Saturday, May 05, 2007

Tour Report...

--------------------------------------------------

Finally, some sort of sketchy tour Report:

--------------------------------------------------

Pieter got in on Saturday. Early afternoon drinks with friends. Then we hit the Art Institute with Marlene to see the “C├ęzanne to Picasso: Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant-Garde” show. Starting things off in a more serene way. Then more drinks with friends. Revealing conversation. Late night confessional. Keep it in the blur. Sunday, Pieter and I headed up to the Milwaukee Art Museum to see the exhibit, “Francis Bacon: Paintings from the 1950s,” which Marlene, Alana, and I, saw a month prior. Part of why Pieter flew in early. Great to get one more look at this rare array of paintings. Scoop up Charlie from the Mega Bus stop that night and then on to Continental for cocktails with more friends. Baby hangs out, as do Megan and Tim. A plan is hatched at about 2:00 AM. It’s a good one.

--------------------------------------------------

Monday April 16
Elastic Arts Foundation
Chicago, IL

A great kick-off show. A very private-feeling Silvum duo set with Jordan. Climax Denial introduced a new twist… porn video sound clip opener… worked very well! Charlie unleashed the high-tone sine wave for the first time. BRUTAL!!! Megan joined BLOODYMINDED on (un-amplified) vocals/screams on “Mantra.” It was the first time that she, and Pieter, and I, had performed together in just shy of ten years. I guess a few people got the significance, or whatever. It was ideal. People could not believe that her vocals cut through the noise. Yes!!! Violent and bloody IAlarma! style narcocorrido video on TV at dinner, afterwards. Very nice.

--------------------------------------------------

Tuesday April 17
Cafe Bourbon Street
2216 Summit St.
Columbus, OH
With:
Envenomist

Complimentary Taco Ninja and PBRs filled our stomachs. Thank you Aaron! Sound guy was AWOL. Overloaded out PA. Envenomist and Silvum still ruled, before the downfall. Envenomist always plays flawlessly. Fuck!?! Alex and Charlie unfortunately could not do it to it. BLOODYMINDED soldiered through most of our set. Pieter bit off three microphones in anger. $$$. Brief scene at male strip club next door… boring, though. Drinks at Carabar, not at AWOL. Crash at Skylab. Hula Hoop dreams. Great lunch at North Market with David Reed, then the Op Art show at Columbus Museum of Art. I nearly fell over while focusing on a large Bridget Riley painting.

--------------------------------------------------

Wednesday April 18
The Frowny Bear
Lexington, KY
With:
Cadaver In Drag
Caves

Ben simply rules as a host. Pizza and beer immediately. Caves began the night with an intense guitar set. Then Cadaver In Drag nearly brought the house tumbling down into the basement. It was almost a pure sludge metal set. Terminal Phase Luna guys all nailed it. Frowny Bear shows always rule! Paradise City was closed. Luckily, Stephanie’s Cabaret was not. Pretty relaxed – not too much of a hustle. Silvum basement floor sleeper set after the club. Very rare. Very odd. Gumbo Ya Ya for breakfast? Dear god. But it’s a tradition…

--------------------------------------------------

Thursday April 19
Eyedrum
Atlanta, GA

Withered cancelled. Eyedrum is an amazing space. Great stage, lights, and PA. Nathan did an amazing job with everyone’s sound, and he was a kind host. It was probably my favorite venue of the whole tour. Travis and Graham had us all set up with beer, which we complimented with tasty BBQ from across the street at Daddy D'z. Jeremy/Strict was in the audience, but it was an awfully tiny crowd that night. We were competing with The Locust, I guess. Oh well. Jeremy took us to the Clermont Lounge afterwards. Purely amazing! Climax Denial possibly not totally denied. Quick stop in Decatur for a stupid lunch on Friday. Espresso has no X in it.

--------------------------------------------------

Friday April 20 + Saturday April 21
No Future Fest
Nightlight
Chapel Hill, NC

Friday night was free to party as BLOODYMINDED, Charlie Draheim, Climax Denial, and Silvum all played on Saturday. Sort of crazy sleeping arrangements, but thanks to lovely Alexis for setting us up. Pretty crazy two days of loud noise and carrying on. So many good sets stand out over the two nights… Pax Titania – bordering on minimal synth… yes! American Band – hour-long brutality marathon; Leslie Keffer – heaviness; Laundry Room Squelchers – spinning wildly; PCRV/Tourette – total intensity; Black Meat – more total intensity; Can’t – intimate singing and synth work; Macronympha – melt down city and sonic overload. Ultra-heavy sound from Joseph, Kakerlak, and Mr. And Mrs. Armenia (hello!) – while Rodger menaced the crowd, bleeding, and with his pants down around his ankles. Dynamic!; Tom Grimley – not at all what I expected – nice! See you soon in Chicago…; Tusco Terror were like a prison gang rape scene; Damion Romero – he controlled the air pressure in the room. Fuck!; Shallow Waters – reborn, compared to when we played with them last year, totally realizing their potential; Feveur Noire – again, total intensity. That is what I remember at the moment. Terminal Phase Luna Tour guys all killed it. Crowd response was great for them all. Silvum totally finessed the audience; Climax Denial added foot worship to the mix. Charlie caused an earthquake and mass deafness; The BLOODYMINDED set was pretty forceful; although I did spend a good deal of time draped over one of the tall speakers. I also spent a lot of time wrangling Rodger Stella during our set. It was absolutely enjoyable playing that night. Then we high-tailed it into Virginia for some brief hotel R+R. Huddle House – not Waffle House – in the AM.


