The Emotron and Cut Throat Freak Show
July 28th, 2018
at The In-Between House
2017 marked a turning point for the Tampa Bay Noise scene: in April of that year, the long-running warehouse arts venue in St. Pete known as the Venture Compound closed its doors, and all of the noise/experimental shows have been taking place at various locations scattered throughout the Tampa Bay area. Just to name a few: Iberian Rooster, FUBAR, Sawgrass (sadly no longer there), Paper Crane, Safety Harbor Arts and Music Center, American Legion Post 111, Tre Amici @ the Bunker, and, most notably, the In-Between House.
The In-Between is an arts collective run by erstwhile Venture Compound board members Emmy Lou and Vallam Barrett. In addition to booking shows in the Tampa Bay Area, they also run the DIY tape label FIGURE RECORDS and can often be seen tabling their merch at various local fests (Blest Fest, Tampa Zine Fest.
Throughout 2018, they have been booking shows at their own house. Shows usually start around 7pm and end before 11pm, so you can absorb their show and still have enough time to go check out another late-running show in the area...or better yet, be in bed early.
The action takes place in their small living room, with a stack of television sets (collectively known as "TV MOUNTAIN") against the wall while playing various old VHS tapes on them.
There's another room with a giant tv and a gaming console hooked up, so you can play video games during downtime.
On July 28th, the In-Between hosted an event for nomadic touring performance artist The Emotron, and a collective of sideshow performers known as the Cut Throat Freak Show.
Local support came from Slime Queen Bingo, Sloth of Gulf Coast Florida, and Joy Lane.
Opening the evening's festivities was Slime Queen Bingo, the solo noise project of Emmy Lou. Their set consisted of screaming at their faltering equipment, and audience participation in the form of asking people what their names were and handing them duck and dolphin puppets. The set ended with a wall of feedback from a Barbie Karaoke machine, an Olsen Twins cassette, and a sped up 7" record of someone singing "Happy Birthday."
Up next was Sloth of Gulf Coast Florida (formerly of Northeast Ohio). Sloth has been active since the mid-90s. Starting off as a sludge/doom band, they have done splits in their early years with heavy-hitters such as Noothgrush and Miami's own Floor, along with various Seth Putnam side projects. As a result of their heavy metal origins, they have their own entry on Metal Archives. Over the years, Sloth's style has ranged from doom metal to noisecore to death and black metal parodies to noisy songs (in the vein of Happy Flowers and Sockeye) about cute animals to, most recently, harsh noise wall. Since 2012, they have been on Bandcamp and uploading a single track (usually between 6 to 10 minutes in length) of noise almost literally every day on there. These releases get added to their Metal Archives discography, infuriating the metalheads in the process. The negative reviews are worthy of their own Sloth release!
Since relocating to Florida in 2015, Sloth (which currently consists of founding member Dom Kaveliski and his partner, The Link) performances involve heavy use of a fog machine and a black metal backing track being played on an Orange amp cranked to 11 while the pair hands out either envelopes or ziploc bags full of various goodies (including candy, toys, stickers, and a sheet of paper with an interview and internet links on it) to every audience member there. This night was certainly no exception.
Following Sloth's set was some downtime to open the door and let the fog out. And then it was time for The Emotron.
The Emotron is a long-running performance art act that tours quite frequently. This was actually my first time seeing him play. His set had him singing in a suit and a wig (which reminded me of the late, great Dennis Flemion of the Frogs) over soulfully deranged music and, best of all, an Angela Lansbury workout video with the volume cranked up (to the Emotron's request), which actually fit very well with the music. The grand finale had the Emotron strip down to just a black speedo and lighting his crotch in fire during the final song of his set.
Up next was a trio of sideshow performers known as the Cut Throat Freak Show.
First was a magician from Las Vegas known as Jungle Josh. His set opened with a truck involving a trained bird (named "Cherry), followed a series of visual illusions, magic tricks, and mental connections with the audience, with a decent amount of deadpan humor scattered throughout.
Up next was Philadelphia burlesque performer Scarlett Storm. She came out in an outfit resembling slave Leia from Return of the Jedi, popped balloons, and rolled around in shards of broken glass...all without any bleeding, cuts or scratches on her body. And she did all this while dancing to "Holy Diver" by Dio, which was the icing on the cake.
The third and final act of this traveling circus was the namesake Cut Throat himself. He snorted a 10-dot Lego block up his nose and pulled out an 8-dot block from his throat, and ended his set by attaching lit firecrackers to his ding dong.
Of course, it's not a sideshow performance without having audience members volunteer to staple dollar bills onto the performers bodies!
The closing act of this epic night was the almighty Joy Lane, from Orlando.
Joy Lane is a fairly newer project (at least to me) that has had a number of members over their period of existence, although recent gigs of theirs has been slimmed down to core members Darren Crittenden and Millia Chandley.
