Cagey House – Sometimes Always Never

Cagey House - Sometimes Always Never

Before the music review starts, I wanted to draw your attention to the album cover at the top of this page. One of the delights of Cagey House aka Dave Keifer’s releases are the album covers. This is due to artist Brandi Strickland ( as she has been making Cagey House album covers for a few years now. What I find wonderful about these album covers is how they go along so well with Cagey House’s music.

I am a proponent that music can be listened to anywhere and anyhow. This is not as an odd as a statement given the number of musicians who say, “Only listen to my music on high-end audio equipment,” “Must use headphones to listen to,” “Don’t convert to MP3,” “Great music to fall asleep to,” etc. That all said and remembering I love music everywhere and anytime, a great time and place to listen to Cagey House’s Sometimes Always Never would be during Sunday brunch, especially with friends who may not have as an adventurous taste in music as you do.

“Airshaft Grains” opens up Cagey House’s Sometimes Always Never placing you directly into the early hours of a piano bar, customers are straggling in, there’s a guy at the bar who has been drinking since lunch (he may or may not be passed out, it’s hard to tell), and the piano player and drummer are just loosening up. As with most Cagey House records, there is a mood of an album that is ingrained with each track, this time it is a saturation of tenderness. “Airshaft Grains” accomplishes this.

“Number 3 Removal” is, of course, the second track. Its guitar loop with a recorder or flute coming in from behind is a beautiful track. But it’s still a Cagey House track, so things are always a little off center, a little askew, and this starts around the 90 second mark.

In “Bebe Dreams (with Batteries)”, things start to get Cagey House weird but it’s tempered with the jazzy drum we heard in the first track. “Walrus and Eric” continues with the strangeness, but the ambiance has already been set in Sometimes Always Never and Cagey House keeps the track soothing with its sad piano even with the loops of noise and vocals about a sea lion are definitely out there.

I don’t know if Dave Keifer lives “JF on the Stoop” lives in the Baltimore City, but I will imagine he does as sitting on the stoop is a Baltimore tradition, just read some Anne Tyler novels. “JF on the Stoop” is a late-evening cigarette while sitting on your front steps watching the silence of your city street. The bells on “Tin Can Lotus” along with the wah-wah-ish sound and the drums at the end give this track a lovely meditative feel.

If you had zoned out during the previous, “Mother Light” does two things. First, it’s opening drum beat will startle you a touch and the second is that this track is probably the most Cagey House track of the album. “She Found Him in 22”, the final entry to the album is a bit sugary, but it fits wonderfully with the rest of the album.

Cagey House’s Sometimes Always Never is very chill release, but it is still cagey.

Artist: Cagey House
Title: Sometimes Always Never
Netlabel: Pan y Rosas Discos
Release Date: June 2015
License: June 2015
Download mp3: zip

Cagey House – Cry One Best Demo

Cagey House - Cry One Best Demo

Over the last few months, I wondered when Dave Keifer would be coming out with an album. It seemed like it has been months since we last had something new by his alter ego Cagey House. So I was happy to see MAV Records release Cagey House’s Cry One Best Demo at the beginning of AprilDo not be thrown but the word demo, Keifer probably writes out song and album titles using the same abstract composition stylings that form his music

For his last several years, Keifer has been successfully mixing vocals, piano and an assortment of other sounds and noises to make some wonderful avant-garde works. Though Keifer’s sonic palate might be the same for each song on Cry One Best Demo, the tracks all stand out on their own. The album opens with “Phase Sync Study (jk), an incoherent vocal and a simple melody looped with IDM beats and noise encroaching throughout. Next is “The Bad Summer” which plays an off-kilter-sad-piano-bar song mixed with glitches, screeches and scratches. The third track, “Erased Clarinet”, is a piece one could hear at a late night jazz joint. Hopefully, you get the idea now. I always have high expectations for a Cagey House release and Cry One Best Demo does not disappoint. Amazingly Keifer keeps on putting out great albums time and time again.

One other thing that is unrelated to the music. The mp3s downloaded without the tags, so please beware, you’ll need to add Title, Artists, Track, etc. to mp3 files. Trust me, it’s well worth it though. I believe this might be an Internet Archive bug, but I see many releases with mp3s, flacs, and wavs tagged properly.

Artist: Cagey House
Title: Cry One Best Demo
Netlabel: MAV Records
License: CC BY-NC-SA
Release Date: April 2015
Download mp3: zip

Absolutely Free

Absolutely Free

Dave Keifer, aka Cagey House, recently released three different Creative Commons albums: Second Sight (Pan y Rosas), Queen of Spins (Haze), and Transparent Order (Bump Foot). These three albums were released in June, July and August respectively. But I haven’t been thinking of these as three separate albums, but rather as one distinct triple album. As highly respected Keifer is among many Creative Commons musicians, as productive as he is with netlabel releases, Keifer is not nearly as popular as he should be. My twitter feed should light up when Cagey House releases an album as much as it did when Apex Twin released a balloon.

Keifer often uses sampled vocals effectively in previous releases, but in this triple album, the vocals become more of an instrument than ever before as they are usually looped throughout the entirety of the track. Words have meanings, but after loop after loop, the words loose their meaning and become only an instrument. As a collagist, Keifer masters these recordings into melodic and flowing tracks, not the usual stilted and harsh edits of others. And as smooth as Keifer’s recordings are, there is something truly off-center about his music. It could be an odd pronunciation of a word or the child-like instruments used to create the melodies, but whatever it is that skews Keifer’s tracks, it leaves us with some extraordinarily satisfying music.



