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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Jerkagram in the Mail

On July 26th I played with some very cool bands at the Shop in Bloomfield. I got on this show via Facebook message from the touring band Jerkagram, who I knew nothing about. The other bands on the bill included the inimitable Cyrus Gold and the widespread, but unknown, Highdeaf.

I played first. I've continued moving towards a more crystalline sound, longer pieces of musick, and longer sets. I accomplished everything I set out to do with this. I started with a minimal, reverb-y, crystalline sound that evolved over time. As layers built up, it became noisier, waves of fuzz coming in from the sea of static, until we were floating away into an ocean heading to lands far beyond what the eye sees. I did a second more rocking song after I got Jackson to turn the lights off.



Cyrus Gold played second. I helped with the sound, the Shop not having the best PA to work with. People think Roboto's PA is weak, but recently I've come to learn that it is totally capable and way stronger than some other well-liked venues's. Keith told peeps to donate to Karl Hendricks and then the band got noisy and weird before getting into punk/black metal. The set was really heavy and sounded really great. I like this band more and more every time I see them. Keith and I also made up for some past issues we had when Cyrus Gold was done playing which was cool.


After Cyrus Gold's set I went to Sunoco to get some stuff to drink, and make an important pfone call, but Jerkagram started quickly, and I came back in during one of their first songs. They sounded a lot like Satyr/Elfheim as a band or similar to my former band, Red Ginger. I loved the guitar tone, the vocals, and the drums; Jerkagram is a complete package despite only having two members (brothers!). They incorporated elements of free jazz, drone, post-hardcore, and math rock for a totally unique sound. I had a conversation about the always infamous Manny Theiner after Jerkagram had finished playing.


Last was Highdeaf. The members of that band run the very popular Sickhouse in Homestead where I've never been. Highdeaf is a two-piece, mathy, but a little sloppy. I'm not big on tapping, but I did like the samples they used and the strange synth sounds. I wish the guitar player had some more headroom on his amp, but he had a really thrashy/trashy distorted sound. Jackson read a poem to a song; I'm not sure if he wrote it, but it was really cool. Highdeaf played a short, but focused set which is always cool with me. It'd be cool to play another show together soon.

Check out Jerkagram here: http://jerkagram.bandcamp.com/.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Znagezin' with Mortis and Curt Oren

My second show as a member of Znagez was on July 21st, 2014 at Garfield Artworks. We were playing with Brian Hecht's new band, In Arthur's Court; a Cislon-Weeks production, Mortis; and solo saxophone, Curt Oren. Manny had originally asked Satyr/Elfheim, but I had too many solo shows close together. My camera was running out of batteries pretty bad for this.


First up was In Arthur's Court. More Joe Hogle, less Sasha, same Brian Hecht. There were some more beats, and still some horse sounds. Joe Hogle sat on the floor in a priest outfit and prayed to some higher being while chanting. The set was like eight minutes long.


Second up was Mortis, who I hadn't seen before. It included Jordan Weeks, Greg Cislon, and someone else I didn't know. They wore masks and strange outfits. A little plush troll-looking guy got dragged around the floor on fishing line. Mortis played free jazz/noise rock with some strange instrumentation.


Curt Oren played third. He played a minimalistic set: just him and his saxophone. He told us about working on Idaho farms, printing shirts with his ass, and writing songs with his dog. Curt Oren had dog treats and cookies for sale which was pretty funny. His music was a lot like Philip Glass.

Znagez played last, lacking both Bens. We asked Curt to play sax and the guitarist from Mortis ended up playing some wild drums. Our set ended up being extremely free form; it wasn't the greatest. Brian improvised some lyrics at times, and some of the songs went way beyond their lyrical structure. Rob and I had talked about slowing it down before we started playing, feeling it out. We might have sounded better if we had done that.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Fins pt. 2

Back on October 30th, 2012 I booked the band Fins with another band called Ghosts of Chance for a spooky Devil's Night costume party show at The Mr. Roboto Project; nobody showed up. On July 17th, 2014, Fins was coming back and I was playing with them. I got the band Wealth for an additional local, replacing the since disbanded Pants from last time.

I played first, wearing a feathered mask and without my guitar. I used the Audible Disease Sequencenator, mic'd some objects like bells and a water bottle, and leaked in noise from a shortwave radio. I had some trouble getting everything to come in without feeding back, but it worked well. The sequencer provided a backbeat with blips of radio static coming in. Towards the end I let the radio bleed in more and more, classical music and rock riffs from the airwaves. The bells and water were quiet, but rubbing a balloon on the mic and then letting it fly away made some serious noise. I threw some Halloween-themed bouncy balls at the crowd. Manny said I should play some VIA shows.



Fins played after the Satyr/Elfheim carnival. They had expanded to include a bassist and gotten heavier. When I had last seen Fins, I felt like they were a little shoddy and falling apart, but I was also nervous because of the lack of an audience and a little cold. They also had a weird experience on that tour so I definitely don't blame them for rocking 1,000,000 times harder this time. Fins is really fast with a throbbing bassline and vocals that resemble the Nation of Ulysses or Rites of Spring. They're pretty garage-y, punk, noise rock. Their guitarist, John Lydon (not that fucjing Sex Pistol), looks really cool jumping around with his hair flying all over. I now know what people saw in Nirvana in the early 90's.



The newly formed Wealth played third, and last. Wealth includes Bender and Ken from Pants, on bass and guitar respectively, with Tyler McAndrew from Toxic Parents on vocals and noise musician Dan Malinsky on drums. Tyler has some of the most intense vocals I've ever heard, though he might have some trouble with a DI box.