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Martin Bland's Randomized Control Trials, Spring Cleaning Sale at Fantagraphics Bookstore
Written by Larry Reid | Filed under sales specialsFantagraphics Bookstoreevents 1 Apr 2008 1:11 PM

Fantagraphics Martin Bland/Spring Cleaning Sale poster

FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKSTORE & GALLERY HOSTS “MARTIN BLAND’S RANDOMIZED CONTROL TRIALS” ON SATURDAY, APRIL 12

Fantagraphics Books’ resident genius will present his recent experimental sound project, “Martin Bland’s Randomized Control Trials,” on Saturday, April 12 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. This event coincides with the colorful “Georgetown Second Saturday Art Attack.” The bookstore will also offer a huge “Spring Cleaning Sale” with hundreds of graphic novels marked at 50% off from April 11 though April 13.

Fantagraphics Bookstore employee Martin Bland has an impressive musical pedigree. He was the drummer for Australia’s legendary psyche-garage band Lubricated Goat prior to relocating to Seattle 1992. He performed with Bloodloss and Monroe’s Fur and later joined Fantagraphics alums Mark Arm (Mudhoney, Mr. Epp) and Tom Price (U-Men, Gas Huffer) in the grunge supergroup Monkeywrench, which also featured Tim Kerr (Big Boys) and Steve Turner (Mudhoney). Monkeywrench recently released a posthumous collection, “Gabriel’s Horn,” on the Birdman label.

Martin Bland’s Randomized Control Trials represents a departure from his previous work. “The premise involved using the ‘shuffle’ program on a group of compact disc players running simultaneously to produce unique arrangements of original music,” Bland explains. “All of the pieces followed a few guidelines: the musicians should be recorded separately from one another with little or no idea what the other musicians had played. They would be given a loose theme to improvise on and a rigid tempo to follow. These recordings were transferred on to a computer and cut into short phrases and fragments. Once all of the music for a piece had been recorded, each instrument was then assigned a CD player. The CD players were then played simultaneously with the ‘shuffle’ program activated, thus producing a unique arrangement of the piece each time. Some of the voices were of a ‘found’ nature but none of the music was sampled from other sources.”

The resulting recordings are often stunning and always entertaining. The presentation on April 12 will reflect the random nature of the concept. Featured musicians include Bland, Price, and Arm, as well as violinists Janis Wildy and Tom Swafford, pianist John Wright, and a host of contributors from various musical genres. Examples can be heard by clicking headlines at: http://martinblandsrct.blogspot.com.

Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery will also be the site of the publisher’s “Spring Cleaning Sale” on April 11 though April 13. Hundreds of slightly marred or damaged graphic novels will be offered at half price. Titles by Fantagraphics superstars including Peter Bagge, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, R. Crumb, Ellen Forney, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, Charles M. Schulz, Joe Sacco, Jim Woodring and dozens more will be featured. And Drew Friedman’s exquisite exhibition of original art “The Fun Never Stops!” remains on display through May 6. The space is located at 1201 S. Vale St. (at Airport Way S.) in the heart of Georgetown. Open daily 11:30 – 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM. Phone: 206.658.0110 As always, patrons of all ages are welcome, and admission is free.

Listing Information

Martin Bland’s Randomized Control Trials
Saturday, April 12, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
1201 S. Vale Street, Seattle
206.658.0110
Hours: Monday – Saturday 11:30 – 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM
www.fantagraphics.com