Artist: Cagey House
Title: Second Sight
Netlabel: Pan y Rosas
License: CC BY-NC-ND
Download mp3: zip
Release Date: 19 June 2014

Artist: Cagey House
Title: Queen of Spins
Netlabel: Haze
License: CC BY-NC-SA
Download mp3: zip
Release Date: 23 July 2014

Artist: Cagey House
Title: Transparent Order
Netlabel: Bump Foot
License: CC BY-NC-NSA
Download mp3: zip
Release Date: 10 August 2014

The Chaos of Medley

Cagey House's "Pistol Vest"

Periodically life gets in the way with me writing this blog I’m always listening to new netablel releases, but finding the time to sit and focus on a new album, well that’s sometimes difficult. The good thing about this past week is that while I was being a taxi driver to the teenagers among other things, I got to listen to the new Cagey House album, Pistol Vest on the 0kbps netlabel.*

If you are unfamiliar with Cagey House aka Dave Keifer, you really shouldn’t be. Over the last 6 years or so, I count 32 albums release on a dozen plus netlabels. (A quick look around the internets and I can say that these numbers I just presented are low, maybe quite low.)**

Keifer’s lastest album begins with “Used to be for LE B”, almost a cacophony of several Cagey House tracks in one. Cagey House records wonderful melodic noise collages that seem part melody and part chaos like “January Insects” or “Motorslide”. Keifer can also be somewhat cinematic with his tracks like the clanging “Blasting Horn” or the delightful “Fun Rehearsal for Fin”. There have already been several netlabel releases in January that you should be listening to and Cagey House’s Pistol Vest is one of them.

Artist: Cagey House
Title: Pistol Vest
Netlabel: 0kbps
License: CC BY-NC-SA
Download wav: zip***
Release Date: 13 January 2014

* Does anyone know if this netlabel should be referred to as 0kbps or Mav? I really don’t know.
** Keifer also produces work under the alias Kid Feardive, I know of a handful of these releases. I also just found several at Jamendo I didn’t know about as well as always skim through of Cagey House releases.
*** Oddly, Pistol Vest is only available in flac, ogg and wav.

Mostly I Like Everything That Cagey House Does

As readers of this blog may know, we are big fans of Cagey House given three reviews (June Through the Window, Stupid Grin, Do the Magnet) and two albums making the 100 Notable Netlabel Releases of 2011. The Baltimore musician Dave Keifer who goes by at least two musical alias, Cagey House and Kid Feardrive, and uses Cagey House to create wonderful collage music that could best described as experimental pop. With Mostly I Like Everything (Bump Foot), Keifer grabs a hold of standard music themes of pop radio and then alters and bends these bits of music into something more pleasing and interesting. Mostly I Like Everything is Keifer’s fourth album to be released by Bump Foot and he continues on producing these surprisingly odd and fascinatingly uncommon works. If you’ve never listen to a Cagey House album, now is a great time to do so.

[mp3j flip=”y” track=”He’s Right About The Strings (But He’s No Sun Ra)@″]

Artist: Cagey House
Title: Mostly I Like Everything
Netlabel:  Bump Foot
Release Date: 05 August 2012
Download mp3: zip

An AoS Podcast: 10 August 2012

A podcast made on 10 August 2012 featuring the experimental music and field recordings  from the Creative Commons / netlabel scene of the last week.

Podcast: or at Mixcloud.

[mp3j flip=”y” track=”An AoS Podcast: 10 August 2012@″]

Below is a list of albums as they appear in the podcast.

Josh Varnedore’s Manataka (Absence of Wax)
Paul Wady’s The Terminal Beach (Linear Obsessional)
Ryan Jordan and Luke Moss’ Live from the Crystal World Salon (Open Sound Group)
Sinux’s Supermotion (Música Dócil)
eüa.3’s Hatemosphere (Earsheltering)
Diving Bell’s Diving Bell (h-a-z-e)
Cagey House’s Mostly I Like Everything (Bump Foot)
Nick Fells’ Other Islands (Never Come Ashore)
Giovanni Lami’s I Misteri (Impulsive Habitat)

The CC licensed photograph is by Pandiyan

An AoS Podcast: 31 July 2011

An Acts of Silence Podcast: 31 July 2011

It only took some 9 months to put together the second podcast of this blog. This podcast is looking at the eclectic, the weird and the wacky.


An Acts of Silence Podcast: 31 July 2011 (mp3)

[audio|titles=An Acts of Silence Podcast: 31 July 2011|animation=no]

Below is the list of musicians, albums and netlabels in order of appearance.

Ergo Phizmiz – Music From The Shoes of Fulcanelli (Headphonica)
Tzara – Degrowth (Black Lantern Music)
Charmant Juliette – Matin un nouveau jour (45RPM Records)
Gurdonark – Butterflys of North Texas (Self-releaseed)
kikiilimikilii – Lumens (Heia Sun)
Lindenberg Munroe – Etudes For the Anima (BFW Recrodings)
Bubbles – Asleep (Self-Released)
Cagey House – June through the Window (WeirdAndWired)
My Brother Daniel – Ponky (Just Not Normal)
RW & P38 – Emperor of the South Pole (Dusted Wax Kingom)
Alea T. – hot01: 00-09 (Al revés)
Utrovortu – Byt’ kak myshi-polevki (Feeling like a campagnol) (Clinical Archives)
Dronjo kept by 4 – Delta (Mimi)
paniq – Beyond Good and Evil (Self-released)
Mystified – Adventures of Plunderman Remastered (Tree Trunk)

| The cover is a CC licensed photograph by PG Creative Ltd |