--------------------------------------------------

Sunday April 22
The Bank
Baltimore, MD
With:
Macronympha,
Villa Valley
Haunted Castle,
Glamorous Pat
Door
DJ Dog Dick

Pull up… like a street scene in HBO’s “The Wire” – promising. Great pizza cooked on a wood-burning oven in the back yard – unexpected and welcome. Thanks, Caleb! Much of the night is a crazy blur. I know that tons of bands played, making it seem like night three of the festival. Someone had dubbed it “Porky’s” in advance. I guess that I know why. Trash Ritual in the house. Alex lined-up a six-foot tall woman to do his foot worship with. She was a very willing participant. Charlie did another rough one. The space had no PA, and even with thorough troubleshooting, we somehow only managed to play through one large guitar amp. While our sound was not at all satisfying, our set was intense and fun. Macronympha was really over the top again. Joseph held down the sound with Kakerlak. Rodger just did his thing again. Then, the neighbors sort of all seeped in. Dark and weird, indeed. Crazy late night fried chicken haggling session. Delicious crab cake sandwiches for lunch the next day. Thanks to Max for setting it up, and to everyone at the Bank for their kind hospitality.

--------------------------------------------------

Monday April 23
Circle Of Hope
Philadelphia, PA
With:
Air Conditioning
Macronympha

Circle Of Hope is a progressive, liberal, youth-oriented Mennonite church. Air Conditioning was a two-piece (that night) church-leveling beast of monstrous proportions. God bless Robert and Matt. Double-bless Robert for working so hard on helping us. Big thanks to Jared for help - and thanks to Bowerbird for hosting something seemingly much “heavier” than usual. Thanks to Jonathan and Suzie for being such very gracious hosts! Thanks to Jim’s Philly Cheese Steaks on South Street. I really mean that. Macronympha played a more straight-ahead – ultra-heavy set… Joseph blasting away on guitar, Kakerlak on pedal noise, and Rodger getting into the act – the noise act, that is – on effected Theremin. What else? A van party out front. Meeting some cool new friends – hi John! – Another late-night diner cheese steak – not bad, not bad at all. The next day, Pieter and I made a quick two-hour trip to the monumental Philadelphia Museum of Art before we headed out to Ohio. The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even… Yo’, Rocky.

--------------------------------------------------

Tuesday April 24
Diamond Shriners
Akron, OH
With:
Tusco Terror
Bee Mask
Sam Goldberg

Crazy wrap up/final show. The Embassy (Cleveland) is dead. Long live the Embassy. Sorry we never got to play there. Tusco guys had our back, big time, and made sure that we were set up in a new town, in a great space, with an eager crowd, and with plenty of pizza, thank you! Blatant absentee: Ralph. Damn. Unexpected guests: Azoikum and Murderous Vision. Another blur, kind of. Bee Mask – absolutely the best kind of buzzing, swirling basement drone; Sam Goldberg somewhere between early Earth feedback drone and later Earth twang – unexpected and extremely nice; Tusco Terror – less prison rape and more basement bruises – very hard bruises – and very fitting; Mustache Mountain did a quick, impromptu noise thing upstairs to fill a time gap – Silvum too drunk to……. Climax Denial plays BLOODYMINDED… “Cost,” that is… short and sweet. BLOODYMINDED gave it every last drop of energy. Things could not have been planned as the lights and the PA cut out at the most opportune moment – and then came back on to punctuate a perfect accident. I thought that James did something on purpose, but it was just a fluke. Pure pummel. Then the rain-soaked ride home. 4:00 PM deadline to get Pieter to his airplane so he could DJ in NYC that night. Sad, but a successful delivery. Alex and James leave. Charlie and Nick stay. Quiet Thai food. Relax…

--------------------------------------------------

Solo/Collaboration… extra

--------------------------------------------------

Friday April 27
Spooky Action Palace
St. Louis, MO
With:
Jerk
Druids Of Huge
Worm Hands

