First up was the notorious Last of England. Rouper RJ Myato got more and more naked as Eric Ciora pushed people around. Eventually RJ started to piss in a bucket, and somehow continued for maybe two minutes; even Eric seemed disturbed by this, looking on in horror. I was going to kill RJ if he threw the piss at everybody; I really didn't want that on my gear or me, but thankfully he didn't throw it anywhere.
Wasp Nest Head Dress got started quickly after all the piss and nudity was sorted out. Eric Ross started off with some pretty harsh noise, oscillating feedback and distorted yells with synthy space sounds piercing through at times. About halfway through he took a drastic turn, picking up a guitar and being suddenly accompanied by another person on drums. The kicked out some noise/doom for a few minutes before their set was up. It was really, really good and I hope he does more stuff like that.
I was up next. The first three bands had all set up ahead of time, but I head some trouble with all of my pedals and had to do some tuning also. After everything was all situated I started with some hypnotic drone/folk stuff; a loud roar started to build up. There was a huge buildup into some really heavy and rhythmic grooves before I had let the ethereal waves of feedback take over. I played some Middle-Eastern/no-wave stuff backwards with a wall of static behind me and finally descended into oscillating fuzz and contact microphone noise.
Whoever was remaining after all of the noise and pissing got to see Brian DiSanto and sing along with his goofy, weirdo pop. He played some new songs like his song about the Mothman and screamed out his "Fuzzy Bicycle Baby Dolls." He dedicated a song to people who cheated the government out of money and also played a cool song about burning down buildings and UFOs. It was a super fun set.
Next we crowded in the living room to watch a video by Josh Rievel. It started off with some found footage of some cars driving around, but mostly featured him fucking with people in chat rooms. Funny stuff.
After the video Brother Ong made ambient music with a few different instruments. He did vocals, harmonica, and his usual shahi baaja. I think one of his songs was about sunspots. Early on there was more Oriental mystery while the later stuff he did was very stark and cold. The last song sounded as if the souls of the damned were chanting a spell to drive out the living. This was maybe the best set of his that I've seen.
Requiem continued the spooky sounds next. After starting off with some pretty dark and minimalist repetitions he played some melancholic stuff that was sort of classical with a bunch of phaser and reverb effects encircling around. Things got very fuzzy next with building white noise covering his guitar before he came back to the spooky minimalism.
We watched another video when Requiem was done. It showed rouper Autumn walking around in a graveyard, hugging balloons and picking flowers. Esti Piels, who had made the video, and Autumn played music to it. They sounded like a gypsy Mazzy Star with a record playing along. It was like a moment from a silent film captured in time.
After a long set up, Dean Cercone was next and he was great. Not getting a long time to play Dean did some of his songs and some crazy improve stuff with his guitar and a huge organ or keyboard. He played significantly more noisily than usual, the organ being distorted or driven by some sort of fuzz. It was kind of ridiculous when he chugged some beer; I thought that that was sort of a weird sideshow kind of thing or maybe very self congratulatory, but the rest of the set was awesome.
Next RJ set up four amps for Jake Lexso, formerly Ground Zero Mosque, to play through. He played a ton of synthesizers, some that were built by himself; all of the gear created a sort of humorous rock-star debauchery. Jake's set was good, he played noisy dance music for what seemed like a long time. Dean Cercone danced, but everybody stood there listening to the cold sounds. It wasn't actually as loud as it seemed like it would have been.
Everyone went up to the kitchen, and in the crowded insanity Poor Kitty played, with rouper Seth on the table and rouper Lucy walking about. Though combining poetry/spoken word and tapes as usual this was probably the strangest Poor Kitty set yet, mostly due to Seth throwing cookbooks and boxes off of the shelf. Lucy's poem seemed to be about instincts/routines ruining the humanity of people. "We are none of us sons or daughters." Seth's tapes had some brutal storm and rumbling sounds.
Buoyhood & Artie played in the living room next. Artie's guitar added a new layer to Zach's already spacious sounds. He started off picking single strings, but eventually started using an E-Bow, which was very cool. There was mostly a lot of reverb and it seemed like their set went on forever, but listening to it again it sounds really good. Maybe placing them after Poor Kitty didn't work well or maybe I was just really tired.
Things started to wind down with Homeless Gospel Choir. The beginning was very weird and nervous with him asking everybody to sit down in the living room in a sort of demanding way, but things got friendly very quickly. Homeless Gospel Choir started every song by saying "This is a protest song." The whole set was just acoustic guitars and singing; most of the lyrics were religious or political or both, and though his songs were all about problems with society, they were all pretty joyous and cheerful. I feel like he actually understood what Christianity is supposed to be about. I liked Homeless Gospel Choir a lot and his last song about people buying things for Christmas from places that use sweatshops for production made me think about a lot of things. I hope he plays some more shows that I go to or play.
It was back to the basement next; the enigmatic Ken Kaminski and Burnout Warcry were setting up, but there was some fun heckling at the beginning. They may have been called First World Problems or perhaps just Ken Kaminski and Burnout Warcry. Jim Storch played drums along with his usual assortment of weird junk percussion and Ken played noise out of his cool briefcase pedalboard/amp. They started out with some claustrophobic cacophony, but got more quiet and deathly and frightening towards the end. As the set went on Ken seemed ready to stop, but Jim kept going on and on. They ended up playing for nearly twenty minutes, but it was really cool.
Nearing the end there was Ivory Weeds playing banjo and acoustic guitar in the living room. I'm not sure if he had an amp or not, but his set was very calming after the last one. He played a bunch of songs with no words. They were mostly from his new album that was just released in December, check it out here:
Second to last was Kid Brother back in the basement. I was really tired by now, but this continuing the previous sets with songs and less volume. He played a cool Danelectro guitar and had a radio-in-a-tunnel kind of sound for his vocals. Kid Brother played a kind of folk/doo-wop with the already mentioned strange and kind of harsh vocals. A modern Buddy Holly + Bob Dylan playing John Wesley Harding.
Finally RJ and Matt Wellins, who hates to have his pictures taken, played in the kitchen as Week End. This band was basically put together for this show and was slightly different than originally thought up. They started off quiet, but got progressively louder, but not really more heavy or angry, as they went along. The middle did get a little noisier. RJ played dissonant guitar thru a tiny amp with Matt Wellins playing something from his laptop; I think he was modifying RJ's guitar tone or playing it back later or something, though I'm pretty sure some of it was not either of these. Week End was very cool and hopefully do another show.
After the SAD Fest I was exhausted and three bands didn't even show up. Ryan Emmett, Supervolcano, and Trogpite didn't play for some reason. It really didn't matter; seventeen bands was definitely enough.