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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

June + July: The Wherehouse [Part 2]

This is the second venture into the Wherehouse in the past few days.  This time we're going to look at some of the sounds that echoed around in here for two months.

In addition to fireworks being set off and painting Warhol flowers for the covering up of rundown houses, a lot of people, both scheduled and unscheduled, played music at the Wherehouse.  A lot of the bands and musicians usually were friends of the artists being displayed that week, but sometimes they were just friends of Dean Cercone or others attendees that decided to stave off boredom for a little while.


During the art show of Seth LeDonne a lot of cool bands played.  First we had the always unusual, Jim Storch, or Burnout Warcry as he calls his strange project.  Playing all sorts of household/kitchen/gardening objects and some actual instruments Burnout Warcry is usually a very interesting racket.  You can experience it for yrself right here right now.


After Burnout Warcry, new project Buoyhood started up.  Buoyhood is Zach Katonik, from somewhere far away in the South Hills, playing droning, krautrocking keyboards.  It's a cool sound and is pretty similar to my own project Satyr/Elfheim according to mine and his standards.  Buoyhood sounds a little more like a UFO flap than a chance encounter with faeries or a haunting by the devil, though.  After meeting Zach here for the first time, and despite him looking like a street fighting man, I found that he was a super nice guy.  You can check out his tape on NNNCO here and his other release on NNNCO (with RJ My Tao) here.

 Satyr/Elfheim was after Buoyhood.  I used Zach's amp and was sort of similar to him.  I played a song called the Pine Barrens and smacked a contact microphone on the hard Wherehouse floor.  Here are those sounds, implemented straight from the Jersey Devil(?):


Dean Cercone himself played after me and he did a short 23 minute set; usually he goes on for over an hour.  It was a good Dean set.  Concise > too long.

One of the strangest, most stripped down, awesome sets happened next.  Brian DiSanto, with only his trademarked microphone and the often used Zach Katonik amplifier, sang an awesome a cappella set of his weird, manic pop songs.  He jumped and ran around, waved an American flag, and confused a very drunk woman.  You can listen to half of the chaos, and some singing by RJ Myato, on the official release on Wild Raft Records.  A cool guy recorded it.
The third drone set of the night was RJ My Tao, alter ego of NNNCO head of state RJ Myato.  It was much noisy (or maybe just more dissonant) than the last two.  Playing some clarinet, twisting some knobs, sort of wearing a shirt RJ excited everybody in the room before Dean's amp overheated and started to smoke.  Sigh Meltingstar was nervous about the smoke and kept pointing at it.  I wasn't sure what to do, but ended up telling RJ about it and he stopped to a semi-humorous (not for Dean) end.  Nothing was actually broken.

The night started to wind down at this point.  Lucy Goubert, the second to last act left, started to read some of her poetry and attempted to use an overhead projector.  Not a lot of people payed attention and there were issues with the visuals (I can't remember what happened), but it was okay.  She was distracted or bothered by something (probably in no way related to the lack of interest and technical problems).  The reading at Quiet Sound Night VI that I have available in an earlier post is the one to check out if yr interested in her awesome poetry.

Finally reclusive singer-songwriter Joe Mruk played.  Other than his first song, an original that sounded like a Tom Waits cover accompanied by a drum, the Dead Refrain played relaxed experimental folk music for around half an hour.  It was a good way to end the night.  After a little while longer everybody went home, but there's still more to come next time.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Satyr/Elfheim Live on Liberty

I am playing at Bloomfield Little Italy Days somehow; come out for noise at 5pm September 24th.  Stick around for Triangle & Rhino at 7pm and catch Brian DiSanto the previous day at 4pm.

The Till Death EP and new Tunnel Musick EP will be available at this for $5 and $7 respectively.

June + July: The Wherehouse [Part 1]

The 2011 summer was all about the Wherehouse, at least if you knew Dean Cercone or other artists in the East End.

