Archive for March, 2004
Music in Resistance
In an election year apathy is a normal response from many in the u.s. population that decide not to (or in some cases simply can’t) vote. With the U.S. making so many key and controversial decisions abroad, we feel in this election year it’s important for as many Americans to vote as possible. In an effort to assist in this problem, while raising awareness of voting issues, promoters in cities ranging from Orlando, FL to Chicago, IL are planning election day parties in their cities. These parties are more than just musical events. Using our usual means of advertising, from fliers to posters to e-mail, we want to make apparent how local voters can easily register for voting, organize car pools, and stay informed. If you wish to join our cause and hold a party in your town please feel free to contact us. All that we ask, is that you locally advertise voter registration, poll locations, and a few key policies in what constitutes your political diet. We are hoping to have a web site ready for this in a month or so, but in the mean time please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to log in for a party in your area.
The Hamburglar is Dead
The Hamburgular is dead. His liver lone gone into the recesses of preservatives and fatty acids, it was only his styrofoam & rubber immune system that let him push on. Friends knew him as The Hamburguar an impressive thief and a wife to seven ladies all vieled. His wives’ names existed only in their faces, their faces under robes, their robes never venture farther than the screened in porch next to the lake.
The Hamburgular is dead. He died at home with us. We took his body, pound for pound, down the stariwell, out of the lock, and onto the porch where the coroner waited. He took the body onto his stretcher and to the morgue. We declined to attend the funeral, instead we held a party with all our friends we know from the internet. It was a lot of fun.
The Hamburgular is dead. No longer will I deliver peppermint scented letters from Gimmis, packed to the brim with longing. Packages bursting their seals with pickles and cartons of sauce will not greet my way along the walk. My moral burden, messenger to a thief, is relieved.
The Hamburglar is dead.I saw him once on a patrol. Sweeping by a window I spied him, slackly focusing on a television, working his way through a kid’s meal as CNN spilt out burglaries in Iraq, lung cancer vacancies, and I don’t know I don’t have a TV so whatever else CNN plays.
The Hamburgular is dead. I suppose the blame will now fall on me. Being a count, a vampire, I only carry the menace of my myth. The actuality of it, the craving, a pitance of my display. Like my meat based brother, it’s the joke of my vice, the cuddly warmth of my infamy that enpowers me, and yes every once in awhile did I think of it. All of that blood soaked in grease and hamburger gurgling down my throat, but I know the rats are rats, and I know the blame will fall on me.
The Hamburgular is dead. I suppose the blame will now fall on me. Being a stooge, a fat bloke, I only carry the same of my own stupidity. Mt meat craving brother, my secret love, the man that fed me instead of six wives, this man I deemed the lord of pepperments and sent stuff each week. Thanks for the pickles.
We return defeated from his grave. In the carriage I see Ronald McDonald, secretly I beleive uncaring, speaking to relatives. Waves of ewoks come pouring through the fields. Short haired flower girls & palm bearers, the ewoks begin to hoist the casket towards the long deep whole.
I learned of his death from bulletin boards. A long term fan, we deemed his work high comedy. The Hamburgular made easy work of our arts, turned us into fools, and in a way reflected a set of values that made or values seem like vice. In our country of spies we all despised him. Maybe that’s why we found him so damn funny.
We return defeated from his death. By carriage we arrive, folding out in pointy hats and shuffling conspiciously to his grave. Ewocks, a smaller tribe than us, work the grounds. We watch them carry his body through pronged curiosity seekers, more there for legend than grief.
His body is laid bare. The casket breaks and a tumbling jovial face turns up in the earth, the ewocks shurg, the merely curious laugh in their innards and grief lash their faces, and Ronald makes one attempt to save the body, but falls over Grmmis’ collapsed body. The Ewocks make one attempt to hoist his body from the ground and back into the casket, but the police have arrived. In this land of reversals we are the theives, the enemies, the spies, and of course we are now being ushered from the site, defeated they round us into the squad cars.
His body is laid bare, lying here next to me in his plane full of trophies, nick knacks from kid’s meals and stolen artifacts from Wendy’s and Jack n the Box. He brimms with a super-natural confidence. Ensuring me that we would make it, that we would discover new things. He told stories of tremulous times and victories of near impossible odds. Incredible capers were his game, but his stories never ended happily, but with him stoically hated. No one understood the Hamburgler, his confidence came with a subtext, the world outside was challenging, rigorous, and exhausting.
He took me on a thursday afternoon. We’d meet through the internet, with him as the purchaser. He came in his usual clothes, black stripes and for out marriage he wore a hat. He meet my former finance, who spent his time in a basement working out the last of his means on television and our garden outside. I can not deny that I still love him, we came along way to be together, but I also can not deny my connection to the outsider world, the trim sleek place that calls for my imagination, my wit, and my people to adjust it.
We began to unlearn vocabularies. Each passing of a word was like a death on a sit-com, the dynamic was all fucked, the characters had to adjust, the plot discover new tensions, the punch lines delivered from an unfamiliar hand, and eventually we threw out enough that the hope holding us broke back into chimera, it’s true reality. Each disappearance brought him closer, walking in the film of our mind towards this spot of great need, to hold us, to caress us, to fuck us. We became what we desired, to be only desired, to be only stared upon, to be only lavished over, to be only wives.
Nothing was fucking protecting us from our “trespasses,” when the fucking cops broke our asses to jail.
