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Some reasons Death By Audio was probably the best NYC venue ever

November 13, 2014 By: M*P* Lockwood Category: news

I’ll let you count the reasons yourself. But I’m serious. Death By Audio may be the best music venue that New York City has ever had. Sadly, the beloved DIY-style Brooklyn space is closing up at the end of November due to Vice taking over the entire block (Glasslands is also out) but it has had an amazing run.

My claim might seem like exaggeration. Certainly NYC has had a number of legendary music venues. There are probably some which can boast a more impressive list of legendary bands they’ve hosted (though DBA is no slouch on that front). But great bands are only a part of what makes a venue ITSELF great. The comments are open for any debate, but before formulating any argument, consider the following questions:

  • Were the people who worked at the venue NICE?
  • Were the bands always treated and paid fairly?
  • Was the sound always great?
  • Could you buy a drink for cheap?
  • Did you feel safe and welcome there?
  • Did shows start and end (mostly) on time?
  • Would you get a response when you tried to book a show there?
  • Did they give weird noise bands a shot?
  • Would they book a band because they’re nice people and make great music even if they don’t have big “draw”?
  • Was every show a bill where the bands had something in common and you’d want to see them all?
  • Could bands run through the crowd or smash instruments without being kicked out or security intervening?

At Death by Audio the answer to every one of these was YES, and that’s not the end of my list. Unlike some similar DIY spaces, Death By Audio has been entirely music-focused with a dedicated room for bands to play in, of the perfect small-but-not-tiny size, with a stage (which bands can play on or not). Bands don’t have to worry about knocking an art installation off the walls or breaking the residents’ dishes. (I love those sorts of spaces too, but am still counting this as a plus.) Tireless booker and sound-guy Edan has always been incredibly easy to work with. He also happens to be my personal favorite between-band DJ. (At most shows I’ve been to he just puts on a Sightings album. Seriously, how could you do better?)

So, are there still any other contenders for NYC’s best music venue?

I’ll concede one negative: no outside space for smokers. There’s also no back stage or “green room” but seriously what kind of rock stars need that? So thank you Death By Audio for showing us a better way and let us hope more venues will follow in your footsteps. (There are some others carving out a legacy: Silent Barn, Shea Stadium, more) There are still some more shows coming up, most listed as “Special Guest” or “Top Secret” and which are guaranteed to be something great, so you should probably see as many as you can.

I’ve collected some of my favorite photos taken in recent years at Death by Audio HERE.

 

Ende Tymes noise fest is coming May 24-26, support now!

May 06, 2013 By: M*P* Lockwood Category: news, shows

The massive and awesome Ende Tymes noise fest is returning to Brooklyn in a few short weeks, May 24-26, and there’s an indiegogo page to raise funding. But this is not just a donation deal, you can buy a weekend pass (which you were going to do anyway, RIGHT?) or for those who cannot attend, you can get mixtapes, posters, an MP3 archive of recordings of every performance (!!!), or other good stuff.

THIS ENDS TODAY and just a few more people are needed to reach the goal. GO DO IT.

Ende Tymes Poster

I don’t want to play favorites, but … well, yes I do. Here are a few favorites slated to perform: Aaron Dilloway, Pod Blotz, Justin Marc Lloyd, I’d M Thfft Able, Long Distance Poison, Clang Quartet, Macronympha, work/death … LOTS more. It’s all happening at the Silent Barn , organized by the hard-working Bob Bellerue, and should be an outrageous good time. GET THOSE TICKETS TODAY!

 

International Noise Conference Now + pre-shows

February 10, 2012 By: M*P* Lockwood Category: news, photos, shows

Ironing in Gainesville

Just a quick note that I’m down in Miami at the International Noise Conference and I’m trying to catch some photo and video to share. You can follow No-Core on Twitter and I’ll probably be posting up some comments during the show. My own project Radio Shock plays on Saturday around midnight, surrounded by countless other amazing bands.

Mine Canary at pre-INC show in St.Petersburg FL 2012

Mine Canary at pre-INC show in St.Petersburg

I was at a couple of the pre-INC shows in St. Petersburg and in Gainesville, and both were awesome fun with amazing acts. Mine Canary, pictured above were a highlight in St. Pete, doing hyper beats with bent electronic toys. Another highlight in St. Pete was Tree (see video) who played drums and some kind of rack mount oscillator thingamajig at the same time.

