Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Baltimore Round Robin

On October 7th I went to go check out the Baltimore Round Robin at the Tralf. Basically, this is a traveling variety show consisting of about 12 bands. The idea is that each band plays one song at a time, rotating around the room with the audience in the center. I arrived early, which gave me plenty of time to wander around and look at each of the different setups lining the perimeter of the venue. I was surprised to see only three drumsets, the rest of the bands seemed to be using combinations of old school analog electronics and laptops, as well as a healthy supply of effects pedals. I hadn't done much research into the groups that would be playing that night, so I had no idea what genre or style they would each be performing. All I knew is that it was themed towards dancing and moving around, as this was the "Feet Night" The previous day consisted of mostly acoustic and ambient artists that were meant to be watched calmly, so it was labelled "Eyes Night." This night was advertised as a mix of "Dance/Punk/Hardcore" and sounded like it was right down my alley.

It was pretty packed, filled with many of the usuals I see at dance parties and the various indie shows around town. When things started we all gathered close in a big huddle around the first guy to play, Dan Deacon, who was also the organizer of the event. He was this big friendly guy who just had a ton of energy and an odd sense of humor. Before he started playing he insisted that everyone "Find a stranger! Now I want you to get as close as you possibly can to their face and just stare at them! Now jog in place! But keep staring! Okay, everybody on the floor, get on your backs, but keep jogging! Now look at the people who aren't doing this with us!" Awesomely, almost everyone in the crowd went along with these activities, and only a few people sat out. It was a crazy enthusiastic group, and we were all more than happy to participate. He then instructed us to all get up, and the second we were back on our feet he busted into a super high energy dance song as the lights all went out and a green glowing plastic skull started strobing and the crowd went into a maniacal dance frenzy. It. Was. Nuts. And the show had only just begun.

I don't remember the exact order of the bands, but they coordinated so that while we were all facing one guy, the next band was getting into place and getting ready to play. So, the second a song ended, we'd hear music coming from behind us, and we all would turn around to watch the next band. The audience stayed wildly animated throughout the entire night, huddling close to each band and dancing like crazy. Some of the stand out artists were a guy who called himself Adventure, he played an upbeat chiptune style of dance music that sounds like the soundtrack to your favorite Nintendo games that don't exist. Nuclear Power Pants (I like that name...) played some punk flavored noise rock, but they all wore purple jumpsuits and giant foam green shark heads...except for the lead singers, who wore a conjoined twin business suit that fused them together at the sides. Everything was black lit around them as well, so it was like an eerie glowing mascot supergroup headed by a two headed punk rocker. Pretty fucking awesome. Future Islands were a favorite of mine, they played some really catchy new wave flavored dance rock, and the lead singer was this big chubby dude that kind of had a streak of that Jack Black "rock!" attitude, making grand gestures and singing his heart out.

It was a really surreal, schizophrenic, almost dreamlike experience at the time. You'd be enjoying a frantic old school techno track being played off of a laptop with projected visuals, then suddenly you turn around and there's a three piece hardcore band thrashing out a quick 2 minute anthem, you then turn to your right as you hear a bass line and now you're watching a girl with a microphone seductively crooning to a heavy slow distorted dance beat, and the second that ends there's an indie band rocking out and jumping around to your left. Each band played 3 songs, which was just the right amount. Every time it got back to Dan Deacon, he had another crazy activity for people to participate in. For the second song he made us get in a circle and have an aggressive dance off, you had to be as big and in your face as possible, then choose someone from the audience to take your place and bust some moves. After ten or so people showed their stuff, he beckoned us all in, and the music swelled to a fevered pitch as the strobe skull once again lit up the room and the crowd went wild. For his third song, he had people form pairs and hold hands while facing each other, then stand in a row to make a sort of tunnel. Does that make any sense? It's hard to describe....basically if you face someone, hold both of their hands, then hold your arms up together so that someone can crawl under the little bridge you've made. Each person would then crawl through, and when they get to the end, they formed another piece of the tunnel with the person who came out behind them, and so on. We were instructed to do this until the tunnel snaked out the exit doors, and all the way back in through the entrance. Dan Deacon exclaimed, "At some point, I should be completely alone in here!" We did it, it worked, he was, and it was awesome.

It was a really amazing show, and I've never been to anything quite like it.

I didn't have my camera, and I haven't found any photos of the Buffalo show, but here are a few awesome shots from the Baltimore performance.

_MG_1452, originally uploaded by pixelateit.

