Since I positively reviewed the Radon Chong tape, I Keep On Talking To You, a few weeks ago, I was very excited to see the band's tape release show on August 26th at The Mr. Roboto Project. They were playing with some touring bands that I had never heard of with very strange names and the very cool Night Vapor. There also some plans to get a Sega Saturn at this show that got delayed a bit, but that's okay.
The first band to play was Night Vapor. Night Vapor sounds like the Birthday Party mixed with Captain Beefheart with an extra amount of nausea. This set was just gross! The green lights around the band, combined with the singer's sickening gyrations, made everything look ghastly. Everything sounded excellent with some fancy guitar weirdness and throbbing rhythm section. I swear the room was spinning.
Lake Lake, from Ohio, played second. They sort of sounded like the Melvins, perhaps a little more generic. The riffs were simple and kind of sludgey/heavy. Stuff boomed, but it never really burst out of its bubble; I really didn't enjoy this band. They did some strange Looney Tunes voices during some of the between song banter, but that was almost overdone. I just wanted them to play the songs. If the songs had been faster, more energetic, or with more significant vocals or interesting instrumentation, this would have been fine.
After Lake Lake, I went outside and then played Super Smash Bros. Melee for a second. The next band, NONZOO, was already setting up and started to play just when we were finishing the game. The sound was amazing; I was really excited to get closer to the band! NONZOO is a noise-rock/no-wave band from Chicago. They remind me of Cellular Chaos. The singer looked like they could have been hanging out with the Bromley Contingent back in the late 70s, and the guitarist had such a strange instrument. The songs were fast; space sounds ricocheted off the walls as the singer bounced around like a colorful ball from a toy vending machine. The contrast was high compared with Lake Lake. Despite all the noise and sweat, NONZOO has a very cute/friendly aura about them with a hint of danger; that's pretty much what I consider to be my own aesthetic. I got a tape and a shirt from them, both of which had numerous variations. That's so cool!
Radon Chong played last. Their set was short and to the point. The songs sounded great, their new drummer, also in Hermit Thrushes, doing an excellent job! For once, I could understand the lyrics, since I had just listened to the tape, so everything was much more meaningful to me. Sasha, the singer, did some cool moves and really made the songs "pop out", but maybe that's the tape whispering in my ear as I listened to it through headphones via an ancient portable cassette player on my stairs. Anyway, this was the perfect set length of songs played to near perfection; I was left wanting more. That's how it should be.
The show was fun, and it ended super early. Some of my friends were going to another show at Spirit afterward. I considered it, but I didn't want to pay $5 to get in after missing a band or two. There was also a reunion of the Weird Paul Variety Show at the BBT, one of the last shows there. I didn't end up going to that either. I don't know why so much stuff was this night, but I was glad to have gone to Radon Chong's tape release. It was really great to see NONZOO, and I feel like I got a better understanding of some kind of cosmic oneness from this show. I really mean that, but I can't really tell you why or what that means. I had some other plans to hang out with some other friends, but instead, it seemed best to go home. "When you gaze into the NONZOO, sometimes it gazes into you". Next time we'll take a look at such a place more closely to see the animals, eat cotton candy, and feel the heat of the noise-savannah. I'll see you then!