There is a set of photos at No-Core on Flickr – a few of my favorites below:

at pre-INC show in Gainesville 2012

Not sure who this was at pre-INC show in Gainesville

Names Divine at pre-INC show in Gainesville 2012

Names Divine at pre-INC show in Gainesville

Drums Like Machine Guns at pre-INC show in Gainesville 2012

Drums Like Machine Guns at pre-INC show in Gainesville

pre-order Leslie Keffer’s new LP

February 09, 2012 By: M*P* Lockwood Category: albums, news

Leslie Keffer, accomplished noise-maker and scene reporter (at her Noisebloid blog) is putting out her next LP via pre-orders on Kickstarter. I’ll admit to initially having mixed feelings about Kickstarter, but if you use it like this, then it’s a pretty cool thing. You’re basically just pre-ordering some awesome music, with lots of packages at different price scales, and with reassurance that your money won’t just disappear. You can get the mp3 version of the new album for just $5!

Leslie has put out records on several cool noise labels, but she’s aiming to do this one fully DIY. Her latest noise has become a kind of electronic bliss-drone with danceable beats mixed in. Jam this track below and see what I mean. Then hit up the Kickstarter page and support! Valentine’s Day at midnight is when the offer ends.

Best Albums of 2011

December 31, 2011 By: M*P* Lockwood Category: albums, news

Hey. I have a blog. That means I get to do one of those goofy “best of 2011” lists! Okay, so this is pretty much a list of every album I got in 2011, but all of these rule. More caveats: They are in no particular order. I’m sure there’s other good stuff I didn’t hear, but I’m pretty confident if I listened to anyone else’s best-of list, these would still come out on top. **UPDATE: now with links, several are free downloads**

Meager Sunlight/Skeleton Warrior split 12″

I’ve definitely listened to this record repeatedly the most times this year, just flipping and flipping it. One side dark synth jams that could have literally been major radio hits in 1988. Other side mutant synth jams part DEVO, part Oingo Boingo, part bizarro.
Get it from Hot Releases or More Records.

Unicorn Hard-On/Container split 12″

Unicorn Hard-On’s track “Persian Cats” is just about song of the year and makes this split worth it alone. the other UHO track is great too and Container does “minimal techno” or maybe “fake techno” AKA the genre that noise became in 2011.
Also from More Records and Hot Releases.

AIDS Wolf “Ma vie banale avant-garde”

Epic abstract harsh guitar tracks. Still torch-carriers of the no wave bad vibes.
Get it from Lovepump (free download by mailing SASE).

Mincemeat or Tenspeed “Games of Chance”

Best Mincemeat or Tenspeed album? More headbanging noise but freakier sounds and tighter changes. Davey (dude behind this project) calls this “fake techno” too but uh… this would definitely still be half on the noise side of the fence.
Get it from Harshnice.

White Suns “Waking in the Reservoir”

Ah, a refreshing blast of negative noise-grind-dirge to wash yourself clean from all that reverbey indie-hippie nonsense.
Get it from ugExplode.

Dead Rider “The Raw Dents”

Slick and skilled and unsettling and really kinda OFF in a weird way – all at the same time.
Get it from Tizona.

Gay Beast “To Smithereens”

As good as their last one “second wave” but this seems to have been overlooked by most people, maybe because the band split up before it came out and weren’t able to support & promote it. Compositionally ambitious prog/no wave.
Get it from Skin Graft.

Black Pus “Primordial Pus”

Rocking drum-n-noise numbers. Kind of unhinged and spontaneous compared to the Black Pus 4 album, but with more blood sweat and tears.
Get it from Load Records.

Dick Neff “Dunce Slap”

Okay, apologies to Black Pus, but I think Dick Neff one-upped him at the one-drummer-noise-band thing. Lance (dude behind this project) calls this “fake metal” and it is heavy. Triggered synth tones fight each other as he drums like a maniac and everybody wins! The heaviest metal band that’s neither metal nor band.
Get it from Lance himself, I guess whenever you see him somewhere.