Future Islands, originally uploaded by pixelateit.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Gnomes & Indulgence

On September 3rd I went to see Mr. Gnome at Mohawk place, and I was literally the only person at the show. I'm not exaggerating. For the first two songs I was the lone audience member, standing all by myself. I made sure to cheer extra loud after each song, just to make sure they knew someone was out there, and maybe so they didn't feel like they were just practicing. Eventually, about 5 other people wandered over to watch, but I'm pretty sure they were in the other bands that had opened earlier that night. You can usually tell who these people are by their casual interest in what's going on. Anyone who came to the show with the intention of seeing the band is always front and center as soon as the sound check starts. As the set went on, the other observers slowly drifted away, once again leaving me as the sole observer. They're a two piece: female guitarist/vocalist and a guy playing the drums. It's a formula that's gotten popular recently, and I'm not complaining. I am a total sucker for a girl rocking out with a guitar, especially if it's in a low-fi duo where the music has been stripped down the barest elements and you're left with a raw mix of honesty and distortion. They put on a great show, and I have to say that I was really impressed by some of the crazy beats the drummer was hammering out, simultaneously super funky and precisely calculated. Like a drum machine with soul...I made sure to go chat with them both after the show, although I felt bad that I couldn't buy anything due to my severe lack of funds.

On September 19th I finally saw Mindless Self Indulgence live. They played a packed show at Town Ballroom, and all I have to say is this: Kids these days don't know how to cheer for an encore. The entire venue was packed to the brim, and it's a huge place, hundreds of people were there. The crowd went nuts the whole time, lots of great band/spectator interaction...however when they played their last song, instead of continuing to cheer and chant for an encore...everyone just stood there. I was baffled, I'd never seen anything like it...usually a crowd will either choose to disperse immediately, or more often they will chant wildly until the band comes out. I mean, that's just basic concert going 101, right? The band finishes, goes backstage, and will wait about five minutes to see if the crowd is up for another song. The road crew doesn't start breaking down the equipment yet, because it's expected that the band will come back out. I've often seen the crew and security encouraging the audience, gesturing for them to be as loud as possible, basically saying. "these guys are planning on coming out again, so your cheers will not be in vain." For whatever reason, everyone in the audience just stood silently and expectantly....then the road crew started breaking their shit down and people began to leave. I was pretty disappointed, but the rest of the show was great, so I can't complain.

Then, something happened that I really didn't expect. After 50% of the kids in the audience had left, and there were just a bunch of people like me sticking around for no reason...the band came out to hang out with the crowd. I was really impressed and it made me respect them quite a bit. Usually when a group gets to their level of fame, they stop giving a fuck about the fans and become bitter and jaded about their "unwanted celebrity status." However, I get the feeling that MSI knows who their audience is, and they appreciate them as much as they did when they were playing little venues for 30 people. The lead singer stuck around for a good 45 minutes, signing every single picture and ticket stub and taking pictures with anyone wanted one, giving big hugs and chatting away. It made me really happy, and of course I had to get in on it so I shook his hand. I've been a huge fan of these guys for the last 8 years now...they remain one of my favorite bands and I'm glad that seeing them live only cemented that fact.

I have to mention this too. There's this girl I went to high school with, Angel, who's in a local band that has a certain amount of fame. She was standing right up against the front of the stage, and at one point handed the lead singer a CD, her bands last album. He took it and said to the crowd, "Hey, cool! A demo CD! Big fucking mistake giving it to me though!' He then proceeded to bash it against the side of his head until the jewel case shattered into tiny shards, then took the actual CD and snapped it into about five little pieces. He held the broken fragments up to his ear while strutting back and forth on the stage, snapping his finger to the imaginary music coming from the obliterated album. "Wow, man, the way you guys merged thrash metal with a xylophone...genius!"

The photos below from the Buffalo show were shamelessly stolen from here.

