem (Kelley Kipperman and Gabby Fluke-Mogul)

Outsound New Music Summit: neem and Sheldon Brown’s Blood of the Air

The third concert of this year’s Outsound New Music Summit was truly a study in contrasts between minimalism and large-ensemble exuberance. First up was neem, the duo project of Gabby Fluke-Mogul (violin) and Kelley Kipperman (double bass). [neem (Kelley Kipperman and Gabby Fluke-Mogul). Photo: peterbkaars.com.] This was minimalism in its truest form, starting with the […]

McCaslin, Reed, Pino

Outsound New Music Summit: McCaslin/Reed/Pino Trio, and Animals & Giraffes

The second concert of the Outsound New Music Summit brought together two ensembles focused on more abstract improvisation. The first set was a trio featuring Collette McCaslin, Amy Reed, and Mark Pino. McCaslin has collaborated with both Reed and Pino in other projects, but I think this is the first time the three of them […]

Bass flute and tuba

Outsound New Music Summit: Usufruct and Evil Genius

The concert portion of the Outsound New Music Summit opened on Tuesday with performances by Usufruct and Evil Genius. The groups both have unique and fun names, but offered up quite different performances and aesthetics. But they both included instruments that I feel are under-utilized in contemporary music: bass flute and tuba. Usufruct is the […]

CatSynth setup at Touch the Gear, with Modular and Moog Theremini

Outsound New Music Summit: Touch the Gear

The 2017 Outsound New Music Summit kicked off this Sunday with the annual Touch the Gear event. As always, there were several musicians and instrument-makers were on hand to demonstrate their setups or inventions. Above we see Alphastare demonstrating his setup for processing of synthesized and recorded sounds that he uses in his live shows. […]

Tony Levin photographs the audience at the Fox Theater

King Crimson, Fox Theater, Oakland

King Crimson returned to North America this summer for their “Radical Action Tour”. And we at CatSynth were on hand to see them at the Fox Theater in Oakland. As this was their first North American tour in three years, we were not going to miss a chance to see the band, and Robert Fripp. […]

Red Robot Show presents Vacuum Tree Head Live @ HSP2017!

The Red Robot Show and Vacuum Tree Head are back! This time Jason Berry brings footage from our March show at HSP2017, and is joined by Marlon Brando in this full-length episode. The members of the band for this performance are: Jason Bellenkes : Alto Saxophone and Clarinet Jason Berry: Conductor Amanda Chaudhary: Keyboards and […]