Mutwawa “Mayan Mutations”

Totally ruling merger of beats, noise, samples with a sci-fi/conspiracy theme. Sinister and tense and mind-blowing awesome.
Download it free from Free Music Archive.

Skoal Kodiak “Kryptonym Bodliak”

This is like what I was hoping !!! would sound like, but didn’t. Post-apocalyptic funk played by mutants and malfunctioning robots.
Get it from Load Records.

Dog Leather “Greezy Man and Stinky Man”

So this album did seem kind of short and half the tracks felt a little like filler, but the meat of it was still great even if it’s really sort of an EP. It’s probably too much to hope that this heralds a return of the goofball pseudo-music noise bands – last heard from around the time when we had Danse Asshole, Meerk Puffy, Wolf Eyes’ first album on Bulb… But I can dream!
Get it from Ehse Records (free download available).

Satanized “Technical Virginity”

Pretty much no one else touching this caliber of complex, skilled, aggressive music today  (outside of metal).
Get it from Skin Graft.

Doomsday Student “A Jumper’s Handbook”

Most of the Arab on Radar crew reunite and make what’s basically more Arab on Radar music. Nary a disco beat in sight, just atonality, dissonance, shrill shrieky guitars and voices. Yeah, it’s been done, but it was done by most of these same guys and I kind of wish there were more people making this music so welcome back boys.
Get it from Anchor Brain.

Men’s Room tape

Like HEALTH in an AmRep world or something. Way, way blown out and effected-into-oblivion guitars with rock drums and unintelligible vocals. Sounds kind of like garage rock pushed into the red until it becomes industrial noise.
Download it free from Bandcamp.

last second entry: Bloodhuff tape

Just grabbed this tape literally yesterday! Some Providence noise girls doing something sort of like punk rock. Every once in a while something like this convinces me that maybe punk rock is still a good idea. The sound is pretty subterranean and the vocals are almost strangely prominent but the weirdness of the sound only helps. Urgent and weird and spooky. Hard to say if something I only listened to once yesterday has earned its place on a “best of” list, but I’ve got a hunch this is better than that Iceage album everyone raves about but I still haven’t heard.
Get it from Price Tapes (free download available).

 

Foot Village fall east coast tour 2011

October 01, 2011 By: M*P* Lockwood Category: dates, news

Foot Village, the all-drumming-and-shouting-and-nothing-else band, starts an east coast tour today with their appearance at the All Tomorrow’s Parties event in Jersey! And they’ve made this fun little tour commercial:

The rest of the dates are as follows, including a Brooklyn show next weekend!

Mon 3 – Baltimore, MD @ Floristree
Tue 4 – Greensboro, NC @ CFBJ with Ear Pwr
Wed 5 – Cleveland, OH @ Now That’s Class with Cloud Nothings
Thurs 6 – Columbus, OH @ Skylab
Fri 7 Philadelphia, PA @ Pi Lam with Dustin Wong
Sat 8 – Providence, RI @ AS220
Sun 9 – Brooklyn, NY @ Death By Audio

 

AIDS Wolf fall 2011 tour dates – w/ Unicorn Hard-On!

August 20, 2011 By: M*P* Lockwood Category: dates, news

I got these tour dates in my email and my first reaction was “Huh, why is this person sending this to me?” but then I thought “Oh wait, I do a blog! Maybe this is one of those promotional things!” along with “It sure would be great if all the bands I liked emailed me their tour dates so I don’t have to pay attention to Facebook.” And so to encourage y’all to do just that, I am presenting here AIDS Wolf’s fall tour dates! Several of these are with the awesome Unicorn Hard-On, whom I’ve raved about plenty before. (AIDS Wolf video at the bottom)

10/20/11 – Brooklyn, NY @ Death By Audio
10/21/11 – Cleveland, OH @ Now That’s Class
10/22/11 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
10/23/11 – Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
10/24/11 – Iowa City, IA @ Gabe’s Oasis
10/25/11 – Lawrence, KS @ Replay Lounge
10/26/11 – Normal, OK @ Opolis
10/27/11 – Austin, TX @ 29th St. Ballroom @ Spide
10/28/11 – Denton, TX @ Rubberglove
10/29/11 – Hot Springs, AR @ tba
10/30/11 – Birmingham AL @ Firehouse
10/31/11 – Athens, GA @ Farm 255