There was also flurry of dance parties recently, and they've all blended together in my mind. None of them were really seems that I used to be able to write endless paragraphs about the nonsense that would occur, while now I just have nothing to say. I always have a ton of fun, but now that it's become a regular occurrence it's not as new and fascinating as it once was. I still see Natalie and Samantha routinely see at these things, and if I'm not there with anyone I'll usually dance with her crew. It's nice to know that there will be someone I know at these things, who don't mind that I'm always a drunk idiot. I constantly run into the spazzy kids as well. I'll try to "out spaz" them at least once at these events (an impossible task) They're like dance super heroes, seriously.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Voidologists: Live at Squeaky Wheel (Saturday)

The Saturday show went well, although I ran into some technical difficulties and had to switch around my setup. My delay pedal wasn't working, so rather than try to figure it out, I opted to just perform without it. I also ended up going through the board instead of my amp, so the speakers I played through were missing a layer of distortion. The result was a much more controlled, cleaner performance with an emphasis on subtle sounds instead of the usual ferocity and clashing contrasts. I also intentionally played more "robot" style sounds for the benefit of Kendra and Lauren, who both showed up to see me and take some awesome photos. I lost track of time and accidentally rushed through my set, only playing about 13 minutes, but it was a solid 13 minutes so I suppose it's okay.

It was an amazing week. The next goal is to try to promote myself and see if I can get an actual gig somewhere in town. There are enough house shows and warehouse venues around here that if I work hard enough, I just might be able to play again. I've gotten a really positive reaction from both people who are into noise and others who aren't at all. Kendra actually insists that I should start classifying my music as "robotica" instead of noise...I just might, although I still have to stay true to my roots. I've been doing this for over ten years now, and I'm honestly really proud of it all. I'd like to think that all that time spent playing and practicing alone has led me to a sound that can be appreciated by more than just...well, myself.

(Also, I got an award!)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Voidologists: Live at Squeaky Wheel (Wednesday)

Laura, Andy, my sister, and Kendra all came to see my show at Squeaky Wheel on Wednesday night. Stacey had made an amazing video of ridiculous distorted images, looped video, and some great retro 60's looking robots. I hadn't actually seen the whole thing, but I had total faith that it would be great. (and it was, there were many compliments on it after the show.)

I've always said that if even one person that I don't know shows up, I'll be ecstatic...and two people showed up! So I was double-happy. I was bonding with the one guy over Merzbow and noise in general, and the woman who showed up was actually one of the organizers of the Infringement Festival. She was excited to see my show, and we talked about how I do things and my passion behind all of this.

She even wrote a great review the next day on the Infringement blog:
"then over to Squeaky Wheel to see "The Voidologists" whom I had missed at the Noise Fest on Monday. I HAD to go see this act, which was described as a footnote on their promotional material as sounding "like a robot orgy in hell...gone wrong". I thought they deserved an audience just for their marketing acumen. "They" is a misnomer; "The Voidologists" are essentially one techy guy named Dave that puts it all together in his basement, backed by a video his sister made. That last sentence makes it sound like kid stuff; au contraire; this was the audiovisual equivalent of being run over by a tank, and enjoying the experience. I was thrilled. For those with an acquired taste, NOT to be missed. At Squeaky Wheel at 6pm on Saturday."

This entire experience continues to be surreal for me, it's just...amazing. Completely amazing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Voidologists Live at Burnwood

The most amazing part of the night was when I looked up after I finished playing, and there was a crowd of about twenty people cheering and applauding.

My noise has always been very private and personal. To be able to perform it live in front of an enthusiastic audience was incredible in a way that I can't even describe.

More pictures, video and audio will be posted soon. Next show is Wednesday, then Saturday...!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Headed out last night to go support Sherri, one of the bartenders at Soundlab, as she opened the show for Icy Demons. When I was paying the cover, the doorman remarked to his buddy, "Man, this guys is devout! He's always here. We should start giving him a discount or something." I just smiled and said, "Ah, you know it, I'm a regular." I joke all the time about how Soundlab is my home away from home. It really is the place in Buffalo that's kept me sane.

Sherri put on a great show, she plays this old school style of electro off of an MPC and a keyboard. I saw her once before at a little house party, but she always said that it wasn't really a good performance and that I should check out a more proper show. Her stage name is "Bev-Beverly" (I have no idea why) and her style is sort of a cross between modern house/dance and 8-Bit Nintendo sounds. What really makes it fun though, is her energy. She was really adorable paying, bouncing around, occasionally stopping to throw balloons into the air or a roll of streamers into the crowd (which nailed me right in the shoulder. I kept it going though, by launching it towards some unenthusiastic hipsters that just watched it hit the floor...) She even had a little machine pouring a sea of bubbles into the air, which provided the perfect atmosphere for the small group of dancing girls nearby. There was a companion video being projected in the background while she played, a colorful mix of random images and animations. At one point there was a cluster of cute hamster photos, animated to be dancing and shooting rainbows out of their mouths. Sherri's hard to describe, but that little sequence represents this girl better than I could ever explain.

