Only 21 handmade boxset versions of the Socket Set (like the one pictured above) were made.
(To download my songs to your computer - right-click on the link and choose "save link as" from the menu - on the mac you would control-click on the link.)
Michael McDaeth exists in a sonic landscape of his own devising while functioning temporally in North Seattle. This landscape is conceived largely in the moment, capturing a DIY spirit infused with spontaneous emotionalism and a willful need to create. He is a prolific artist, having authored two novels, built several websites, and filmed a myriad of videos to give a visual rendering to a fair number of his really, really distinctive songs.
His most current production is a seven c.d. boxed set called 'The Socket Set'. To summarize the entirety of the proceedings in 350 or so type characters is well nigh impossible, at least for me. But, I am so fascinated by his take on music-making that I feel compelled to try.
Hell is here. I will do the complaining from now on. I got a headache. These song titles, names of 3 of the 49 tracks, give a somewhat unified understanding of the mindset at work here. The music itself is a chaotic, noisily expressive sound collage produced via overdubbing; in some respects, this man is a musical anachronism, because there is some thing in his overall sound that plays out as if he was some backwoods, homespun country-blues musician who woke up in a studio. At times it sounds like everyone was too hungover to play. When the realization strikes that all of this is completely intentional and is as utterly necessary to his artistic vision as a recontextualized urinal was for Marcel Duchamp all those years ago, everything begins to make a lot more sense, and becomes a lot more compelling in the process.
Over the course of a few conversations I have had with him, I have come to understand the importance of 'the moment' and its importance in this man's process of creation as a musician. It is in the moment that emoting occurs in its most honest and unfettered way. It is the moment that requires the seeming chaos; the truth is that there is no chaos, just the overwhelming force of spontaneous emoting. Think of trying to saddle a hurricane; notions of form are merely guideposts.
There's another song written by him, called 'I was punk when punk was punk'. The music contained in this set proves that Michael is still punk when punk is not, when it has succumbed to its own worst excesses and devolved into a pantomime. It is also a reminder that when all else is stripped away, when all considerations of technique, genre and fashion are stripped away, that emotion is what hums at the core of sonic expression, and this is the most important and urgently necessary consideration of all.
~ Paul Paradis ~ http://mvremix.com/rock_blogs/2012/07/michael-mcdaeth-the-socket-set-boxed-set-review