i took a half day yesterday, left work, and made a couple stops at target & radio shack looking for audio cables: specifically i need several dual-1/4" cables of various types. neither store had them: i'll need to go to sam ash or guitar center or someplace like that. but i got some printer paper and a couple dvds at target so it wasn't a total waste. then i drove up to muncie to bobby vomit's house, and we chilled out in the attic for awhile until it was time to load up his truck & head to columbus.
a storm was brewing. typical midwest pre-spring weather: it was 63 degrees sunday, 52 monday afternoon, then a thunderstorm, then snow flurries that night and today. bobby's truck had a broken driver-side windshield wiper, and it held up for awhile but by the time we reached columbus we had to get off the road and stop at meijer to buy a replacement. minutes after it was installed, we were at the venue, but it was very early so we went off in search of a place to eat.
we stopped at someplace called tai's asian bistro, which had cheap pan-asian food: the kind of place where you order at the front counter, but designed more like an upscale sandwich shoppe (note the pe) than a strip-mall chinese joint. it was tasty enough, and lots of food for the price. i saved my leftover pad thai and it made a full lunch for me today!
after that we stopped at starbucks (need caffeine so we can stay up through the show & the drive back), then to half price books, all within a block or so of each other. at half price books, bobby vomit picked up a promo record price guide an a 7". i got a couple cheap hip-hop cds and a copy of catman in lethal track on dvd: finding the other catman movie alone made this trip worthwhile.
then off to the venue. the place was a studio in an old industrial complex. in fact the primary entrance was through a garage door and loading dock around the back of the building. everyone was there. the plan was for the first three acts to set up (bobby included), then they would play, then a sort of "intermission" while the others all get set up. there was much setting up of gear. in fact, i was convinced that these two japanese dudes, take (tah-kay) and gonzo, had already performed their set when in fact they were only setting up. i thought it was a full performance, only with a lot of "sonic tension". i was wrong. then at 9:30, the show actually began.
first up, i guess, was sword heaven as bok tower. this was a three-man group consisting of mike shiflet (who runs gameboy records) and two other dudes. mike had a bunch of electronics and i'm guessing a contact mic, because he at one point in the night he was "playing" the table his gear was on. another guy in a chair had a bunch of electronics and a handheld mic. the third guy had lots of props: a long rope with a bunch of cymbals attached to it, which he would shake, etc; a large blue bell that he would ring periodically, a kick drum full of drumsticks (which he would shake), and perhaps more. it was entertaining.
next up, bobby vomit played. his set started off harsh & fuzzy, dragged on for a couple minutes, then started getting crazy as usual. it was good; people were into it. i've seen the guy play dozens of times now, what else is there to say? bobby fucking vomit 2005, baby.
next, take and gonzo did their real set, with mike shiflet improvising with them. it was good, glitchy & rumbly with some nice tones. take had a guitar and apparently a large record that he played with a bow. gonzo had a bunch of electronics. shiflet seemed to use the same gear as before. i was walking to take later, and tried to get their "band name" and he said they're not a band: they just improvise, solo or together, so the only names i have to give are take and gonzo, which is how they were introduced. they were not on the flier, but they were worth seeing.
then there was a break while emil beaulieau and the rest set up.
emil beaulieau (aka rrron of rrr records) is one of the biggest names in american noise, and with good reason: he's pretty damn entertaining. his set was energetic and constantly changing, full of lots of good good grumbly crackly sounds and brief moments of near-clarity. he does this sort of twitchy, spastic dancing while he performs, looking like xanopticon having a seizure. he had a record player, a couple minidisc recorders, a mixing board, a contact mic, and a couple petals. he does wacky things like put his contact mic in his mouth and chew on it. he also has what looks like a taped-up tuna can, with a wire coming out of it (pretty clearly a pickup or contact mic): he would use this can and rub it on his hair or his face. very loud, very intense, very worth seeing. when he finished his set, he said "in case you didn't know, my name is bobby vomit." everyone laughed. (later on he continued the joke by saying chris from sickness was mike shiflet.)
after a few more mintues of setup, sickness played next. he had a big wooden board full of gear and petals and whatnot. he played for 15 minutes or so: an intense, glitchy, noisy assault with lots of distortion and skipping sounds. short and sweet.
finally came karlheinz. i had seen him once before when he played at a noise show in muncie, and this time was similar, but the studio wasn't in total darkness and he didn't turn on his strobe light at the end. i was very grateful for that. harsh, kind of industrial/power electronics. he kept his set fairly short also. when he finished it was only midnight: 6 acts in 2 and a half hours, with some gaps in between acts.
we packed up the truck, then went to see rrron and work out some last-minute trades. bobby traded a bunch of tapes and bought the special 20-year-memorial rrr box set (5x12"). i traded a t-shirt, a 12", and cds of maura & mono a mono for an emil beaulieau 12" and 5 cds. so we both went home with a good haul.
there were at most 30 people there, including 9 performers and the people who booked the show or worked for the venue, so not a big turnout. but bobby vomit got paid $10. then we drove back to muncie, where i crashed at bobby vomit's house before coming back to work today.