Friday, October 12, 2007

Report from Michigan

Just a quick recap of last night...

Thursday October 11
Raven Pit
Ypsilanti, MI

Mark Solotroff
Bad Party
Crosse Humiliation

This was my first trip to the Raven Pit... which is also the Llama Pit, the Draheim Pit, and the PE Paul Pit. Holy shit... what a house!?! After we got into Ann Arbor, dinner was had at a "by the pound" Indian joint. Brilliant, or not???

Crosse Humiliation - which is New Pledgemaster + Cleanse - started the night off in a brutal way. Somehow, I managed to not realize that they played the Intrinsic Action song, "Male Payment." Whoa! Heavy dual vocal power-electronics from Grey and PE Paul - who, it must be noted, stripped down to his undies during their set (but wait, there is more).

Redrot was up next and Ryan delivered the goods - and then some - in a new style. He had electronic gear - no bass - which freed him up to be more of a front man... which was a very welcome change. He belted out a selection of heavily rhythm-driven new pieces that were amazing. Always a treat!

Bad Party. Yep. A gross cross between White Devil and Tamion 12-Inch. Beats, bass guitar, electronics, and spiteful vocals. Some Suicide throb, some stripped down and ugly minimal techno... some noise rock elements (Big Black, maybe?). They definitely brought the crowd to a good (bad) place before I played...

I played a nice 15-minute set with a great range of frequencies, thanks to Grey setting up a nice rig, and thanks to Mike (Bad Party) for letting me use his bass set-up. Good build-up, solid central section... the inevitable collapse... and the feedback loop fade out.

David beat the pulp out of everyone still standing with the heaviest and loudest Envenomist set, yet. In that basement, with those amps, it was a crusher. Very different... less relaxing... not hypnotic in the same way as usual. Hard stuff.

As an added bonus, some girls talked PE Paul into doing a naked New Pledgemaster set. It was his birthday. He did it. Early Broken Flag/Iphar-style power-electronics - naked - in a basement in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Not nice. Not nice at all. But very good!

Hey, I just had brunch with Leo Dilloway. Rad little guy!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Tour Update - October 11

Greetings from Starbucks on the Case-Western Reserve campus in Cleveland, Ohio. We had an excellent show last night. Thanks to Sam Goldberg for getting us all set up.

Pat's In The Flats is a classic dive bar type of spot... in continuous operation for over 60 years... and Pat, herself, was behind the bar all night, seemingly not bothered by the noise swirling around her establishment. She even bought me`a drink at the end of the night.

We had a really great crowd there, with a mix of older (Ralph, thanks!) and newer Cleveland friends. Thanks to Lisa, for bringing the photographs of BLOODYMINDED from our Inside/Outside show from 2006.

Snakebit Beatniks (George of Steam Drapula) started things off with a masterful set of mixer feedback, mainly, I think, which he built up so smoothly, and which he controlled in such a way that it seemed almost melodic at points.

The supergroup trio of Nathan Bowers / David Russell / Wyatt "Howhow" Howland was up next, and they set up in a line, with very disparate instrumentation, almost playing solitary sets, yet completely gelling into a very cohesive, swelling, breathing, improv noise unit.

Catnap (Mark from Emeralds) was up third, and sandwiched between intros and outros of Bill Hick, I believe, Mark layed down some amazing guitar, which started out on the more ambient, mournful side, and which built up to a more aggressive pitch... but I am talking about really well-played guitar... another facet of the emerald... unexpected...

I felt much better about last night's set... things built up really nicely for me. I built up to a strong feedback mix... payed more attention to vocal delivery... let everything sort of collapse... then I slowly faded everything out.

After a quick sound issue snafu, David delivered his fourth primo set of this trip. Like the previous nights, he quickly cast a spell over the crowd and temporarily brought them to some other place.

Thanks to everyone who came out to support!

Off to see some art...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tour Update

We are taking a short breather in Columbus, OH, waiting for rush hour to die down, before we go to Columbus.

Monday night was a lot of fun in Saint Louis, even if the crowd was really small. Apop Records was great to discover in person... walking in and immediately seeing copies of TIMELESS magazine... releases on WIERD Records... tons of frinds' stuff.

Thanks to Dustin and Tiffany for having us. Thanks to Jeremy/Ghost Ice, for setting up such a massive wall of amps!

Josh Levi started out the night with a solo Worm Hands set that was brief and right to the point... electronics and bass guitar blended to fully kick the night into gear. I was up next and the array of amps allowed for a great range of feedback tones. The volume level actually knocked me backwards and one point and causedmy ears to "pop" as if I was on an airplane. David was up next and illuminated by a single red bulb, against an old stone wall, he immediately set to work at the easy (for him) task of hypnotizing everyone. He sounded amazing.

We appreciated those die-hards who came out on a Monday night, and who supported the show and the merch table, too!

We drove off and A Beautiful Machine ruled the night...

Last night, Lexington was everything it should be, minus the usual trip to Paradise City. There still were casualties, though.

Walter Carson started off the night with a great - and very brief - set of mixer feedback, executed with great aplomb. Jason Schuler of Cadaver In Drag (NEW ALBUM BEYOND RULES!!!) played an excellent set blending tapes, electronics, and vocals, building up the audience's anticipation before climaxing with a great burst of energy. The Little Penguin... ha ha... not Chilly Willy, though. Caves was up next, and for last night, Ben left the guitar at home and played a truly nuanced and amazing set of slowly building and shifting electronics. Those three sets would have made for a great, full show. I came on next and did my thing. I thought that it was so-so. The feedback kind of maxed-out too quickly for my tastes, but it ended well. David brought the magic, yet again. Another flawless set by him.

Add in a Gumbo Ya Ya dinner, a nice lunch with 2/3 of Hair Police, and Ben, as guests of Mr. Schuler, and you have another memorable trip to Lexington all wrapped up.

On to Cleveland...

Monday, October 08, 2007

Recap of show #1

Sunday October 7, 2007

Mark Solotroff
Mykel Boyd
Winters In Osaka

Chicago, IL

The first night went extremely well. We had it being a Sunday night - and this weird heatwave that forced the Chicago Marathon to end early (?!?) - working against us, but a great number of people braved the sauna effect at Enemy and came out to support this dual tour kick-off show. The show had a really nice balance between more aggressive and more dark and almost "calming" music, which helped with the pacing of the night. Winters In Osaka played a really strong set - with a very positive change to their line-up, further demonstrating the strength of their punk/grind influenced style of noise. Sadly, Mykel Boyd's praying mantes were not alive long enough to perform last night, but their sounds were there, in great force. My set was of the variety of the slow build-up, increasingly aggressive vocals, systems-collapse, slow fade out... aside from the heat exhaustion, I was really happy with everything. David wrapped up the night with a perfectly delivered Envenomist set, which clearly hypnotized a big part of the audience, as if he knew how to harness the oppressive heat and make it work in his favor. Five more nights of his dark analog style? No complaints from me.

Thanks to all the friends who showed up to support, in such a strong way. Thanks to James and Wes for driving down from Milwaukee. Thanks to Jason, Geoff, and Brent, for hosting. Thanks to Camilla for the amazing dinner!

Best wishes to Mykel and W.I.O., for a great trip to California.

Off to Saint Louis...