No Fun 2005
Two big questions:
Why were we (Sightings/Tom Smith) asked to attend?
There are many possible motives. Primarily, Carlos is an avid and increasingly effective networker. He enjoys the music that he promotes. While he likely prefers Fe-Mail - who I found to be almost perversely inane - over Sightings, he recognizes a need for balance in curatorial presentations.
This is not meant as a slag against Mr. Giffoni; No Fun is his baby, a reflection of his sensibilities. That I in no way share that aesthetic (except, of course, within the narrow aperture of coincidence) is ultimately of little import.
(I congratulate CG for another successful effort, and bade him not to ask me back should he in future ply more noise wares. 'Taint my milieu.)
Given the aforementioned discontinuities, why then did we agree to participate?
There are three excuses:
1) We took advantage of an opportunity to write and perform together again.
2) We knew how much fun it would be to blow three days of turgid, bellicose horseshit right out of the (Hook's fetid pools of standing) water.
3) We desired to celebrate Mark Morgan's return to the city after he'd endured five months of stewed carrots and Jesse McCartney mixtapes at a sordid Michigan teen ashram.
A prejudice often expressed:
I have long found noise music to be utterly, absolutely, intolerably dull. As hidebound as bluegrass (which I nonetheless enjoy), it is a joyless orthodoxy.
(Which may have been the point for Merzbow, but which seems to elude almost everyone else.)
It is to post-punk what Widespread Panic is to Albert Hofmann.
(In other words, not my cup of vermin. )
As I boarded my flight Monday morning at 6:15 AM, I found my biases had not been derailed.
Owing to our rehearsal schedule (and my general fatigue - no sleep Friday night), I saw only those performances occurring Sunday, March 20, and then only those after 9:30 PM.
None were in any way surprising, provocative, or stimulating. I found myself smiling the odd half-smile, but nothing more.
I would be remiss if I failed to note my regard of Joke Lanz (who I like very much as a person and performer), the members of Double Leopards (they are to be lauded for their exploratory ethos, regardless of the set they delivered Sunday - I'd love to work with them, although after reading this I fear they may not vouchsafe my calling card), and Peter Rehberg (whose duet with Lasse Marhaug was a godawful bore, but whose care in the selection and processing of sounds should not be undervalued).
Pita, most distressingly, cannot look you in the eye during a conversation. Always a warning sign. (Decent chap, though, and all that.)
I enjoyed seeing certain of my friends at the venue, but I was otherwise wholly disengaged from the event. I brought a good book.
End of scene report!
End of scene? Of course not. As we have learned from decades of zombie flicks, the dead, inevitably, become ambulatory. Noise has been dead forever. It has shambled many thousands of miles; it utters its baleful moan, and it congregates with others of its unfortunate ilk.
Me? I prefer John Philip Sousa.
His compositions were crippling in their martial hysteria. "U.S. Field Artillery March"? Total badass.
PS: Did anyone else notice how much weight John Olson has put on? (Canseco jabs, or marriage flab?) And that his new look (Tiny Tim, circa 1971) is marvelous?