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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

MT and WP Forever

On September 25th 2011 Weird Paul, local Pittsburgh lo-fi guy, and Manny Theiner, the infamous concert promoter and weirdly hostile dude, teamed up to play the music they played 20 years ago.
It was something like this.

Manny and Paul were accompanied by a bunch of other people.  First there was Dean Cercone.

Dean's set was better than usual; it was a lot shorter and was significantly more coherent.  A lack of endless jamming on overheard songs and alcohol.  Dean played Scott Fry's guitar I think and had some interesting situation getting used to the hum of single coil pickups.  This was perhaps my one complaint with the set as the lights and environment made everything else seem perfect.

Next up was the Scott Fry Experience which was sort of like middle-aged post-hippie stuff or something.  A lot of the lyrics were similar to things things that I imagine dads of people from my high school might say; stuff about becoming older and thinking about pot and stuff from years ago.  Scott Fry had some pretty good songs with a lot of cool parts despite the dadness and all of the joking around between him and his wife or girlfriend(?).  He probably isn't even a dad.

The biggest act of the night was up next; it was not Weird Paul.  A lot of people came just to see this and it was very, very cool.  Sometimes harsh, sometimes new-wave-ish IDM this set was also an anniversary show as this artist hasn't really played anywhere for like 20 years.

Who is this mystery man?
Who knows, but his long set was filled with the clangs of washing machine doors and death metal yells.  One song consisted of a recorder duel as a parody of Borbetomagus.  Jay Dowl provided backing tracks remade based on the old ones that were lost or something.


After all of the industrial songs about dictators and 80's politics, Weird Paul took to the stage to play his Homestead Records album accompanied by Manny Theiner on drums.




He played every song from the album, and even the two bonus tracks from the vinyl version.  On "Whaling the Shit Out of Guys" Paul was also accompanied by Ben Blanchard on guitar and Greg Cislon played saxophone on "Scott Baio Was Seen at the Legendary Pink Dot Convenience Store Buying 12 Cans of Tuna and a Carton of Cigarettes."
Weird Paul's set ended up being over an hour long.  It ended with him playing an old chord organ and singing about blue moons.  After all that, and all of the clapping, Manny and Paul returned for their encore of "Sucking Chest Wound" which was originally released on Manny Label SSS/Pop Bus.

Overall the show was very good, but afterwards I had a long, tired walk home.  I wouldn't mind seeing Scott Fry again, but I don't think that I would go out of the way to do it.  That industrial guy on the other hand, but apparently he isn't playing shows again and just did this to do it or something.  Whatever.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Novelty Shows: Hydra

Wow wow wow; today we're finishing up the series of strange Novelty Shows with the low-key, but oddly commercial Hydra event.  Is it more commercial than the vitaminwater 3-day super fest?

Possibly.
Just look at the flyer:
Hydra Image © Unknown
Just like the flyer, the event turned out to be just as pseudo-urban, graffiti pop.  All of the performers were basically DJs and they had art for sale in an out of the way place.  In addition to all of this the rooms were dark or strangely barren and the buffet of Mexican food promised from the restaurant Mexico City (also the venue/host of the event) had nearly disappeared after an hour (when I got there).  Hunted Creatures still put on a great show with their new laser lights and fog machine in the barren upstairs.  Quickly it filled with people and the crowd seemed confused and mystified, but I think that they understood for the most part that even if it wasn't something completely normal to them that it was still worth trying to figure out.

I also saw part of Expensive Shit's set.  It was okay, and it might have even been great if it hadn't gone on for what seemed like forever.  I'm not overtly disappointed to have gone; it was fun because it only lasted maybe 3 hours for me and was a weird detour downtown.  The show also benefited a pretty cool local charity called Arts Greenhouse with the price at the door and the silent auctions they had(all the stuff was from local businesses and was actually a pretty cool selection).  Arts Greenhouse helps kids learn and play music so that one day they can play at the Shop, Garfield Artworks, Lollapalooza, or a Mexican restaurant.  On the way to the bus I also ended up taking the cover photo for the Tunnel Musick album so the whole thing was definitely worth it.

Bonus Novelty:
I feel like I didn't actually go over all of the strangeness that occurred at the East Liberty YMCA for vitaminwater Uncapped.  You know when big companies give you stuff that's generally pretty standard, but doesn't always fit with their brand completely?

From what I saw every day at the YMCA this seems like it's everything that you could get with a vitaminwater logo on it.  From left to right we have: colored pencils, headphones, cellphone charm (on my cellphone), pins, and watch.  The headphone turned out to be pretty lame, mostly cause the sound quality's pretty bad.  They are pretty sturdy and look sort of weird. The colored pencils look really cool, but I haven't opened them.  I like the cellphone charm and the watch a lot.  Originally we weren't sure how to adjust the time, but all that you have to do is take the little clock face of the slap bracelet and poke its' tiny buttons with a pen or pencil.  The cellphone charm and headphones also came in different flavors like the buttons and I'm guessing that the watch does too.

