I like how this music seems to change my brainwaves. There is also quiet comfort in being able to visualize the space it was created in and the everyday objects that become instruments in the delightful creations by this family orchestra.
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There is no place on Earth like the margins of a bored teenager’s notebook -- except the margins of notebooks of other bored teenagers. Ground zero for absent-minded doodling, adolescent daydreams, singular fantasies, word games, peculiar musings,
secret languages, imaginary objects, irrational solutions to nonexistent problems. This is exactly the sort of low-risk, private masterpiece that quite appropriately adorns the cover of The Viper’s Art For Pain’s Sake.
While enduring his high school years (1976-1980) in Livermore, California, where the jocks were known to lift up a person without warning and deposit him in a public garbage can, Richard Streeter channeled his blossoming passion for the work of Jefferson Airplane, Timothy Leary, musique concrète, comix and all things counterculture into boombox recordings with his sister and a cross-section of the local freakdom. Sometimes the batteries were due for a refresher and the results ended up fuzzy and all heliumed out. Sometimes mom and her snack tray made a cameo in the middle of the session. Whether jamming on violin in a group or scrambling his playing with reel-to-reel experiments, banging on coffee cans or trying to conquer unrequited love Charlie Brown-style, importing a little bit of Haight Street to the flavorless suburbs or navigating good ol’ fashioned angst, The Viper never loses sight of the value of his own innate lyricism. Art For Pain’s Sake has plenty of humor but it is never insincere. As anyone who has heard his track “Cookies Shaped Like Kites” on Induced Musical Spasticity or the Blood Lewiis recording of his graphic score “Conversation With Bicycle Horn” can affirm, Streeter remains committed to craftsmanship, whether exploring his fatuous side or just sketching in the margins for no particular reason.