Ambition is a beautiful thing. It’s this surge for recognition that’s held the most experimental and free form of electronic music in play and on decks in it’s now decade long existence. Swamp Thing, i.d.m.’s formal entrance into the business world of WMC’s steady beat money makers, was nothing if not ambitious. Featuring over twenty acts across three rooms, it came across conceptually like a tornado, but in practice petered out around 3:45 a.m. leaving Din-St, Richard Devine, and Phoenecia with out a slot to play.
Something akin to the U.N. of idm, Swamp Thing managed to bring together Detroit’s festering scene with Dabyre, Jimmy Edgar, and Matt Dear while linking up with the mid-west breakcore scene via Baseck, Girl Talk, and Milwaukee heavyweight Doormouse. Miami showed respect with Otto, Dino, and Phoenecia accompanied by the city’s finest electronica djs Karakter and Aura. Odd men out where headliner Drew Daniels of Matmos as The Soft Pink Truth, Airborn Audio (the latest anti-pop side project), and Berlin’s Din-ST.
These acts are best characterized in term of region. For instance, pretty much anyone from Milwauke or the mid-west was generally near naked with in about 2 minutes into their act. Particularly feisty was Girl Talk who I still can’t figure out if security dragged out as part of the act or because he actually pissed them off enough. I have no idea what Girl Talk was screaming about, but his antics accompanied by Hearts of Darkness wasn’t quite Costes or even Lighting Bolt, but I’m pretty confident people don’t get that rowdy at Korn shows. Which reminds of Hearts of Darkness(es’) set in which he rambled for about ten minutes during which the sound guys tried to get his cd player up and running. After a good bellicose drunk confession in which he asked everyone to go get their girlfriend’s friends to fill the room, he ripped off his Stone Soup Collective shirt to show his nice Korn concert tee. At which point, Frankie (aka HOD) made it apparent why Schematic picked him up. Frankie might be the hard rock equivalent of DNTEL. Brilliantly screaming out lyrics like a Frank Black song while playing the most glitched up hardrock I’ve ever heard. Hearts of Darkness is a very special place, one where the alienated hardrocker turns to the laptop instead of the band to get out the now age old motor city howl.
Milwauke godfather turned Miami’s latest resident (oh yeah and he’s also owner of Addict Records), Doormouse, turned in an equally brilliant set. Full of various gangster rap and Black Sabbath tunes, Doormouse is smart enough to not take himself that seriously while retaining a conviction that’s awe inspiring. Good tune selection and mixing marked Dan’s set with his Skeleton Chairs remix of Snares coming across as the highlight till he pulled out a distorted take on Alice Cooper. Dan and Baseck also earn points for being the only mid-westeners to not get near naked during their shows.
A few hours away from the cankerous noise of Milwauke, is Detroit. It’s idm scene is still growing, and the remarkably introverted performances it’s residents gave were a welcome respite between the upbeat partying of the other acts. Sandwiched I think between Otto and Airborn Audio, Dabyre cleared the room with a remarkably downtempo and melancholic set. Beats drooped not in nostalgia, but a futuristic gloom chugged along at hip-hop speed. Slow stuttering funk and pauses between songs further took away from the former party atmosphere. Still, if you wanted to steal away for a moment from whatever Aura was dropping or the non-stop sensory batterment of the primarily breakcore entry room, Dabyre was there.
Tadd aka Dabyre’s fellow Detoirt-ite Jimmy Edgar gave a much anticipated set, everyone waiting to hear what Warp already knows about this former Merck artist. Surprisingly Jimmy’s set, like Tadd’s, didn’t quite rock the crowd. Rooted in tech-ee sounds derived from Kompakt records, Jimmy makes a distinct form of hip-hop sans boom and drums: he focuses more on soul. Unfortunately, this just wasn’t the party for tech stuff, and his later eighties derived slanted tunes hit the crowd better and had a fuller feel. Still, and I did miss Matt Dear who can definitely rock a crowd, Detroit’s idm scene doesn’t seem to have learned how to have fun yet. Both Dabyre and Jimmy approached the laptop like stoics, as if their compositions form some historically important sub-sect of music worthy of contemplation and not dancing. In Detroit terms their more Monobox than Derrick May.
Hometown heroes Dino Felipe and Otto Von Schirach turned in expectantingly eccentric and excellent sets. Dino might have taken crown for best set with his renewed Runway and Finesse project. A psuedo-electro-revival two piece, where pop songs are re-arranged according to some logic only Dino can see the rational behind. Dressed like Eric Chippendale in miniature, Dino and partner hollowed out new wave, making plastic replicas of already synthetic keyboard stabs and turning up the drama with irony dipped lyrics. It’s scary yet remarkably pleasant stuff.
Every time I hear Otto Von Schirach play I feel I understand his music a little more. A portion of his music will always be Ogre and another part will always put a foot down for bass heavy and remarkably complicated electro. His set at Swamp Thing was no different, staples from Escalo Frio and the Chopped Zombie Fungus trilogy were in full effect.
One thing Miami has, which other cities lack, is a following for it’s idm DJs. Folks like Robert aka DJ Aura and Marsello aka Karakter, are highlights at the parties instead of filler between acts. Aura needs little introduction, one of Warp’s official DJs, he went with vinyl for a change for Swamp Thing, mixing in various glitchy numbers with the usual fair of Squarepusher/ Twin tunes. Karakter is a very different beast. Mixing trashy eighties tunes and other fun loving tunes you wouldn’t dare go near with Nightmares on Wax, hip-hop, and idm. Karakter has cracked a musical code between club culture and idm’s more tweaked experiments.
And now for the oddities. Airborn Audio flew into town with more gear gremlins than anyone else. Their first set didn’t happen with them trying to keep the crowd while the sound guys scrambled to get them up and running.