L.A. Free Music Society Live At The Brand
Los Angeles Free Music Society (LAFMS) formed in the mid-1970s as a loose-knit experimental music collective and multimedia publishing vehicle. Founded by teenage Le Forte Four members Chip Chapman, Joe Potts and Rick Potts and soon joined by Tom Recchion of Doo-Dooettes, LAFMS incorporated free improvisation, modular synthesizers, tape music, sampling, musique concrète, homemade instruments, noise, mail art and avant-rock in permissive and anarchic sessions at the Raymond Building and Poo-Bah Record Shop in old Pasadena. Inspired by The Residents, LAFMS self-released records and periodicals, organized performances and connected with fellow outsiders via post in the years before punk. Their uninhibited, egalitarian ideal of music-making and DIY distribution would influence generations of underground artists.
Live at the Brand documents the second performance of newly formed LAFMS core groups Le Forte Four and Doo-Dooettes on July 8, 1976 at the recital hall of the Brand Library in Glendale. Le Forte Four (now joined by Tom Potts) did not actually perform live, but rather created 44 pyramid-shaped headphone helmets with internal quadraphonic speakers and countless wires in order to share their latest tape assemblages with showgoers deprived of sight. The recordings delivered in this Fluxus-inspired manner feature the Buchla synthesizer at nearby CalArts, radio interpolations, group improvisations, addled outbursts and splices from source material lost to time. Doo-Dooettes – Tom Recchion, Harold Schroeder, Juan Gomez, Dennis Duck and Fredrik Nilsen – performed a series of alternately droning and chaotic duets with guitar, percussion, piano, tape loops and synthesizer, all improvised around loosely structured compositions and culminating in a spontaneous group composition at the end of the program. Originally released in 1976, the double LP would be LAFMS' third release.