Monday, November 08, 2004


good show, bad turnout.

the previous two times we hosted shows at the bloomington playwrights project, our shows were scheduled while indiana university was on break, so there were no kids in town to attend our shows. this time, we made sure our show would happen while the students were still in town, but it was all put together at the last possible minute, with no time for promotion, and once again people didn't come out. i'm convinced there were at least 30+ people there during the earlier hours, but 10 of them were performers & many of those brought guests. if the guests had paid to get in, i do believe we would've broken even, but as it is we lost money on the show.

the performances were all great, though, & i believe everyhing was recorded to dat, so although nobody was there, many might still get the chance to enjoy the music in the form of mp3s.

first up was miim vs humdrum, a "versus" set between humdrum's dj & experimental personas, performed on turntables and bent electronics. the humdrum style of bending involves taking simple RCA cables plugged into the mixer and touching them to open spots on various consumer electronics: the current produces a range of odd sounds with no soldering required. so this was somewhere between harsh noise & bangin' hardcore records. good stuff, straddling the line between a dj set & a live PA.

i played second: a well-received half hour of political noise. i played some election returns, a little rave master, some porn for kerry, and some quotes from the awesome movie network, with lots of digital noise & loops. i thought it went pretty well (a good sign, since often when i'm improvising a performance i can't tell how it went until i hear the recording), & as soon as i looped my finale sample of "i'm mad as hell and i'm not gonna take it anymore" people started cheering... kids like the anger, apparently.

after me came a dj set by amy v, better known as one half of local digital hardcore group the people bomb. slammin' hardcore & breakcore. people dug it.

then came firestorm viper, performing on turntables & laptop, though at first he was having some technical problems with the laptop. another set that straddled the line between dj set & live PA: i couldn't tell how much of it was original material, but he clearly played at least a bit of both. good stuff, though, and he seemed to bring a big chunk of the crowd with him... strange because he only moved here to indiana from seattle a few months ago. dark jungle, ragga, hardcore, & more.

mark tester, the other half of the people bomb, followed. another dj set of breakcore & other dark, sick music. what else is there to say? we had a few djs, they all played similar styles, & they were all pretty good. peeps were dancing.

then came a leaner, meaner murkbox, our prodigal son who currently lives in tennessee. he started with some new material before going back & playing a bunch of his hits. he told me later that he'd played so much older material because he forgot to bring his external hard drive, which had even more new stuff on it, but you couldn't really tell during the performance; it all sounded good, & it was cool to hear some of those tracks again on a loud system. the set also ran longer than anticipated since bobby vomit was still setting up while murky was scheduled to be wrapping up.

bobby vomit augmented his usual turntable hijinks with the addition of a casio sk-10: harsh noise & fm tones. one of his turntables was a unit designed for hunting: portable, with a megaphone-loudspeaker that he would point in different directions to change the acoustics of his performance. good stuff as usual.

there was a break of a few minutes while backstatic set up. he played without a computer for a change (due, as always, to technical problems with the computer), but that didn't impair his set that i could tell: hard, slow rhythms and rhymes from the man with the gas-mask microphone. his vocals were mixed too quietly (problem with the monitors) but beyond that it was yet another successful performance. too bad everyone but the core crew had left by this point, because we were having a night of great music!

unszene took the stage for the penultimate performance of the night. unszene plated a stripped down set of circuit bent noise: he had a simple box of bent circuits, controlled with switches, touch sensors, and a light sensor that he triggered with a flashlight. this was all run through an fx processor and several petals to build up some deep, heavy tones. fun sounds, & fun to watch.

dr. butcher m.d. rounded off the night with a set of drunken breaks & electro. lots of tomfoolery & showboating such as air guitar solos and playing his computer keyboard with his tongue, and plenty of false stops.

so it was poorly attended, but well documented. murkbox had four disposable cameras that he farmed out for others to document the show with: i had one of those, so i took approximately 27 photographs, although it could be days or more before i get to see them. there were also other cameras, video cameras, & like i mentioned earlier, all the audio was recorded to dat. much fun was had, & much falafel was eaten.

big ups to all the performers, to matt for the use of his PA, & to jon for the phat hookup on falafel sandwiches & hummus. stay tuned: mp3s and photos will hopefully start to turn up soon, & i'll post links as they become available.

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