11/3/11 – Miami, FL @ Churchill’s
11/4/11 – Tampa, FL @ Crowbar
11/5/11 – Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub
11/6/11 – Atlanta, GA @ 529
11/7/11 – Chapel Hill, NC @ Nightlight
11/8/11 – Harrisonburg, VA @ Festival Ballroom at JMU

11/10/11 – Washington DC @ Comet Ping Pong
11/11/11 – New York, NY @ 92Y Tribeca
11/12/11 – Binghamton, NY @ Pajama Kazama
11/13/11 – Boston, MA @ Church of Boston

All October dates w/ Henry and Hazel Slaughter; all November dates &
Halloween show w/ Unicorn Hard-On

And here’s AIDS Wolf playing a song at their practice space:

 

You can now help the Silent Barn!

July 20, 2011 By: M*P* Lockwood Category: news

at the Dog Leather / Narwhalz / Nonhorse / Buddy Bag show

taken at the Dog Leather show at Silent Barn

In case you hadn’t heard, the DIY music and art venue The Silent Barn has fallen on hard times. This place, located in Ridgewood, Queens (just beyond Bushwick, Brooklyn) has been the place I’ve most frequently gone to see shows. They’ve hosted some fantastic events I’ve helped organize, like 2 Int’l Noise Conference On Tour shows. They’ve been huge supporters of noise/weirdness music. It’s the venue I’ve felt most at home at.

Over this past weekend the Silent Barn was burgled, ransacked, and vandalized. They estimate that $15,000 worth of sound equipment was stolen, not including personal items. (The cats are safe!) On top of this, there are further legal challenges. As a DIY space, the Silent Barn would have to make huge investments in money and time to recover and operate as a legit, secure, fire code compliant and legal space. I am overjoyed to announce that the Silent Barn operators are NOT packing up, but are taking this opportunity to make that goal a reality. Now you can help! You can donate to the cause via Kickstarter. I INSIST that you give if you can. You can hit that link or see the widget at the bottom of this post.

…and now at the risk of getting really sappy. The people running the Silent Barn have not been doing it to make money. They are all genuinely nice people who have just wanted to create special and memorable events and a sense of community. A situation like this can be incredibly disheartening, and can make one feel like everything you’ve invested in and worked toward has been destroyed. That is not true. When you make investments in friends and community, that cannot be stolen. The Silent Barn is not just a place for kids to party, places like this make the city a richer, more attractive, and safer place to live. Mayor Bloomberg should be handing them a check every week for the service they provide. The Silent Barn is asking for $40,000. Let’s blow that out of the water. Let’s make that thing hit $100,000. It appeared this morning and as of this moment is already at almost $6,000 and accelerating! If you cannot give money but live in the NYC area, you may be able to donate supplies or manual labor. Email silentbarn@gmail.com to be placed on the “willing to help” mailing list.

Some reviews I’ve written of shows at the Silent Barn are HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Ende Tymes Fest part 2: June 25 and 26, 2011

July 15, 2011 By: M*P* Lockwood Category: news, photos, shows

Ende Tymes Fest panel discussion left halfEnde Tymes Fest panel discussion left half

On Saturday I dragged myself out to Outpost, a place around the corner from the Silent Barn, for the panel discussion with Phill Niblock, GX Jupitter-Larsen, Al Margolis, Katherine Liberovskaya, AMK, Rat Bastard, Gen Ken Montgomery, Damion Romero, and of course Ende Tymes organizer and long-time noisemaker himself, Bob Bellerue. The subject of the discussion was listed as “Street-level experimental music and the evolution of technology and culture.” That does sound like it could be a stuffy snooze-fest, but it was actually very UN-like some of the pretentious art school events I’ve seen. I almost forgot what it was like just to listen to artists talking about why they like doing what they do, without trying to convince anyone that they’re brilliant and totally deserve that grant or gallery show. Rat Bastard’s opinions also kept things lively, as he disagreed with the other panel members on most points.