I was really excited to see Icy Demons, I'd heard a lot of good things, and I liked what I heard on their myspace page. I even really liked the crazy insane pink and black tiger t-shirt they had for sale. I do this all the time, I'll just randomly go to a show and 9 times out of 10, it turns out to be awesome. Well, this was the 1 time out of 10 where it just sucked. They weren't really bad, I guess, but I just wasn't into it at all...maybe it was the fact that they kept going a little off key, maybe it was that the music was too "jam band" for me, or maybe it was that 3 out of the 6 members were wearing different versions of that tiger t-shirt. I'm sorry, but no band member should ever, ever wear their own bands t-shirt on stage. Or off stage, for that matter. I mean...come on. Lame. So I bailed early, mid performance at around 12:30. I had been bugging Kendra to come to the show with me all night, and now I'm kind of glad that she opted to stay home instead. Turned out to be a wise decision. I've brought Laura and Andy to a few shows that turned out to be horrible, and now I have a bit of a reputation with them for picking awful bands out. I'd like to have a better track record, but the way I go to shows there's always the random element, it's a gamble for quality.

Despite the lame main act, I'm still totally glad that I made it out. I haven't been getting a lot of sleep lately and my brain has just been feeling like it's slowly melting into a pile of goo. You'd think I would just go to bed earlier, or stay in more. You'd think that...and yet I'm going out anyway. There are shows for the next two nights, then my High School Reunion is on Saturday, followed by a dance party, which means I'll be drinking A LOT. A whoooole lot of a lot.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mind = Exploded

This is something I never, ever, EVER thought I'd see in an Artvoice show listing:

I am so excited and proud right now...this is so huge. Awesome. Just awesome.

Boris at The Tralf

I arrived early enough to catch the opening Torche set, which was just some in your face metal. I mean, when the guitarist has a handlebar mustache, you KNOW he means fucking business. When they launched into their last song, a smoke machine filled the air with obscuring clouds, and when it cleared, we could all see the drummer from Boris, who had jumped up onto the stage...and started playing a gong. Yes, a full size gong. He then hopped onto a second drum set and alternated between the two, banging the hell out of both as Torche thundered their way onward. It may have been one of the most metal moments of my life.

When Boris did take the stage, they put on a pretty great show. I'm kind of a casual fan, but I still really dig their style and ability to create an ocean of guitar noise. That, and I can stand and watch a cute Japanese girl play the guitar forever and never get bored. Seriously. I was kind of disappointed by the crowd, everyone was so subdued, but really I think we were all just in awe of the mighty entity that is Boris. They don't really inspire moshing or even head banging, it's more of a zen like trance you fall into while listening to the impossibly dense and deafeningly heavy riffs. I'm really glad I went, because I don't know if I 'll ever have a chance to see them again. It's pretty amazing that they're even doing a US tour, I never would have expected to catch these guys in Buffalo.

Below are few edited clips from the show as witnessed through the eyes of my cell phone. The audio is awful, but it does give a sense of the intensity of the show, so I kept it, in all of its low quality glory.

Friday, July 11, 2008


My good buddy Dave is living in Boston these days, so I don't get to see him as often as I'd like. Still, his family is in Buffalo, so when a holiday rolls around, he always makes the effort to squeeze in at least an hour or two for us to catch up. We used to hang out at Higher Grounds, the only independent coffee shop in the suburbs...until it closed and became a furniture store. So this time it was Anderson's, the local ice cream parlor. It was great to see both him and his wife. Somehow I ended up just telling these long winding stories about the last few months of my apparently eventful life. It had been a few months since we talked, and I hadn't realized just how much has happened during that time. I did my best to condense it into a few short stories, which they did seem to be really entertained by.

Another highlight of seeing Dave is that he always brings me a big bag of experimental music. You see, one of his buddies in Boston is a DJ for a radio station, and the guy constantly gets CD's submitted to him by artists hoping to get air time. A lot of the stuff he gets is really avant-garde, out there material that wouldn't fit with his show. So he asked Dave, "would you want a pile of CD's with music that is just too weird to be played on an indie radio show?" And Dave said, "No , but I know someone who would..."

