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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Novelty Shows: vitaminwater Uncapped!

The coming of colder weather brings with it a barrel full of holidays and fun times.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and New Year's Eve are some of these things, but what about vitaminwater Uncapped, Little Italy Days, and Hydra?  What the fuck are these things anyway?

Here we go.

Here we see roupers Seth and Brian along with Steal City's Darryl Workman as they pose for pfotos at the weird vitaminwater press area on Thursday, the first day of the three day long event.  Some of these pfotos were published on the vitaminwater Facebook page here and here.

On Friday my friends Middle Children played some music.  Their set was pretty standard, but it was cool to see them in such a strange environment.  The whole thing was goofy due to how commercial that it was and their music was enhanced by the Ramones-ness of the whole thing.

Next up we have Hidden Twin.  I don't know much about this guy, but I guess that he is in local Pittsburgh garage/punk/blues band Modey Lemon.  This project however appears to be none of those classifications.  Judging from his set filled with drum loops and echo effects Hidden Twin is a synthpop/new wave sort of band with some degree of the solo drone/noise guy/girl who plays a guitar or bass (Satyr/Elfheim, Noveller, Thrones, Yellow Crystal Star, unFact).  I liked his set a lot, possibly because it's not the normal kind of stuff for me to listen to, but had the kind of atmospherics that I like.

After Hidden Twin, Rivka excited the crowd with what some weirdos call 'tropical noise.'  I'd rather just say that it was very similar to Animal Collective or Dirty Projectors and kind of boring.  They had an okay sound, but no stage presence.  Rivka's set was mostly a lot of standing behind laptops, dancing around, and saying stuff that was incomprehensible to me.

The final Friday band, Bachelorette, was similar to Rivka, but much more exciting.  Despite being still a dance/electropop/synthpop project, New Zealander Annabel Alpers put on a better show, probably because of her awesome projections that worked with the projections that had been covering the YMCA all night to create a living and moving room.  Bachelorette helped end the night off well.

In addition to drinking infinite, free vitaminwater, walking around in a long shut down pool, talking, and sort of dancing we also had a fun rollerskating rink on Saturday and got to mess with the normalcy of everyone else.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

June + July: The Wherehouse [Part 3]

Today we finish up the long review of Wherehouse activities from the past summer.

The list of bands that performed at rouper Ron Copeland's art show on July 22nd is significantly shorter than the number at the Albion Friendships exhibition on July 9th.


First off we have Seth LeDonne himself and other rouper Joe Mruk performing as Coyotes by the Way in a wild, but official looking set.  I actually missed this, but it was recorded and also viewable.



After all the locker slamming and violence Negative Witch Goddess made their frightening debut.

With RJ Myato on electronics and Autumn Rose Zwibel on vocals, Negative Witch Goddess tore up the Wherehouse and confused the unaware.  Their no-wave-ish set consisted of banshee-like howls and ghastly moans punctured by waves of hissing brutal feedback and destruction.



The first two minutes of the video above consist of Seth walking around and trying to get stuff ready; you might want to skip it if you hate things that are sort of funny (there is also another version of this video here; it's not as loud, but doesn't have the misadventures of Seth proceeding it).

The night finished off with the always exciting Hunted Creatures, a foursome consisting of Ryan Emmett, Micah Pacileo, Amy Hoffman, and Darren Myers, and the main focus of the label Dynamo Sound Collective.  Their improvised noise was not as harsh as Coyotes by the Way or Negative Witch Goddess, but it was still far from commercial pop or whatever.  They performed in front of Ron Copelands's amazing artwork sounding like Pedestrian Deposit; it was awesome.

The next week was the final of the Blurred Exhibitions.  This would be Dean Cercone's (the curator, but not owner of the Wherehouse, of the whole event) exhibition, but it didn't end up going as smoothly as the rest (even with the few problems in the weeks past).

Things started off fine with Supervolcano, consisting of Micah from Hunted Creatures playing some synthesizers, oscillators, and samplers.  His gear looked like it was made in 1972 and sounded like the music from an NES cartridge.

Next up, local Minutemen + Captain Beefheart punk/indie band Skinless Boneless played loud and fast and tough, but also nervous and jangly maybe.  Their set started off weird and off-kilter with all kinds of tempo changes and everything going all over everywhere; for the second half they slowed down or maybe just got more 90's indie rock sounding.  Then the cops came.

Here is the last picture that I took before Dean and a police officer (who I thought was a weird guy in a suit telling the bass player to turn up) got in an argument about whether the Wherehouse's loudness was nuisance or beneficial to the community.

I left with friends from Roup, but apparently things went on, but quieter; nobody got arrested.  I imagine that it was similar to these pictures to the right that I took at an earlier time.


The shut-down by the police was sort of frustrating; it seemed as if everything we had done had been negated.  I think that almost everyone had a great time at the Wherehouse throughout the summer and really wanted it to continue for a long time coming.
Thankfully this didn't prove to be the end.

A few shows have happened at the Wherehouse in the past few months and there is another one coming up featuring Dean Cercone, Ivory Weeds, Gangwish, and touring band Hume;  it should be a good time.

Meanwhile here are a few tracks from the Blurred Exhibitions: