Sunday, June 19, 2005

the funeral party experimental extravaganza

this was a great show! there were enough people there that it never felt empty (until pretty late, anyway), and the performances were pretty fun.

amanmonfire went first, though he almost didn't because none of us knew what he looked like! but he managed to introduce himself to the right people and got set up onstage. he had an electric guitar that he ran through a big board full of pedals (at least 6-8). though he kind of "played" the guitar at times, he mostly seemed to be using it to generate signal that he could manipulate with his pedals. it was pretty cool.

next was luke warm bodies (at best), a four-piece with guitar, drums, bass, and electronics. i was pleasantly surpised to discover that i knew the bass player, dave (also in the dream is dead and any number of other bands), but hadn't seen him in years. their sound ranged from relatively straightforward "hardcore"/post-whatever to some pretty psychedelic stuff that reminded me of nurse with wound, where musicians would put down their primary instrument and pick up a whistle or small flute, or something similarly out of left field. they were probably the only act of the night with the "traditional" guitar/drum/bass format, but they didn't really seem out of place as can often happen at these types of shows.

after a bit of a break for setup/teardown, velvet played. velvet is the female half of the funeral party: sardonyx and hallow weener. hallow played cello and sardonyx played keys and strings (i couldn't see her from where i was sitting), all run through delay fx. it was cool and mellow, almost haunting at times.

i went next, my first performance using my new mixer. i must say that having a sampler built into my mixer really helps when i'm having problems with my cd decks. at first it took me a couple minutes to realize i was getting no sound out of channel 4 (cd deck 2), before realizing that i'd hooked the cables into "line A" but the input switch was on "line B". a simple flick of the switch fixed that.

but later i had a new glitch where i inserted a cd and it just started playing (i think it was also playing too fast), but no timecode or anything came on the display. it just played, and i couldn't control it at all. it sounded cool, though. then the second drive did it too. in the past this would've been a crisis, as rebooting the drives to fix the glitch would cause an obvious gap (which i could somewhat fill with the kaoss pad, but not as seamlessly). but i just took a live sample with the mixer, looped it, and rebooted my cd decks without the audience ever knowing there was a problem.

despite these technical problems, i thought my set went really well. because my watch broke a few weeks ago, i didn't know what time it was nor what time i'd started, so i just reached a stopping place and completed my set. then hallow came up and said "you can play a 20-minute set", to which i replied "i can't tell time". so i played a second set, an "encore" if you will, which i also thought went pretty well.

after another break came the funeral party, the guests of honor. the funeral party is the two ladies of velvet plus two guys: tj and antonius (though i don't know which is which). i think theirs was my favorite performance of the night, including all sorts of instruments such as strings, vocals, keys, theremin, congo, fx, and found objects used for percussion. christiebelle came out in full makeup and elaborate hairdo to recite the vocals for one song, which did not go as planned.

otto was scheduled to go next with his "experimental comedy" but by this point it was late (about 2am) and he bravely gave up most of his time in order to speed up the show, telling only a couple jokes. the last act of the night was soulspun, though unfortunately it was now time for me to go so i missed their set.

realicide didn't perform. when i got home i had an email from robert inhuman explaining that they'd shown up at the venue way too early (like 5 hours early) for what would've been the last stop on their tour, with little food, and robert himself suffering "a very disorienting cold". knowing that the bill was already quite full (in fact, i hadn't realized but there was actually another show at the melody inn before ours at 7:30), after some discussion they spontaneously decided to just head home early. they figured that with the lineup as full as it was, their absense wouldn't be too noticeable, and might even help the event by freeing up some time. they were probably right, as the show did get off track even without them, and if they'd been there we would've been even more off schedule. but everyone who came got to perform. (sardonyx and hallow's solo project rosethorns were both on the schedule but apparently cut, though not a big deal as both had already performed, and an "improvisational jam" had been scheduled to happen at the end of the night but probably didn't.)

i met some guy named john who's in a local experimental band called bay big odd back, who's been somewhat unable to find shows to play in the area. he told me all about technique, which involves triggering kaoss pads (which he called "kaoss pedals") using traditional instruments, & traded me a cd called rodina which he said is "a prequel to miles davis's pangaea." i'm listening to it now and it's pretty cool. we should get in touch with these guys whenever we put on our next bad taste show. at one point in the evening, john told me "i know some people in chicago who think your music is the best music ever." i didn't know what to make of that, especially since i've never performed in chicago. (weird, considering chicago's special relationship to indianapolis, and that i've somehow managed to play all over indiana & ohio but not so much in illinois.)