Some people see the conventions of pop music as chains. A verse, a chorus, a guitar solo, a bridge: these are the parts that composed the overriding majority of 20th-century popular music. For any establishment-crumbling punk rebellion, there was the knowledge that they, too, ascribed to these structures. Classical composers have long poked and prodded at the boundaries of what music can mean, but when the conceptual mindset of John Cage met up with Luigi Russolo’s championing of dissonance in favor of tonality, total cacophony ensued. Bands like Throbbing Gristle and a whole host of others bludgeoned music down to its basest elements — sickening pulses and metallic squeals.
Noise, as the resulting genre came to be known, relies on arrangement of largely toneless sound generated from, well, whatever the performer chooses. Whether it’s a keyboard run through a series of guitar pedals, the human voice bent and distorted beyond recognition, or explosives and industrial equipment, the M.O. is to make a racket with what you’ve got. While common forms of music seek to create new permutations from set rulebooks and defined forms, noise abandons form altogether in favor of absolute freedom.
Though noise has been a part of Florida since the late 1980s (Miami hosts the International Noise Conference each year, and St. Pete Noise Fest is still going strong in its sixth year), it wasn’t until 2010 that it really started to gain traction in the Bay area in art galleries, storage spaces, and warehouses. Be warned: you might want earplugs.
Notable noise acts: DC9V, Vasectomy Party, Sisto & Mariela Rossi, BLK/MAS, Lovebrrd, Whitey Alabastard, Black Beast of Arrrghhh, Wolf Pussy, Young Egypt
Venues: The Venture Compound, Fubar, various mixed-used spaces
Upcoming dates: Nequam Sonitus DVD filming & tour kick-off w/DC9V, Trotsky’s Watercooler, Whitey Alabastard, July 31; Ultraviolence opening reception w/Lovebrrd, Glaciers of Ice, Aug. 10, both at Venture Compound.
Where were you sitting? Your review is a bit negative sounding to say the least…
Love that album. It still sounds great and according to this outstanding review, Huey also…
Excellent review, sorry I missed the concert.
I was fortunate to see Bonnie Raitt. Her stage presence was heart warming and her…