John Mannion at Ende Tymes Fest 2011

John Mannion at Ende Tymes Fest

I didn’t catch the video screening on any of the days, but I did get back in time to catch John Mannion kicking off Saturday night. Speaking of doing a lot with a little, Mannion’s main instrument is an open box fan, to which he applies an amplified screwdriver and subway pass. A laptop and effects also play a role, but still, it’s fun seeing the noises being produced by the fan-playing.

KILT filled the room with some thick wall-to-wall sound. Phil Niblock was one of the more famous performers (I gathered) and had one of the bigger crowds. However, he really only sat at his laptop so there was nothing to see. The sounds were a thick and constantly shifting river of tones. It sounded cool, but I felt like it would be more appropriate in an art installation setting where people come and go, as there was no big change in the sound at any point and little to watch.

Sick Llama at Ende Tymes Fest 2011

Sick Llama at Ende Tymes Fest

Sick Llama I’ve also never seen but heard the name pretty often. He made slow-motion echoed sounds sort of like… well, not entirely unlike a sick llama. GX Jupitter-Larsen, of Haters fame (a band which is sometimes just him so I’m not sure what the distinction is) did something or other with a suitcase that resulted in a heavy rumbling noise. The sound was nicely gritty and physical, but I do wish I could have gotten a better idea of how it was created.

Kyle Clyde at Ende Tymes Fest 2011

Kyle Clyde at Ende Tymes Fest

Kyle Clyde had a simple set-up and sonic palette compared to some, but really sold it with a gripping performance. Then at the other end of the spectrum, and closing out Saturday night, Yellow Tears had the most elaborate set-up with TVs, remote video, bowls of water, keyboards, etc. I couldn’t quite tell if their performance-art-like show, which seemed to be all about … drinking pee? … was supposed to be dark and disturbing or just a goof. It did end with someone getting a pie in the face though.

My resolve and health were deteriorating by night 3, though the quality of the acts didn’t slip. But the heat and hours of breathing cigarette smoke were starting to make me ill, so I made Sunday a shorter night and probably missed some great stuff. I was told that Gen Ken Montgomery was awesome.

Mike Shiflet created a varied range of textured sounds, almost peaceful but never boring. Damian Romero somehow made the walls, floor, and ceiling vibrate with some intense frequencies. It felt like he’d turned the whole Silent Barn into a speaker which we were all inside of. I was really, really glad I caught the set by I’D M Thfft Able (that spelling might be close to correct…) which turned out to be another one of my favorites.

I'D M Thfft Able at Ende Tymes Fest 2011

I'D M Thfft Able at Ende Tymes Fest

Much like Crank Sturgeon or john Mannion, I’D M has an approach where you can see how all the sounds are made. It’s simply contact-miked objects and improvised vocal sounds. But from that basic starting point, I’D M went way, way outside the box with his performance, creating some of the oddest, most surprising, and harshest sounds (his amplified scratching down a chalkboard made one audience member cover her ears and run to the back of the room). At various points he stumbled around, dropping and rolling bowling and billiard balls while singing stream-of-consciousness phrases. I wasn’t the only one impressed and I think he got the wildest cheers and applause of all the acts.

ID M Thfft Able at Ende Tymes Fest 2011

ID M Thfft Able at Ende Tymes

This overview is seriously incomplete, but this YouTube user, mathgrind, got far more and better videos than anything I got. I’m embedding a playlist of his Ende Tymes videos below, in no particular order. Please feel free to add other links in the comments.

 

GUTTER: Girls of Noise – internet debut!

July 07, 2011 By: M*P* Lockwood Category: news, videos

In April of 2008, Lauren Boyle toured as a member of the Laundry Room Squelchers, Rat Bastard’s free-noise band. Along the way she interviewed and videotaped a number female noise artists, including Leslie Keffer, Val of Unicorn Hard-On, Nancy Garcia, Heather Young of HNY and Social Junk, and many more. The interviews and select performances were edited down to make this 35-minute film, “GUTTER: Girls of Noise.” Lauren has kindly allowed me to be the very first to present it online. Caution: check your volume, this film starts right out with some intense Squelcher noise. Enjoy!

 

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