On May 3rd Forget the Times was scheduled to play at the Shop with Triangle & Rhino, Relationships, and Skinless Boneless.  The two people in charge were busy or couldn't get keys or something however, and the show was moved to Roup House despite it being a weeknight.

First up was Relationships who played an exceptionally good set, sounding a lot harder and cool than ever previously.  Their slower song with the lyrics "I'm not yr friend, and I never wanted to be" is maybe their best and it ruled here.  Early on they played really fast and tough with lots of noise and kept it up later to some extent, tough they did get "twinkly" or whatever.  The vocals were cool throughout, rough and not completely nailed to the melody.  Relationships was really good and standing like inches away from them due to the cramped quarters of the Roup basement made it even better.

Triangle & Rhino played second.  Jake Lexso had hurt his hand falling from a ladder when roofing and couldn't play guitar though, so this was a set of synths and drums only and the only set like this that they would ever play live.  Despite the lack of guitar the stuff they played sounded a lot like their normal set only slower and all electronics.  The vocals were muffled and Jake sounded like a psychopath singing through a ballgag.  The sound was maybe too compressed or something, but it was pretty great.

When Triangle & Rhino was finishing up a guy from Forget the Times was at the door.  The cops had come and asked us to shut down the show due to noise complaints; it was a weeknight.  Unfortunately the other two bands, Forget the Times and Skinless Boneless never got to play.  It made sense for Skinless Boneless, who always seem to get shut down by authority figures, but Forget the Times was on tour and I never got to see them.  Hopefully they'll come back and maybe not play the Shop.

Art All Night is a yearly art show in Pittsburgh that anyone can submit art to; this year it was featured in a warehouse under the 40th street bridge in Lawrenceville.  I submitted a video, a music video for my song "The Elfin Mountains" from Home Life, Steph Neary and Andy Scott painted in a live painting feature, Ivory Weeds played music, and roupers Seth, Autumn, and Brian had some visual art displayed.  Here are some pictures (all artwork is copyright the original artists):

On April 27th there was a big party at Roup for Ryan Emmett who was leaving Pittsburgh in a couple of days.  Some bands played and there was supposed to be dancing; it was also the one year anniversary of Wild Raft Records, the CD-R label of amazing a cappella artist and rouper Brian DiSanto.

Brian DiSanto had a cool cake for the anniversary; I am not sure who made it, but it had layers of cake interspersed with layers of icing and donuts.  Regardless, he ended up eating it during his especially raucous set in the Roup basement in front of a group of somewhat unprepared onlookers.  Other people ate some cake, but most of those that it was offered to turned it away, afraid to catch some sort of viral Roup disease that causes insanity.  Brian played mostly his fastest, hardest songs and moshed around.  My recorder got knocked over and a glass broke and everything got wet, but it was really cool.

When we emerged back into the sunlight of the upper floors we were greeted by masks matching our hero's face.  Everyone put one on and suddenly there were 200 times the standard amount of Ryan Emmetts.  Ryan himself was surprised to see so many doppelgangers.

©Pam Hanlin 2012

I played a set in the basement next after some DJing by Darrell.  It was the first set with my new Synsonics guitar.  It was really cool, but not loud enough, also the setup took twice as long as the actual set.  I used my weird guitar to generate feedback by playing a certain note that can sustain forever.  A contact microphone was also used to do similar things that were less musical.  No-wave solos and sludge riffs followed enshrouded in chorus and echoes.

Next, in the foyer, Seth did a drawing lecture about what he learned about hip hop and Latino music while working at the Exchange in Market Square.  Apparently modern rappers love spooky beats, while the Latino music tends to be happier and usually about the sun.  Presumably this was a metaphor to indicate that he was pleased at switching jobs from a CD store to a restaurant (I think it is Peruvian?) but who knows.  The power kept going out while he talked about Tha Carter IV and arm tattoos and boat shoes and low wages; crazy stuff.

Fogged Out started to play towards the end of Seth's lecture.  He was really good, but I didn't stick around for the whole thing.  Lo-fi pop/noise/rap stuff full of melancholia and baritone vocals with an 80's kind of tone/vibe; sometimes it is even like Trogpite a little bit.  I like his more poppy stuff the most, though I don't know the names of the songs.  The cover(I don't know the original artist or even the song title) is especially good.

That was it for this party.  There was a lot of dance/techno/industrial stuff played in between acts and afterwards, but I didn't really listen to it too much.  Ryan left soon afterwards for Colorado to explore the untamed wilderness or something.  He's coming back soon.

The band Not the Wind Not the Flag was supposed to play this show, but they had played the previous day with Chris Corsano, Antithesis, and myself.  I was not sure what was going on with this show on April 20th, but it ended up happening and being pretty cool with a lot of weird jokes.  Nobody was there.

I went first, being the only local act on the bill.  I wanted to play my new Synsonics guitar with an internal speaker, but ended up using the standard Cruise Made for VMI.  My set started with feedback and big riffs and was sort of like the set I did at Roup for the Harsh Noise Fest.  Ultimately it changed though, getting really loud like a pillar of air over a pit with a huge buzzsaw.  At the end I used my Stylophone, played some stuff backwards, and then made lots of noise

Bererberg, the seemingly unpronounceable to every except me, was second.  They were really cool and played free jazz stuff that was usually loud and noisy, but could get quiet and even more grating.  The members of this band sort of look like the members of Wolf Eyes and they were all really skilled.  Sometimes they veered into almost noise rock type stuff or like one of the SYR records.  Great stuff!

Third was Slow-Tongued Beauty who was possibly really drunk, but still played a killer set.  He used turntables to produce slow sounds that matched his name.  Things started out like music you might have heard in the early 1900's, but became church-like and then very still and bleak.  His set was pretty quiet the whole way through and it ruled.

Last up was David Sutton from New Jersey.  He runs a cool label called Highland Park Gem and Crystal Society and all of his albums seem to have the word "new" in the title.  Sutton started out like Slow-Tongued Beauty, but with distant voices echoing in the back of his audio landscape, but his set quickly became much more dissonant and chaotic.  The strings of a sinking orchestra were stretched to their limit as the whine of the engine erupted in fracturing explosions.  At times there seemed to be sound effects from nature amid the constant orchestra; the whole thing reminded me a lot of Merzbow's Batztoutai with Material Gadgets.

This show was tons of fun.  I wish more people had been there to see it,but it may have been fun because nobody was there.  Hopefully these guys come back soon.

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