Located on Penn Avenue, between Garfield Artworks and the sprawling Allegheny Cemetary, it was a place of all-night long parties, art exhibitions, noise music, random performances, and fun every Friday of June and July.  It was a place similar to Andy Warhol's Factory, but more real; a place where anyone could present music, art, or themselves any way that they wanted.

Art was presented in an area in the back and rotated weekly; each week was a different artist.
Featured artists included:

Sigh Meltingstar with his child-like wonder and psychedelic spiritualism

Daniel Montano with nostalgic photo/collage/drawings

Deanna Mance with complex drawings that resemble cities, organs, and schematics or Kandinsky's Compositions or Marc Bell's The Stacks

Seth LeDonne with a horde of in-jokes, self-references, ghost-bears, and Christianity

Ron Copeland with a post-apocalyptic compost pile made up of rubble, wallpaper, and ads from the past promising a better future that hasn't appeared yet

and Dean Cercone himself with a new selection of huddled figures and repeated faces securing themselves in the chaos of the world.
You can look at larger versions of those already posted here.
Next we'll listen to some of the music that emerged from the Wherehouse on those cool/warm Fridays this summer and check out some of the disorder and craziness that also occurred.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Quiet Sound Night VI

On August 26th where were you?
Were you one of these kids here?
Photo © "Noisebloid" Leslie Keffer 2011

If you weren't at Voice of the Valley than you should have been at Roup Avenue, Pittsburgh for the 6th edition of Quiet Sound Night (if yr not in Pittsburgh at all than too bad).

Continuing on from the previous editions last year at Joe Hammer House, Oakland, Quiet Sound Night moved to Roup House, Friendship to continue the tradition of strange anything-goes performances at lower-than-most-shows volumes.

To the left, rouper RJ Myato plays a solo experimental guitar set that is obviously not acoustic, but still not up to his usual beyond-the-threshold loudness.
Following RJ's short set, the living room darkened and was filled with fog as New York noise band Tandem Electrics brought a visceral sonic soundscape to the people gathered.

Tandem Electrics is composed of Reed Evan Rosenberg, who performs solo as Wet Fur, on laptop and Richard Kamerman on various mic'd motors and moving parts.  They also brought a seizure worthy light that flashed at various points throughout their set.  Hypnotic.

Afterwards we move on to the outdoors.  In the yard local stalwart Brother Ong (Mike Tamburo) coaxed dark and mystic sounds from his massive gong as everyone watched from around the fire.

After soothing the souls of all those who had gathered, Brother Ong was followed by three poetry type pieces in a row.

First, rouper Lucy Goubert read her amazing, sort of film-noir-esque, poetry.  As usual she was top notch and her reading was enjoyed by all.  You can hear it all right here.  Towards the end I get a phone call and hilarity ensues.



After a short soup break (Roup Soup by Seth LeDonne), Alexis played some tapes and chanted/sung inside on the stairs.  Her words, past and present, were accompanied by tambourine.

Her set was very enthusiastic.  It was out there and powerful.  I have never really seen anything like it before and would definitely enjoy seeing something on the same page.
Listening available here.



Finally Zach Mosel read some short pieces about facial scrubs resembling bukkake and other wholesome topics.  It was sort of a post-teenage, apocalyptic, surrealist nightmare/dream.  Zach was partially interrupted by the sound tests of Matt Wellins (up next - "in the living room?").

True + cool + Dylan-esque.  Here you go.


With no room in the room and many people attempting to live there, if at least for a short few moments, we piled in to watch Matt Wellins play some quiet noise(?).  Wires arc'd over metal, electricity humming like a girl on a walk, his electronics buzzed with glee.  When the smoke cleared strange new forms emerged.