Every time I get a pile of this music it's like Christmas and my birthday multiplied by magic. One of my biggest joys is discovering new artists, especially ones that play experimental, ambient and just straight up noisy crazy ridiculous audio nonsense. These albums are just a goldmine of that mans rejected music is anothers treasure. Not only that, but as a big fan of the "do it yourself" mindset, I love seeing the handmade packaging and the gorgeous artwork that these albums always come packaged in. My favorite so far from this latest batch is a guy who plays improvisations using a stereo DJ mixer. Nothing hooked up to it at all, it's just the mixer. He found a way to get screeching, squeaking noises from the thing, and recorded an entire album of it. Why, you may ask yourself, would anyone bother to not only spend time doing such a thing, but then make an album and release it? Because, of course, someone like me will find it, listen to it and love it. I am a huge, huge fan of music as art, and I'm just a total sucker for stuff like this. It also encourages me to keep working on my own projects, in the hopes that somewhere out there, someone will stumble across my album and genuinely enjoy it. I'll actually be selling my albums for the first time at the end of July when I play at Squeaky Wheel...big step for me, but I'm totally excited. If even one person picks up a CD of mine and likes it...that would blow my mind...the very concept is awesomely surreal.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fuck Yeah Fest 2008

I can't even come close to describing how good this show was. It will do it no justice, you have to go watch the video, here, (click on the "Buffalo is Great" vhs.) Every band was amazing, but what really made the night was the performance by Monotonix.

I'd heard a lot of hype about them, I'd seen the crazy photos and I'd heard the stories. Yet none of that prepared me for the real thing. I have a new standard by which to judge shows now. The drummer was set up right in the middle of the floor, with the crowd surrounding him, and the vocalist just came rocketing in spraying bottles of water everywhere as the guitarist tore up the most ridiculous riff I've ever heard...from that point it just became a straight up rock riot. If there was a surface to climb onto, the singer would leap from it into the crowd, people started climbing up on the tables and bar to get a better view as most of us were banging out heads and moshing right next to and into the band. After each song they would pick up the drum set and move it further into the venue, at one point half the band was on the bar itself (along with the bass drum, which the vocalist was playing with the kick pedal, right along with the beat) while kids crowd surfed and crashed into each other, the singer kept grabbing random peoples drinks and pouring them on the drummer/himself/the crowd, and all of this while the music never stopped, and he never stopped was the most insane and impressive performance I have ever seen. Not only were they going ballistic, but they still were really fucking good...I'm amazed they were able to produce the sounds they did while running all over the place.

Eventually the drum set moved close enough to the door that they just picked it up and brought it outside, so we all followed, and by some bizarre coincidence in the universe, there just happened to be a passing jam band out there, a saxophone player, along with a few friends of his that played other brass instruments. So now we're all outside, with the drummer still going full speed, accompanied by saxophones and trumpets, as the vocalist is singing and dancing and we're all clapping along with him. So then they pick up the drums again, and run across the street closer to a little park area where they set up again. At one point a guy was crowd surfing while playing a piece of the drum set...outside Soundlab at 2 in the morning. I tried to snap a few quick photos but my phone couldn't handle the pure rock fury. What I have are manic, blurred pictures that are indistinguishable yet full of movement. They're actually a pretty damn accurate representation of the night. I don't think anything will ever top this show. (Not unless I see this band again.) Fucking EPIC.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

"Wednesday Night Rock Show"

When I arrived at Soundlab Wednesday night for the Times New Viking show, Sleeping Kings of Iona were once again on stage as the first opening act. That makes it my third time seeing them open in...about 11 days. They've just been consistently awesome each time, and I'll definitely be making it a point to seek them out when I can, instead of only randomly stumbling onto them at other shows. During their set I couldn't help but watch this one girl in the audience dance her little heart out. She always has her boyfriend in tow, who stands next to her and bobs up and down awkwardly. It's in that way that all guys will half-dance when they feel they need to participate with their girl, but they don't want to go all out because no one else is dancing. What made it so adorable was that she was dancing like a little kid who was excited about going to an amusement park. It was this bouncy, jumpy, bopping all over kind of jig. Normally when a girl dances, it's all, you know, hot. This was just really cute, like a puppy hugging a kitten.

The next opening act was a rapper from Ohio called Envelope. He was an average looking white guy, but he managed to pull off the hip-hop act by being humorously self deprecating and completely humble. He was actually really good, the guy knew how to rhyme and had this funny and endearing style. My favorite line of the night was 'building my body like Homer J, drinking vodka mixed with ocean spray" After the show, I picked up his album and he gave me a free 7" and... a pint glass. That may be the most original (and useful) piece of merch I've ever gotten at a show.

