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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Last Minute Kagedama

I was asked to play a show on August 7th only the day before. I was bringing the PA too. Another band had dropped off, and I guess there was some confusion over the PA situation. I considered asking my bandmates in Sorry I'm Dead, but, since it was so last minute, I decided to play solo as Satyr/Elfheim.

It was going to be the first Satyr/Elfheim show in over a year. I was both excited and nervous. I was excited to be playing noise again, feeling rejuvenated with new ideas and equipment, but the show was starting soon after I got off of work. August 7th was dreary; it rained that morning, so I had to take the bus to work rather than ride my bike. Taking the bus slows my commute. I was able to rush out of work at the end of the day, but now I needed to figure out what I was going to do for my set.

Originally I was set on using my sequencer and some synths, but, when I started working on it, I ran into some problems. I couldn't find the power cable for my ring modulator, I didn't like the setup I had for the sequencer, and I am not yet proficient with my Micro-Korg. There wasn't a lot of time to figure this stuff out either; I had to eat and get the PA equipment ready! I kept glancing over at the pedalboard I have set up for Satyr/Elfheim, my standard array lined up still ready to use. However, I decided I would do something else. I took my now standard Strat and made a new setup of pedals, using a new fuzz and pseudo-tape echo, my normal DOD Echo FX and Meatbox, and the really little looper that I have used rarely; I wanted to bring the Boomerang, but it is just too big. I was able to fit everything, wrapped in bubble wrap, into a piece of luggage except the mixer, which I put into a box. It was done just in time.

When I got to the venue, Nettle Nest, not a ton of people were there. We were a tiny bit late, but the touring band and I got set up quickly. I couldn't remember the name of their band, but I found them to be super nice. I played first, and it was great! At first, I was a little nervous, but everything really came together quickly. The pedals worked really well together, and I was able to get some great sounds. I played the first Satyr/Elfheim song, "Giants of Earth", but it was a lot different too. It sounded excellent! Deep darkness rumbled through wisps of aether; sonic sharpness scattered across the room. The only real issue was that the lights were all on; I didn't think of it until I was halfway through the set. Everybody only had positive things to say, and the guitarist from Kagedama praised my guitar work, saying that whatever it was that I was doing with my hands exactly during the middle part of the track, it made some really strange sounds. I have another noise set coming up at Treasure #7 on October 5th at Howlers, and I hope you will be there. That's gonna be more ambient; originally I had the same synth stuff in mind, but now I'm leaning more towards doing something new with the guitar. You'll have to come out and see!



Kagedama, taking their name from the anime Mushishi, played second. They are a queer black metal band from Milwaukee, and I enjoyed their set a lot. I rarely listen to black metal alone, but I do like seeing these kinds of bands live. The drums were a little sloppy, and the bass should have been louder. However, the guitar parts were so cool, and everything came together as a whole, the sum of the parts something very chaotic and wild. All the band members were cool, and we spoke about nerd stuff and whatever. The bass player does a festival called Filth Fest Milwaukee; it's a queer punk festival and seems pretty neat. I got the compilation tape they put out for the fest, but I haven't listened to it yet; I will soon.




Thief in Your Head played last. They were great. I've spoken of them before, but I will say again that I am pretty impressed by this band. They combine screamo and noise rock and maybe some metal for a cool sound! The guitar player uses a bass amp in addition to a weird 70s Ampeg, and it works amazingly; I feel like these setups can be kinda shitty a lot of the time, but here it sounds so dark and vicious. The singer sounds and moves like Darby Crash or Stiv Bators. The drums are fast and tight. They were too loud for my small PA unfortunately, though I'm not sure I could have made out the words anyway. This fall, Thief in Your Head is going on tour, maybe to yr town (if yr not in Pittsburgh).

After the show, I was super tired. We had to bring the equipment back to my house, but the guitar player from Thief in Your Head helped and gave me a ride back. It was great to see Thief in Your Head again, and I enjoyed hearing Kagedama and hanging out with everybody for a bit. This was kind of what a house show should be, and thankfully there wasn't any awfulness or grossness (in the environment) or severe intoxication or police. It was actually fun (wow!), and the show ended early enough that it wasn't tiring (unlike my job) like some of the Roup shows were, those going on into the late hours of the night. Most importantly, for me, this show made me feel a lot more confident to do Satyr/Elfheim again. I'll see you on October 5th for Treasure #7.

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