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New Forms of Non-Noise

I agreed to play a show on December 22nd, 2017 that I didn't know much about, but my friend Ryn was putting it together and needed another band. A little after agreeing to do this, I started practicing with a very different setup than I normally use - my guitar accompanied by a drum machine and a microKorg synthesizer. It sounded cool at home, so I even recorded some songs for future use, including one for an upcoming zine release. Would it work live?

I walked to the Rock Room with all my gear in a blue milk crate and my guitar on my back. It was a long trip. I left an hour before I was supposed to be at the venue, but it took one-and-a-half hours to walk to Polish Hill. My arms and back hurt so much when I was about to cross the bridge. I stopped for a short break and was able to make it.

I said talked to my friends and then started to set up. I was a little bit nervous. Once I got everything set up, I had to figure out the sounds on the keyboard for a second. Those few seconds actually took a few minutes. After I began to play, I felt like everything was off, the drums being off from the guitars especially. However, I listened to my recording, and it sounds good! I had started off with a disco-y rock anthem and shifted into heavier, minimalist sludge tones. I'll be using the same setup for my set on January 11th at Howlers for Treasure #11 with Swampwalk, Amadea, and Futurism. I hope I will see some of my readers there.


The next band to play was the touring band, Mala Fides. They're just a two-piece of guitar and bass with a drum machine. I felt more confident in the reception of my own set after seeing their success without a human drummer. Mala Fides was amazing! They reminded me of bands like Paralisis Permanente, Nocturnal Projections, or Cult of Youth. The vocals varied between a Siouxsie Sioux shriek and a calmer Billy Idol. The drum machine worked surprisingly well, despite my standard hesitation about such things. I think it turned better than if they had had a human, reptilian, or Venusian drummer. You can listen to their musick here. I don't think any aliens were actually at the show.


The last band was Rocky Dennis Face. The drummer had a Belie My Burial shirt, which made me wonder if he knew some people I went to high school with. Rocky Dennis Face brought the majority of the crowd. The musick was a very loud and fast, Ramones pop-punk. Unfortunately, their set went on too long, and it was way too loud for me with how long it lasted. The vocals were a little rough, and something about the song composition didn't gel with me. That said, I didn't dislike this band, and I would like to see them again. I do love that Ramones-esque sound.

I bought two tapes and a shirt from Mala Fides and played House of the Dead before I left. Thankfully, I was able to get a ride. I don't know what I would have done if I had to walk. Since Howlers isn't too far from my house, I am still thinking about walking my gear there for the show next week. Again, I hope to see you there, and I'm excited for this new future setup.

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