An unnamed band stood before us.  Maybe called (the) Wiretappers, maybe Nervous Wreck, probably a Guided by Voices influenced Brian DiSanto project, this band was awesome.  RJ on instruments (banjo, drums, guitar maybe[?]) and rouper Brian on trademark weird vocals tore up the living room.  They played a special song for my friend Ocasia who had sent them spooky mail art and knocked over the PA system that Tandem Electrics had failed to take down for a few hours; Netflix dvds, tiny buffalo stuffed animals, and TVs were shown no mercy.  Brian lifted rouper Seth above his head and spun him around spilling beer across the floor and onto the heads of the confused and unwary.  Guerilla improv-punk in yr living room.

After everyone had caught their breath, we watched as Matt Wellins returned to do a silent, weird object performance in the darkened room.  We chuckled; I set up in the upstairs kitchen.  With the window open behind me I played guitar drone through a small bass amp with only a few of my usual pedals and it went great.  Meanwhile, amps were being piled up in the living room.  Check it out:

With their arsenal ready Last of England (RJ + Erik Ciora) prepared for war.  But was harsh noise at this late of an hour really a good idea?



Oh.
Wait.... what?!??!
...............


Instead of a noise wall to end all hearing forever, the audience was treated to a naked RJ and a wrestling Erik, basically Last of England minus noise and maybe a reference to John Cage.


Richard Kamerman returned to the living room after the Last of England cinema of transgression to play an acoustic set utilizing motors freed from computer towers and Playstation controllers.  Rouper Ron Copeland was impressed and awarded both members of Tandem Electrics with his gnarly screen prints composed of trash and post-advertising.  I traded for a 3" CD.
Finally we ended the night with a less cohesive, but more musical performance by Coyotes by the Way (roupers Seth and Joe) accompanied by Seth's brother Alex (ex-Gergles) on drums.  Their set ended up being more of a long jam sort of thing and less like the standard sort of noise set that they usually play.   Afterwards everybody retired to where they had to be. I ended up staying on a chair in the upstairs kitchen to stay for a Risk game that didn't end up happening the next day, but did get to attend the East End Share Fair.


It was worth it to miss Voice of the Valley and Quiet Sound Night VII couldn't come sooner.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Canes and Criminals

So recently I've been listening to a band/solo project called Black Unicorn.
Black Unicorn is Curt Brown from Cane Swords, a synthy noise band from Akron, Ohio.
Prosper Drift ∞ is "a story about a spaceship" and Brown's debut.
It's filled with spacey, Eno-esque instrumentals that may border on kraut-rock (without the rock).
The version includes an extra track called "Epilog: Quartz Proton Zipper."
Apparently this version was only available on a limited cd-r and isn't available anymore, at least not online.
I acquired my version a month or so ago when I played a show with Cane Swords at new Pittsburgh venue, Steal City, a stand-in for the original venue, Helter Shelter, which had been shut down by police a few days before.
Cane Swords surprised everybody with their crazy outfits.  It must be an Akron thing...

Locals on the bill were myself, White Reeves, and Night Stalker.
I was super happy with my set; everything went really well and basically turned out just like I wanted.  Ryan Emmett reviewed it as, "Last time he really impressed the room. Guitar stuff that sounded like a young Pinhas in training mixed with a little Matthew Bower/Skullflower mentality!"
The audience seemed to agree, and you can see for yrself.


After me was White Reeves, Micah Pacileo and Ryan Emmett from Hunted Creatures.
They played noise for what seemed like an eternity, but turned out to be around ten minutes.
There was nothing especially distinct about White Reeves set, but it was engaging and sounded fine.




Night Stalker's set was almost a complete turnaround from the last one.
Josh and Kurt unleashed white noise like a broken TV left on all night.
Apparently they had numerous problems with their equipment and some people left.
I got some good pictures though, and it was fun to be in all of the confusion.



After all the locals and Cane Swords had played the final touring act, Criminals set up.
They had some crazy homemade electronics, a violin, and vocals soaked in reverb.
There was a humorous bit of confusion when they tried to announce that they had a second song.  Ryan Emmett should never go spelunking in space.

You can check out their set here and buy their music here


That's all for now.  Tomorrow we investigate Quiet Sound Night VI and find out if it was worth it to not go to Voice of the Valley.