The Druids said get in the truck; we’ll take you for a ride. Done. Good iPod entertainment. Difficulty getting out of Chicago during rush hour, but we knew what we were driving towards, so no pressure. Always a good time at Spooky Action Palace. Really great people with such great energy. It seems to bring out something extra in people’s performances. Again… a bit fuzzy, but a pretty dark, heavy, and noisy “industrial” thing from Jerk. At points, I thought of early 80s NYC noise rock, and then the electronics kick in heavier. I so like these guys. Already looking forward to the next night’s show. Worm Hands do what I like about St. Louis… dark electronic basement slither. Druids Of Huge had a huge post-long drive buzz and they stirred up a dark brew of doom-laden psychedelic noise. My set was called “intimate” and “personal” and I think that was a fair description. Less confrontational and more revealing, maybe??? I hung a couple of mics from the rafters, clutched a bunch more, and went into a rather inspired and motivated “Melt” mode. Thanks to Jerk and Druids for making sure that I was fully amplified. Thanks to Josh Levi for setting things up. Big thanks to Michael and Heather for being such congenial hosts, as always. Late night. Sharing drinks on the front porch. Relaxing. Dream mode. Oh, I now know that I do not really like Steak ‘n Shake. Easy drive back… Navigating for Druid Jon in swerve mode. Fun. More oldies radio than iPod.

--------------------------------------------------

Saturday April 28
Hotti Biscotti
Chicago, IL
With:
Mark Solotroff + Bruce Lamont (of Yakuza) [Solo sets and collaboration]
Jerk
Druids Of Huge

Embarrassingly, my first time even at Hotti Biscotti. Druids kicked off the night in front of a pretty packed room… full of their friends, which was cool. Amazing set. Tighter and more prepared than last night, they charged through an intense round of pummeling drums, heavy guitar, and stun-mode electronics. I am still trying to develop the vocabulary for these guys… and the same goes for Jerk, too. Also more fully prepared for tonight, Jerk had the crowd totally in the palm of their hands. Another (defunct) Ohio band that comes to mind is The Lack (Troubleman), but Jerk definitely have a looser, more welcoming out-of-control element, although they can tighten up whenever necessary. They proceeded to play up to the Chicago audience with a really pleasurable and unexpected cover version of “Stigmata” – weird, indeed. Bruce started off our thing with some deep, heavy chanted vocals, which he looped. Then he layered in some sax loops… breaking my sax cherry, as far as anything that I have ever been involved in goes… then he surprisingly moved into more agro vocals, jumping into the crowd right in front of the stage and letting his metal guy out. Well, that caught me off guard, based upon the setting, and based upon how little energy I thought that I had. I joined in with a couple of mics on stands, adding in some feedback and some repeated, chanted vocals, slowly building up the feedback levels – as well as my own energy, until Bruce stepped away and I was left to do a more dynamic version of the night before’s sort of thing… building the piercing tones and working myself up even more. Totally satisfying, for our first collaboration, and in front of so many new and old friends, to boot. The audience energy really helped, too. One day off…

--------------------------------------------------

Monday April 30
Club Azucar
Chicago, IL
With:
Ettrick
Death Factory
Winters In Osaka

Weird night. I walked into a bar full of after-work drunk local assholes. This did not look promising, at all. Well, it promised some agro, sure. The PA looked huge, but oh, we were not going to be using it. Thanks to Karlos from Shaman Records for dragging in a PA of some sort. Unfortunately, the wiring was a bit shaky. Deathstab cancelled. Winters In Osaka went first – as a trio – creating a pretty walloping wall of electronic noise that definitely got some audience members a bit uncomfortable. At this point, the crowd is half regulars and half folks who were there for the show. The duo Ettrick asked to go on next. Two sets of drums, two saxophones. Free jazz meets black metal beats. Acoustic. The crowd was actually able to latch on to the rhythm, somehow, and their fairly caustic set still managed to get some love from the entire room. Even weirder. I was going next, and quickly, I realized that half of the PA was out, so I tried to focus on the one functional side. I attempted to do “Becoming An Animal” as a solo piece – for the first time, and after building up some audience baiting/repelling feedback, the PA started to cut out – well – let’s mention the bad smell of burning wires… The connection to my one big speaker was fizzling out. I tried messing with the hot cord, as did Karlos. Things went on-and-off for a couple of minutes… I bumped up the feedback a bit more due to one drunk-as-fuck screaming moron --- and then when the sound cut out I did what I had to do… I finished up with just my voice – swinging some mics – pushing the drunk guy over the edge until he lunged at me. The bouncer – who I was not at all sure about – actually bear-hugged the guy and dragged him out – with the guy trying to spit on me as he went out the door. I wrapped it up and then Death Factory played a brief – yet very good – old-style industrial – radio static – set – through half a PA. I am done… for a couple of weeks…

--------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------

Thanks to everyone who supported us/me in any way during the course of this trip – setting up a show – helping us with amps/gear – feeding us – taking us out – putting us up for the night – or just coming out to a show. Thanks to Pieter for yet another amazing romp. Thanks to James Moy for doing such an outstanding job with BLOODYMINDED – both playing low-end synth and doing such a killer job with the live mix --- not to mention keeping everything upright every night and always helping out with the load-in and -outs. Thanks to Charlie, Alex, and Nick, for being such great tour partners!

--------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------