Sunday, January 27, 2008


I had a really nice overnight trip up to Lansing, Michigan, to play the 517 Noisefest - which, after various issues, occurred at Basement 414 - where it was supposed to be, all along.

Thanks to Sam for inviting me up. Major thanks to Ben, Brett, and Jon, from Druids of Huge, for dragging my ass up there - and for coming home earlier than they had wanted. Thanks to Olson and Tovah, for letting me sleep at their place.

Basement 414 was a pretty cool space... definitely could have used a stronger PA... there were sets that I definitely wanted to hear louder... and when I played, I was sending a very clean signal - "in the green"... but I could see that the house mixer was running "in the red"... sending too hot of a signal to the speakers. I think that I sounded fine, but I was told that people smelled "burning" --- that awful ozone smell that seems to happen fairly often on small PAs. Usually, I smell it too, but I did not, that night. To a backdrop of strobe lighting, after building up a mix of feedback channels, I did the alternate melody of "In Fives" -- like at The Flowershop and at Wierd --- which seemed to go well.

I totally enjoyed the sets from Plastic Boner Band, Druids of Huge, Shattered Hymen --- this was quite a Chicago-dominated night... New Pledgemaster stayed fully dressed, but Paul still managed to do something uncomfortable... (too) garbled vocals (unfortunately --- people NEED to hear these lyrics) with physical movement that threatened to go wrong... but stayed relatively safe. Being and Body Collector blasted out a really heavy-duty collaboration set. Worm Hands arrived quite late - actually played last - and performed a very intense, short set - not even allowing you to think that they might have been ultra-stressed out from a ten-plus hour drive through snowstorms, etc. --- And it goes without saying that Aaron Dilloway's set was beautiful... deep analog synth run through tape echo, etc., mixed with a really disorienting combination of field recordings. Among the top three sets that I have seen/heard by him. His new LP on Throne Heap is highly recommended.

About half of the festival ended up at the Olson residence, where the party continued to just before the sun rose. Olson and Dan did a reeds and cardboard box/broken dinner plate drum kit set on the back staircase... and the late-night kitchen session got sillier and sillier. Dong Dong Twins tattoos for all. Getting upstairs to sleep, was as Olson said, like trying to step through the Jonestown Massacre... so many bodies all next to each other. My mattress deflated during the short night (well, morning) of sleep. Bummer.

After brunch at Theios, we waited a bit for the Ypsilanti (etc.) crew to arrive. Although we could only stay to see Aaron Dilloway's great, dark synth set at the basement matinée show, it was really nice to at least spend a bit of time with friends. Sorry to miss out on the Hive Mind (new LP on No Fun is excellent and ultra-subtle) and Failing Lights (?) actions that were due to occur. And sorry to miss out on the Saturday and Sunday night sets by various friends.

Blast from the past: David S. Hastings (great to finally meet you!). Blast from the past - near miss: Scott Michaelson (how did we not meet up? Fuck?!?)