Ydestroyde, a totally unhinged electro punk band from Osaka, Japan, plays tonight at Small Engine Rez (1413 Fourth Street SW) with Free Pop and Streights. The all-ages show is $3 and starts at 8 p.m. Ten percent of the band’s merch sales will be donated to Tohoku, a devastated region of Japan.
New Mexico band releases noise freak-out En Lak Ech
By Samara Alpern
Don’t limit it by calling it music, man. Jazz derangements, electronic debris and heaving melts of guitar are just part of it. What Sabertooth Cavity offers up with its first album, En Lak Ech, is a little more meta. Or a little more Dada. However you want to take it.
More and more, our remote, wild Western burg is proving to be an oasis of music and art that explores new frontiers. Nay, you say? Here’s evidence: Albuquerque Experimental is a two-day festival composed of 25 performances. The lineup is largely local with notable out-of-town troubadours sprinkled throughout (NYC psych pioneer Silver Apples; John Dieterich of Deerhoof, who’s performing with New Mexico’s own Raven Chacon). This event, masterminded by KUNM music host Peter Mezensky, will take place at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW) on Friday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. and on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 3 p.m. Two-day passes go for $20, while single passes are $10 on Friday and $15 on Saturday. For a full lineup and more information, go to albuquerqueexperimental.com. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
In life there are certain truths: What goes up must come down, all's fair in love and war, a stitch in time saves nine and one who makes a synthesizer out of a cougar pelt is wicked awesome. Musician, teacher and installation artist Raven Chacon is familiar with the latter, having made just that as part of a Winnipeg-based project by his interdisciplinary American Indian arts collective, Postcommodity. When the piece is pet, the pelt synth purrs, and when it’s twisted it raars. The group also fashioned an antler cello and antler harp, and made a drum from a boar bladder and a coffee can. The instruments, says Chacon, are meant to be played by a futuristic tribe representing the last of its culture.
Albuquerque is being visited by the best kind of aliens—experimental musicians. Headlining tonight’s show at 1kind Studios is Peace, Loving of Boston, MA. Three members of an innovative music/art collective and record label Whitehaus are coming through with handheld tape recorders full of cricket song, homemade instruments and poetry and creative and playful antics.
Hora Flora, or Raub Roy, is a sound scientist, touring out of San Francisco. Videos show his sets as whimsical performances that couple sound and visuals for a holistic artistic experience.
The locals will be the Jeebies, who’ve made a few appearances at 1kind of late. The last time I saw them, they started the set wearing giant foam heads to appear like silly monsters and ended playing bass, creating a low and melodic tapestry of sound. They’re known to vary their routine, however-in the past they have used the missed connections as lyrics and put on puppet shows.
iNK oN pAPER is a drum, bass, electronic duo from the High Mayhem emerging arts studio in Santa Fe. You may know them from the High Mayhem performance space or the band The Late Severa Wires.
I really can't tell you what to expect from this evening but be prepared for auditory abduction.
In defiance of romantic tradition, this Valentine’s Day the Albuquerque underground attended an early morning noise show at 1kind Studios. It was one of the morning shows that 1kind throws occasionally that encourages breakfast potlucking, coffee drinking and waffle eating.
When I walked into the dimly lit room around 11 a.m. I was confronted by the wafting smell of breakfast and a man smashing a guitar with what appeared to be a mallet in the corner, squeezed between the wall and a piano. The room was filled with an industrial screaming, like supersonic electric drilling or a compression hose.
The first act I saw completely was the local noise duo Baby Shampoo, playing their first show. They shared a sepia-stained 16 mm film upside down, which they had picked up from a thrift store and said was about the Tsunami. Their sounds, made by a horizontal guitar and a few pedals, made an unusual but fitting soundtrack for the film with its images of crashing waves and junkyards. They had edited the end themselves, using watercolors and sharpie for a psychedelic apex to close the set.
Phantastron by Lorin Parker
Rocket Parlour is a husband-wife noise team that recently moved to Albuquerque after a hiatus in Taos. They are known for their unique homemade instruments. For our show, Lorin Parker opened a box full of buttons and levers and lights, and attached to it a long piece of wood mounted with electrical fixtures. His wife Sarah Seelig is a concert pianist, and she played piano along with him. Their noise made the already dark room seem sinister and creepy; it was fun. Lorin Edwin mentioned that he will be teaching “make your own sythesizer” workshops out of 1kind in March, and possibly out of his space in the Harwood Art Center. Stay posted if you like music and science: www.electricwestern.com.
Local noise experience A Church is not a Hospital sat amid a myriad of pedals and instruments like two kids watching bugs. They were just amazing. I don't even want to get into it, come see for yourself next time.
The Wild Yaks were not like the others, being a beat-driven rock band on tour from Brooklyn. They played with a friendly and high energy; I caught them warming up by frolicking around the back of the building before they performed. If you missed them this time, or you've been missing them since, don't worry. They are due to return to New Mexico on March 12 on their way to SXSW. I will keep you informed about that.
