Sunday, May 01, 2005


drbmd & i took half days on friday and met up at my house in the afternoon. we knew the show wouldn't start until after 9pm so we weren't in a hurry to leave. we watched kickboxer from hell, then packed up and headed to cincinnati.

we arrived at dj empirical's apt around 8pm local time. the three of us piled into my car and went to a nearby indian restaurant. apparently dje goes there a lot. it was pretty good but not outstanding. drbmd really enjoyed it, as it'd been some time since he'd had indian food. i don't remember what the place is called.

after that we stopped to get coffee at a place called sitwell's. it was supposed to be a brief stop but service was so slow that it probably took 10 minutes or more despite there not being any real line. then off again, winding through the confusingly knotlike cincinnati roads to the mockbee.

the mockbee is a really cool space, with that "italian restaurant" walls-falling-apart look and huge arched ceilings. there was art all over the place. i would have liked it without qualification if i had roadies. but the performance space was on the second floor and we had to park half a block away, so that wasn't too cool. it was in fact the worst load-in/load-out i've had in some time.

there was some antiwar meeting, then some guy who played a lute or something like that (then unfortunately switched to guitar later on). then it was time for the bad taste crew. the show had to end by midnight (i don't know why; it just did), so we only had 90 minutes or so for all of us (unszene, bobby vomit, me, dr. butcher m.d., and realicide), so everyone's sets were pretty short.

unszene played with his usual array of electronics, pedals, tape decks, and samplers. it was loud and hard. one of his tape decks wasn't cooperating so he threw it to the floor and it pieces of it flew off. smash smash.

bobby vomit played next. in addition to old modified turntables, he also used his numark ttx1 (high-end digital turntable), which was new to me. very short set; he wore an army helmet and when he finished his set he made a statement about dead soldiers and threw it to the ground. it made a clanking sound.

i played next. the PA was very loud, and i tried to turn my stuff down but it was still loud, so i just played. i had compiled a bunch of antiwar material, most of which was pretty harsh, and the whole set came out sounding very harsh and skittery. i struggled to find grooves or moments of clarity but it was difficult. later, while listening to drbmd's set, i realized that the PA was fairly distorted, which definitely impacted my performance. then i mixed in a recording of bush's press conference from the previous night, which was the only clean-sounding stuff in my whole set. (later, bobby vomit mentioned that he had also recorded the press conference.) i didn't think it was a particularly good performance, but apparently bobby got a recording, so maybe i'll have a different opinion when i hear that. it sounded very harsh, and it was hard to tell what i was doing, but maybe it wasn't as bad as i thought.

then drbmd played, and like i said, the PA was obviously distorted. but it was cool; spastic noise that gradually evolved into beats. those who weren't familiar with the material probably wouldn't have noticed that it was distorted. it still sounded good, just not how it was supposed to sound.

finally came robert inhuman, as realicide (i thought the group had other members; i don't know where they were). his set involves several microphones, an old speaker, screaming, and tons of feedback. it was very loud and abrasive, as you might expect. at one point he somehow mic'ed the speaker and was getting quite a broad palette of sound out of it. later he even crawled up inside the speaker, to the great excitement of the crowd.

then it was over; we loaded out and drove back to indy. the dr crashed in the guest room at my house. unszene and bobby vomit drove back separately: see bobby vomit's post for another perspective.

the next day, drbmd discovered that he had no other obligations, which is somewhat rare for a weekend. i suggested we could go to the movies, and soon enough we had decided to go to the key and see in the realms of the unreal, and to eat at the mexican restaurant nearby.

the restaurant, mi pueblito, was pretty good. we were the only customers in there, and i suspect there was only one guy working, who both served us and cooked our food. but it was pretty good: everything was fresh and tasty down to the tortillas and salsa. i'd be happy to go back some time.

in the realms of the unreal is a documentary about outsider artist henry darger. darger was a quiet man who worked as a janitor at various hospitals, not really talking to anyone aside from his coworkers or immediate neighbors. not until he was on his death bed did anyone discover the work: countless paintings, some immense, and thousands of pages of writing, including possibly the world's longest novel at 15,000+ pages. he left behind only three photos of himself, and was known by precious few, so the bulk of the movie is told through his work: narrators reading from his autobiography and the novel, while the paintings come to life on the screen. it was pretty interesting, and very different.

finally, we briefly stopped at the thrift store there by the key. i grabbed a couple records (they appear to be books from the bible on vinyl, two discs out of a box set; the rest of the set was not to be found) and a framed cardboard picture of billy ray cyrus. it was $1.21 and i figured it would be easy enough to alter artistically. the woman at the register seemed concerned: "you don't look like a billy ray cyrus fan." apparently the thing had been back there for a long time. then we were off back home and soon drbmd was on his way back to anderson.