That's it for Novelty Shows and back to the real world.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

October Releases

Two new ··— releases for October:

Electric Fear is ··— #7.
It is a 3 track EP/single on an all black CD-R and comes in a sleeve with a few different versions of artwork.  It has a spooky sound and the songs on here actually frighten me if I listen to them in a dark room; it's pretty scary. 
$5

Album + Archive is ··— #8.
This is a compilation of tracks by my former band Belt of Venus that didn't appear on our EP.
It is a 14 track album on painted white CD-R that comes in a jewel case with artwork by each member of the band.  The 3" EP is included in a tiny pocket unless you already have it.
$10 ($2 goes to Animal Friends as per Patrick Gilbert's wishes)

Also be sure to check out the new Halloween Compilation by Production Procedures Productions.  It's the ninth in a series of annual compilations of mostly local and some national punk, lo-fi, and weird pop music.  It was a show at a now defunct venue, The Shooting Gallery, seeing the band Dark Lingo that encouraged me to make music in the first place.  Now I'm featured on this year's compilation.

Finally, if you haven't heard it yet, here's ··— #6 if you haven't heard it yet.  It comes in a black duct-taped box with assorted debris inside.
RJ Myato and Seth LeDonne have called it "album of the year."
"If anyone should be making money off of anything it should be you with this," Joe Mruk

Novelty Shows: Little Italy Days

novelty [ˈnɒvəltɪ]n pl -ties
1.
a.  the quality of being new and fresh and interesting
b.  (as modifier) novelty value
2. a new or unusual experience or occurrence
3. (often plural) a small usually cheap new toy, ornament, or trinket

show  (sh)
n.
1. A display; a manifestation: made a show of strength.
2.
a. A trace or indication, as of oil in a well.
b. The discharge of bloody mucus from the vagina indicating the start of labor.
c. The first discharge of blood in menstruation.
3. A false appearance; a pretense: only a show of kindness.
4.
a. A striking appearance or display; a spectacle.
b. A pompous or ostentatious display.
5. Display or outward appearance: This antique tea service is just for show. His smile was for show.
6.
a. A public exhibition or entertainment.
b. An exposition for the display or demonstration of commercial products: an auto show.
c. A usually competitive exhibition of domestic animals: won first place at the cat show.
7.
a. A radio or television program.
b. A movie.
c. A theatrical troupe or company.
8. Informal An affair or undertaking: ran the whole show.
9. Sports Third place at the finish, as in a horserace. 

Little Italy Days is a yearly festival in Bloomfield  celebrating Italian heritage.  This year they had a small tent where local bands and musicians could play, even if they couldn't play in a normal manner.

On Friday, September 23rd at 4PM (but really starting at 5PM or so due to a delay in getting a PA and other stuff) Brian DiSanto played some weirdo pop musick and scared unprepared festival goers and the guy at the rib cart next door.  He played all of his hits, new songs, and some crazy covers of Herman's Hermits and REO Speedwagon and was flipped off by some guy in a truck for doing so.  Brian also had some children and his friends hit an unfilled piñata that he thought would come pre-stuffed with candy.  After about 25 minutes it seemed that he was being cut off far before the one hour slot that he was promised, but this turned out to be the normal set time (half of the hour seems to be set up for the next band).
Photo © RJ Myato 2011
Photo © RJ Myato 2011
The next day, Saturday September 24th, the annoyed rib guy moved and Satyr/Elfheim played horrible noise and frightened everyone and caused numerous problems.  I got there a little late because of lots of traffic, but I figured that it wouldn't be such a big deal.  It wasn't really, but to make up for lost time I started off with angry feedback and flailing around on the (not really) tremolo (but actually vibrato) bar.  Things got progressively louder and less musical.  Eventually, during a DNA-esque part, a woman approached me and told me to turn the volume down because she was in charge and it was too loud.  I wasn't sure if she really was in charge, but it was kind of loud; down it went.  She was a little annoying, but it was significantly more annoying that on the speakers behind me there as other music playing.  I finally got into a more standard kind of Satyr/Elfheim sound when a possibly drunk woman came up to me.  I reluctantly turned down the volume to hear her and was told to "play some normal music."  Being already very annoyed I told her something like "fuck off and die" and thrashed my guitar around.  A bunch of microphone stands flew around and I broke a string and everybody was like "what the fuck."
I knocked over the recorder and fucked up the recording.  That was it.

Next some teenage covers band played.  They sounded alright, but went on for like 573456321 years (some people call this one hour).  It wasn't the most interesting, but it was okay.
Finally at 7PM, Triangle & Rhino assisted by RJ Myato on guitar and vocals and noise, played to an enthusiastic crowd.  It was surprising that their musick went over so well, but maybe drums help out that much.  They played awesome Melvins riffs with heavy drums pierced by cries and screams.  People were actually dancing and some crazy old man kept offering flowers to girls if they would dance to the sludge noise.  At the end of the set he was egging them to continue, but the next band, a tame grunge/speed metal kind of thing made up of some old guys and a person I knew in high school, had to set up.  Triangle & Rhino ended up getting some tickets to get free food at a pizza place down the street and the old guy gave them a flower.
"You set all that up just for that?!"
Apparently so.