Categorizing their music or comparing them to other artists wouldn't do them justice, but my interpretation is this: Martin Rev, Alan Vega, and Birthday Party-era Nick Cave go to a party and their punchbowl gets spiked by Flipper, leaving them Brainwa--nevermind, forget it, you wouldn't understand anyways.
Joy Lane's epic closing performance consisted of Darren crooning over Casio keyboard preset rhythms and Millia screaming her head off while body-slamming a mannequin torso with the words JOY LANE written on it with lipstick, and occasionally playing a circuit-bent toy guitar.
Towards the end of their set (and several broken microphones and consumed alcoholic beverages later), they did covers (in their own uniquely demented fashion, of course) of "Hot Freaks" by Guided By Voices and "Dream Baby Dream" by Suicide. I referred to this piece as "Suicided By Voices."
So there you have it. If you're in the Tampa Bay area and you're either a fan of weirdo experimental music, performance art, or you just want to find something to do and experience something you may not have before, then you owe it to yourself to come check out any event being put together by the In-Between. The hills are alive with noise!!!!!
(Fakebook page; if you're on there, give em a follow)
(The In-Between's DIY label)
SLOTH OF GULF COAST FLORIDA
(Their infamous Bandcamp page; updated almost daily)
(Their Metal Archives page; includes their vast discography even before they stated pissing people off with their Bandcamp shenanigans!)
(Oh look, He even has his own Wikipedia article, so you know he's a big-time celebrity!)
The Cut Throat Freak Show
(A live performance at Uncle Lou's, shot by Andrea Knight)
Some exquisite corpses that I took part in at ART/ifact
(an art gallery and music venue in Lakeland, FL) on June 2nd, 2018.
The other participants included Emmy Lou, Leif, Rachel, and Sunny.
For those unfamiliar: Exquisite Corpse is the concept of having 3 or 4 people together, and folding up a piece of paper in thirds or fourths to draw their own individual parts of a body.
The first person draws the head (and lines connecting the next fold) then folds up their side (so no one can see what they drew) and passes it on to the next person
so they can draw the middle body (or the first part of it if there's 4 people involved), then they fold up their side and pass it on to the next person
who either draws the second part of the middle body or the legs and feet.
When the last person makes their contribution, the entire picture is unfolded,
revealing the "exquisite corpse" so to speak!
There are even audio exquisite corpses out there,
the best examples being the ones Hal McGee has curated over the years
as well as the band Bauhaus, who even has a song named "Exquisite Corpse!"
Last week I received a pair of tapes from our good friend Ditlev Buster from Denmark!
The first tape I listened to was Skolens Toss. Side A consists of more traditional pop songs done in Ditlev's unique style, which brought a much-needed warm and fuzzy happy feeling to my mind (which has been kind of nerve-wracked all week).
On Side B, he gets a little more cinematic/experimental, with an instrumental track that sounds like he's watching a low-budget horror movie in the background, followed by a gloomier number that wouldn't be out of place on Matthew Moyer's PopNihil tape label.
After that is a song with delay added to the drum machine while Ditlev sings and strums his acoustic guitar over it, and eventually a John Carpenter-esque synth enters the foray.
Towards the end is a plunderphonics collage of various recordings from other artists run through delay, like changing through stations on your radio.
This tape is like his version of Eno's Another Green World or Bowie's Low. Strongly recommended!
Up next was Folk & Støl. Cover photos from our good friend Jen Sandwich!
It started raining when I hit play on this tape, which was very fitting for what I was about to hear.
A majority of this tape consists of more melancholy songs of just vocals and acoustic guitars, much like Nick Drake's swan song "Pink Moon", but also recommended for fans of Skip Spence, Leonard Cohen, and Sebadoh.
There's also some dark Casio jams and spoke word collages towards the end of this tape, hence the Sebadoh comparison.
I strongly recommend these tapes to brighten your day. I'm so glad I live in a universe where Ditlev exists!
Frank Goshit (from Quebec)
is one of the pioneers of shitnoise –
intentionally bad recordings recorded on handheld devices (usually cassette).
Frank played guitar in the noisecore band Deche-Charge back in the mid-90s (and would later infamously have his own "imposter" version of said band for a year or two), and along with fellow Deche-Charge member Dan-Charge, co-founded the legendary GOCHARGE RECORDS.
Gocharge's releases mainly consisted of either Frank or Dan (sometimes both) recording under different project names on a tape recorder. Releases varied from acoustic noisecore, spoken word, trash-talking Seth Putnam for signing to Earache, being stupid while watching tv, doing the laundry while singing GG Allin songs...literally anything goes. And the tapes were mostly limited to less than a dozen or so copies.
Many of Frank's recent releases also consist of him tending to his livestock (chickens and donkeys), his cats, tapping on plates while yelling, walking to the store, and riding his bike, among other things.
Today (May 29th, 2018) I received this package from Frank in the mail. I haven't listened to any of them just yet, but knowing Frank they will no doubt be amazing listens. I am especially fond of the packaging on the Common Sense Cassettes releases.
