Oakland noise artist Ryan Jencks, aka SIXES, loves to piss people off. A few weeks ago at the Wooden Octopus Skull noise festival in Seattle, he rigged up two high-intensity strobe lights onstage--one flashing in sync with his guitar-electronics setup, the other flashing sickeningly to its own off-kilter rhythm. It was a neat effect until both strobes got stuck in the on position and blinded the crowd. Two 15-minute-long Sixes recordings I recently listened to sounded, respectively, like what you'd hear placing a stethoscope against a highway overpass support column in the middle of the night and this cool video clip of a ComEd substation bursting into flames that I saw on the Internet one time. Epileptics and the incontinent will want to consult their physicians before attending. --J. Niimi
16 BITCH PILE-UP is one of the best band names I've heard lately--it could easily belong to a whiskey-fueled Camaro-rock outfit, which is a good indicator that these women from the Camaro-rock stronghold of Columbus, Ohio, don't take themselves as god-awfully seriously as other noise nerds. Their MO--to treat noise music like rock 'n' roll with all the extraneous stuff cut out--won't connect with everyone, but for some it couldn't sound more right. Using keyboards, processors, and bass guitar, they improvise toward collective thrashing crescendos in a way that sounds familiar, but their use of strangled, eerie, half-audible vocals is an unusual touch. --Monica Kendrick
16 Bitch Pile-Up headlines; Sixes, Bloodyminded, Gays in the Military, Vertonen, and Panicsville open. 9 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, 773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401. Free.
(Flyer designed by Andy Ortmann)