First of all, welcome to a new installment at Heavy Blog that we’re calling Heavy Vanguard. This is a podcast wherein Heavy Blog Editor Scott Murphy and myself (Jimmy) discuss avant-garde and experimental music. Each episode follows an intense, in-depth discussion of an experimental album that is in some way relevant to the world of music. Genres or popularity (i.e. “underground” or “mainstream”) aren’t considered when we pick an album; it’s more about a release that, regardless of how it sounds or how it’s been received, has pushed the boundaries of music in some way or another. Each episode is short (under half an hour), acting as a launchpad for people interested in exploring what the avant-garde has to offer.
Today’s album is the debut Nurse With Wound album Chance Meeting on a Dissecting Table of a Sewing Machine and an Umbrella. (Hell of a name, right? Just wait until you see the album artwork.) This is a vaguely industrial-sounding album that was released in 1979, and while Nurse With Wound hasn’t gotten the acclaim that similar bands (such as Throbbing Gristle or Coil) have gotten, it’s nonetheless a project remembered for its serious experimentation of what can be considered music. Moreover, Chance Meeting is remembered for the first instance of the Nurse With Wound List: a listing of musicians and bands that NWW considered major influenced. Today, the Nurse With Wound List is the de facto encyclopedia of pre-1980s avant-garde and experimental music, with people still discussing the various bands in it to this day.
As also discussed in this podcast, the NWWL wasn’t the first list of its kind; Frank Zappa did something similar on the debut Mothers of Invention album Freak Out, which is actually covered nicely in a documentary called Frank Zappa: The Freak-Out List. (If you have Amazon Prime Video, it’s free to watch.)
But let’s not spoil anything more. Listen below to the podcast, and if you’re interested, a link to the album itself will be provided below that. Do remember, though: these are not easy albums. This is music that is ultimately very rewarding, but requires a large amount of patience. If Chance Meeting or any album we do interests you, we highly advise to keep yourself open to what this music offers, as opposed to dismissing it after one listen.
This Weeks’s Episode:
This Week’s Album:
As with anything we post on this blog, constructive comments/criticisms are always welcome. If you have a suggestion for an album you want us to cover, let us know!