Some one-of-a-kind collages from my friend Kristy Mann from Panama City, FL.
In addition to her artwork, she is also a multi-instrumentalist in the local punk and noise scene, and books shows there as well.
Panama City is one of my favorite spots to play in the state of Florida. Home to Fork and Spoon - both a house venue (run by Scott Bazar) and a DIY label (run by Joel Switzerland aka "Joel nobody") - as well as Mosey's and A&M Theater.
Scott and Joel often play together as the free improv duo Vantage Planets, as well as in the more structured but wild rock band known as Barkers of the Wrong Tree.
Anywho: I've acquired the first two collages from Kristy on cinco de mayo 2018 during Efficiency Fest at Fork and Spoon. The third one was from when I stopped by on my way to New Orleans Sound Art Fest in October 2016.
I'm very happy with these amazing postcards sent by my friend Scott Kindberg from north California. Thank you, Scott!
If you're on EC, then there's a pretty good chance that you're already familiar with Hal McGee's Apartment Music series, which takes place in his own living room.
This one took place on a Sunday afternoon as opposed to the usual Saturday to accommodate Hal Harmon's work schedule.
There were many regulars at this event (Hal and Mark McGee, Hal Harmon, Lumen K, and myself) plus several people performing there for the first time (Todd Novosad, Adam and Aimee Naworal, Jonas van den Bossche, and Emmy Lou).
Every now and then, towards the end of my work shift, I tend to doodledraw just to kill the last few minutes before I clock out, usually on Saturday mornings (I work the graveyard shift). Today (April 28th, 2018) was no exception.
I left a bit of space blank next to one of the guys in case I wanted to use this for a mailart postcard in the near future...figures the stamp(s) might cover up some of the artwork (especially if I mail it internationally) but oh well, heh.
I received this nice piece of mail art from Per-Arne Hognert (along with a CD of his, which I might possibly review some other time) last week. I love one-of-a-kind 1-of-1 hand-assembled collage mail art such as this, and Per-Arne is quickly becoming one of my favorite people to exchange mail with.
Last week I received a package in the mail from John Aldridge (Hillsborough, NC). Mr. Aldridge has been involved in multiple projects, including NJ9842, Big Ed, and was a member of the (sadly now defunct) Facepalm Death. I first met him at the first ATLANTIFEST in December 2016, and he later booked my gig at the Juggling Gypsy in Wilmington, NC during my Hell Garbage tour last November.
The items were packed in an envelope previously sent to him by Henry Rial (From Pittsburgh, PA and runs the PENNSYLVANIA HYPNOCENTER label; he also booked my Pittsburgh gig at the Glitterbox Theater during my aforementioned tour), who also wrote the note on the back of it.
Each item was limited to 15 copies apiece.
Óglaigh Na hÉireann - Niae
A collage of field recordings, gargled lo-fi black metal vocals, strumming on an electric that doesn't sound like it's plugged into anything, and all throughout the disc is a high-frequency buzzing sound. I imagine a black metal musician playing his guitar while on a nature hike at a state park. Lots of birds chirping. It's like something that the Les Legions Noires collective (notably Aäkon Këëtrëh) would record/release in this day of age of digital recording devices. The last track is different from the rest in that it consists of a collage of tape manipulated vocals. Kinda like the closing bit on Pink Floyd's "Bike" but on some realllllly bad acid during a Satanic ritual. It must be an outtake from the first Ghoulies movie or something, haha.
Léig - Baithis
Harsh noise made by a six-year old with his caretakers and one guest. No really, it says so in the liner notes, and you can hear his voice throughout. It's like if Finland's own THE SILVER ditched their guitars and drumkit in favor of a bunch of fx pedals. DO YOU WANNA DAAAAAAANCE?!
3-way split tape
This one's gonna be a bit tricky to review because it sounds like all of the tracks segue directly into each other. Kind of like an audio exquisite corpse.
JRV is the solo noise project of Carl Kruger from Wilmington, NC. I had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Kruger perform at the Juggling Gypsy cafe in Wilmington during my Hell Garbage tour last November. He performed with his daughter (!) under the name "Kruger Family Christmas"
His track consists of what sounds like metal scraping, feedback, EQ'd madness, and a low droning cable buzz hum behind it all. Chaotic yet organized at the same time.
NJ9842 is the next track. Cinematic soundscapes with what sounds like a guitar and someone messing with a toy phone at the beginning. The track quickly simmers down, and I'm guessing into the ACEPHALE track, which starts off with delay fx applied to Casio drumbeats and other stuff. Has kind of an underwater low-key vibe to it. It slowly builds up into clanging noises and harmonium-esque sounds. Kinda like Nico's The Marble Index meets Einstürzende Neubauten. The track abruptly cuts off, ending the tape.
I started recording "noise music" in early 2004, completely unaware of any "scenes" or other individuals doing this sort of thing. A lot of lo-fi recordings on a portable tape player, oftentimes guitar or bass feedback drone and delay.