Times New Viking were good, blasting through a set of their signature distorted noise-pop-punk. For a drummer, guitarist and keyboardist, they sure managed to make an impressive racket. Their albums are recorded on old-school reel to reel tape, so they have this texture of noise that musicians normally spend thousands of dollars trying to remove. Not these guys, they've embraced it...and not only that, they found a way to recreate it live. (At one point the drummer summed this up when he was mocking the guitarist for spending so long tuning, "if you've ever heard any of our records, you know we're perfectionists.") I can't remember the reason, but they also opened a bottle of champagne to pass between them and through the crowd. A few brave souls actually drank form it, but the rest of us were a bit too sober to go near that cauldron of backwash.

After people watching for a while, I started to think about the different types of people that show up to these mid-week rock shows. The only girls there are always part of a couple. Any time I've ever seen a lone female, she was either dating a guy in one of the bands, or was actually in one of the bands. That's the second component of the crowd, the band members who aren't actually on stage yet. Of the 30 people there for this show, 10 where band members. The rest of the crowd is made of of the guys like me. We're there to see the show, so we stand right up front with rapt attention during the performance, but inbetween bands we sit quietly by and nurse a beer, listening to the mix CD being played on the house speakers and waiting patiently for the next group to finish setting up. Occasionally we'll chat with each other or the bartender, but I think we all prefer to just chill. I don't mind too much, though I wouldn't mind having some company. The trick is finding someone that will stay all the way to the end, through every band and then hang out long enough to say "hi" to the musicians and buy merch. I used to drag The Ex to these shows, and she'd always make a fuss and complain enough to get us out of there early. Or, if we did stay, she'd make sure I knew how bored she was by sitting in a corner and knitting while the band performed. It put a sour note on some great shows. So, compared to that bullshit, I really don't mind occasionally going by myself. In fact, since I started going alone again, I've rediscovered how much I abso-fucking-lutely love live music. Ah, good times.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Music Acquisition

Lately I've been rocking out to every Billy Talent song I hear on the radio so I figured it was about time I bought one of their albums. There haven't really been any "mainstream" radio bands recently that I've been compelled listen to outside of a casual background environment, but shit, this is good. Catchy as fuck and great for driving and singing along badly to. Also grabbed the latest Holy Fuck CD, which happily is more of the same crazy low-fi casio jam rock that I do so enjoy. Normally if I know a band is coming through town I'll wait to buy their album at the show, I figure it helps them out more that way, adds a little cash for gas money and travel expenses (beer.) However they've played here twice since I saw first saw them them a year or so back, and I missed both shows. By the time they roll around again they'll probably have something new out

The real prize of my latest Record Theatre trip was the gorgeous Boris with Merzbow vinyl. It has a beautiful die-cut cover, huge, amazing photos of the band in the gatefold, and best of all, all three records were pressed on this absolutely ridiculous orange vinyl. It's also a solid album, though I haven't gotten all the way through it...been repeating the B side of the first record. It's interesting, because it's not a noise album. It's essentially a Boris album, with them performing their usual style of doom rock, and Merzbow is sitting in with the band, adding a layer of noise as texture. It works really, REALLY well, and I'd actually recommend this to people who aren't into noise but would like to hear some of what Merzbow's "sound" is. (Another phenomenal album like this is Alec Empire vs Merzbow, recorded live at CBGB's. Noisy as fuck and definitely harder than this album, but really accessible at the same time.) Boris will be here in about month and I'm definitely planning on being there.

On Sunday I saw Silver Apples at Mohawk, which was really an honor. I don't know much about them, but they were pioneers back in the early 70's, making ambient electronic music decades before its time. I keep saying "they" but for the show I saw it was just the frontman, Simeon, who stood on stage and manipulated a bunch of audio oscillators while singing. (On the original recordings there was a drummer, but it seems that he's been replaced by a drum machine.) They weren't really appreciated back in the day, so standing in a small venue with just 30 other people while he played probably felt very similar to what the shows were like over thirty years ago. For just a moment I felt like I'd traveled through time...

Sleeping Kings of Iona opened with their newest line up, and I swear I went to high school with the drummer...but maybe not...didn't get a chance to ask. Anyway, they were the best I've ever seen them. One of the founding members left, along with a few others, but the sound they've got now is much tighter. I've never been a really huge fan, but they won me over that night. Plus, how can you not love a band that describes themselves like this: "Sleeping Kings of Iona is an electronic band from Buffalo, NY. We like the sound of things clattering. We like what bumps and what beep beeps."