I, unfortunately, was dragged away before the last two performances. To keep updated on breakfast shows, noise shows and breakfast/noise shows of the future, visit www.myspace.com/albuquerquediy. Or keep checking here.
Nani Chacon is responsible for this lovely Tex Avery-inspired flyer, filled with titillating information. On St. Valentine’s Sunday, Feb. 14, Speaker Waffle Breakfast Club presents the rock and noise of Brooklyn's Wild Yaks, as well as New Mexico's A Church is not a Hospital, Rocket Parlour, Bigawatt and Baby Shampoo. Early bird showgoers will also be presented with pancakes, bacon, eggs and orange juice. Breakfast happens at Club Oven (1016 Coal SW) at 10 a.m., music begins at 11 a.m. All-ages are welcome. Food or $5 dollar donations will be gladly received. (Jessica Cassyle Carr)
The Smell, in a Downtown L.A. alley, is totally volunteer-based, and homeless people help out. Somehow the venue has avoided being squeezed out of its location, even though, Chacon says, the rest of the area is being eaten up by insidious valet parking spots.
Why do you care about this film? (I always feel like I have to answer that, as if Albuquerque was a distant island and we only had a holey row boat and a single oar.) Because, one: The footage is fantastic and FREE for viewing right now. And two: When are we going to make a Dirt City documentary about all the good shit, noise or otherwise, happening here? (Maybe someone’s working on it?) Hell, I’ll even take a mockumentary. Or a hybrid. That’s how these things go.
+ sweaty me + facepaint = eye bath in the blazes. Later, I will dump 4 oz. of beer directly into my left eye when flailing dancers erupt because the Hot White chick is twisting on the floor all pained and sexy and furious. I should have worn the goggles.
Let me tell you about Rusalka. Crushing, just crushing. Audience presses in tight, clumps around her table on the floor. We contract as she pulses. Some people get all choked up. And I don’t think it’s because they’re sad.
Christina the Hun plays drums and sings/speaks/shouts. Her drumming punches one in the neck? Nah. More like a hearty back slap that stings. Her lyrics definitely finger one’s guts. She finishes each song with a sheepish chuckle.
Burrow Owl reads like some high-frequency priestess ushering in piercing, saw factory-like sonics with slight movements of her raised arm.
Hell-Kite’s voice is probably my favorite of the weekend. And that’s saying something because singing talent squirts amply from the Tit(wrench).
And more. More I didn’t film.
Someone else will have to tell you about night three. Jobs, etc., yank us back home. Driving out of Denver we wonder: How will the festival organizers make it through another night? After Friday, they look spent. After Saturday? Damn. And still, another frantic, astonishing evening in front of them. Can’t wait for 2010. Thank you, women of the wrench.
NOTE: Hell-Kite is playing Albuquerque tonight on its way back from Titwrench. Friends, get thee to the house show.
No parking at a noise(esque) show? I’m sure it’s occurred in history, but not in mine. We roll up in our mom van (blue Toyota, three-disc CD player from the ’90s, drives like a champ) to Rhinoceropolis, an outsider venue in Denver’s industrial district.
Origami Hands from Ft. Collins. A pretty song about composting.
Tired. Late. Stinky. Sitting among piles of gear and a delicate giant albatross puppet. Happy though. Way happy. Everyone involved will echo the sentiment in these next 48 (or so) hours, but an all-girl, DIY, experimental music fest is fucking good for the soul. Camaraderie. Inspiration. Best of all, the music is unfailingly phenomenal. A-games all around.
The room is hot. Hot Paris Hilton hot. And hot temperature hot. Stuffy. Who can live in humidity? The air is cake batter and I’m trying to suck it in through my pinhole nostrils.
Catch a beautiful set by local Sybil Vane. (Can’t find a web presence for her. Anyone else?) Showtunes. Lounge. Opera. Hilarious narrative about turning 30, about breaking bottles in the street after a relationship ends only to fall asleep to the sound of her neighbor sweeping up the shards. Brutal. Hilarious. The pianist shouts down the backyard partiers. Then spotlights his homemade man tits in honor of Titwrench. Vane closes with “Like a Virgin” and rounds it off by screaming about what it’s really like to lose one’s virginity. Walks up to me first to screech in my face. I must look alarmed—sister dies laughing next to me.
I only take two video clips all night. Stupid. Nothing personal, just burnt documentation on my part. All performers were something to see. But festival organizers had someone filming every night. When/if those become available, I’ll blog it here.
Friday a.m. I’ll be loading local noise chicas into a minivan (thanks, mom!) and driving out to Denver for what promises to be one nipple-twister of a music fest. We’re going as Milch de la Máquina, a group that formed around the beginning of ’09 just to play in the all-girl experimental gathering Titwrench.
We’re bringing: string instruments, black feathers, thumb piano, goggles, many fx, bass, contact mics, voices and a giant albatross puppet with car speakers for eyes that requires all four of us to operate.
I mention this only to point you to the lineup, curated by Sarah Slater. (Descriptions ganked right from the Titwrench page.):