Jun. 27th, 2017


Jun. 27th, 2017 08:28 pm
Wow. It's been an insane week (plus). I wasn't meaning to be gone this long, but our internet went out last Monday (and then by the time it got fixed again the festival was steamrolling over everything!). I guess I'll go back to the beginning, as best I can. I never mentioned getting this cd I'm listening to (Crockett Hall: Tanglewood) from Daniel up at that Ghost River show last week. Okay, but back to stuff. I think I got stuff for the "I Am Sitting in a Room" styled exhibit (You Are Standing in a Room) working and tested on the raspberry pi. Did I do other things? I think I ran through my set a couple more times. And wanted to other days this week and never got around to it. So never really even practiced for the movie. But whatever. I know I watched the episode of Twin Peaks that night.

So then there's last Monday. Came home after work to find the internet out. There was a comcast technician outside working on our upstairs neighbor's stuff. Well, then he leaves and it stays off (til Friday).

Tuesday I went up to the Crosstown Concourse for this Iceberg composers series concert (from New York) performed by the Blueshift Ensemble (from here). It was really really good. Mostly classical instruments and various degrees of experimentality in the compositions. My favorite was one called "Photons" (Drake Andersen) and it was a duet between flute and clarinet and the musicians were on the floor above (oh, I didn't mention the whole thing was performed in the atrium which was a spectacular setting, their actual new space in the Concourse is still under construction). That piece was the most reminiscent (stylistically) of early electronic music in its fragmented, stuttering approach. All of it was really good. It was nice and relaxing and cleared my mind.

The rest of that workweek was pretty much just getting stuff ready for the festival. Running around and whatever else. I don't remember. All a dang blur. I took Friday off from work. Definitely needed it to get ready. Felt like I should've taken Thursday off too! Got up early and got cash and lots of beer and some more cables and some drumstick and brushes. What else did I do? More blur. I was mostly feeling okay about the whole thing. Things were feeling ready (a step up from just the weekend before where they kinda weren't) but it was still a bit hectic feeling and I was continually not getting enough sleep. At least starting Friday. Another comcast technician came out this time to our place and he confirmed, sure enough, that the previous technician disconnected a wire and never connected it back. The other dude broke it! But then we got it fixed (by then I was on a roll being too busy to post!). It'd been really obnoxious trying to plan and do things from home only having my phone at my disposal!

Got up early Saturday to finish wrapping things up (also just kept waking up earlier than I needed to). It was the goddamn day of! It was happening! Mary Beth and I took a break and went back up to the Concourse for Iceberg's thing on deep listening (Pauline Oliveros!). That was a lot of fun we did a few of her meditations. Walking around and singing and sitting down and closing our eyes and listening. It was a pretty awesome coincidence that this of all things was happening the day of the festival! The festival! I'll go off and get to that in another post!
ateolf: (the goat...BITCH!)
So it happened! It motherfucking happened! And it went well and was pretty damn well-attended! Setting the fucking thing up I was sure it was just going to be a money pit for me and I was fine with that as I was interested in having a great time and making connections. But it was pretty much a success from every direction. Jacques and Paul came over to help load and we got going only a little late. Though on my way there I realized I'd forgotten the wad of cash I'd gotten for it so I had to turn back around. We get there and start setting stuff up. A little behind but not too bad. I had my raspberry pi and python script ready to go and that worked alright. A lot of people were there in the beginning for that, surprisingly enough. Talking and hanging out so it was a little layer in the background of all the voices with the overlayed repetition of the talking and a little of the room feedbacky sound. One kinda shitty thing about the first day. I had plugged the recorded into the wrong outputs (monitor instead of record) and everything that day recorded way overdriven and clipped. I'll see if there's something I can do for it, but it might just be fucked up a bit. Also it meant the movie recording picked up the movie sound as well as our performance (the movie sound wasn't set to go out through "recorder", sigh).

I was getting a little nervous as the movie started a few minutes behind (and we didn't have a ton of time between the movie and the first set), but things went smoothly. The sound for the movie was me and Cain (Tatras) and Zach (of Nonconnah). As expected, good crowd for the movie, but the surprising thing was it kept up for most of the day on Saturday. The movie seemed to be a good crowd-pleaser which was nice. "The movie," christ: Forbidden Planet, motherfucker! Yeah!

Few things that went differently. Brought Dominic's PA speakers and mixer but only used his mixer to the house speakers. That worked out for the best, as the venue's ipad mixer wouldn't've cut it and their speakers are conveniently hanging from the ceiling. Also brought that screen (to make a kinda backstage) but didn't use it at all, just used the hallway that's actually kind've almost a real backstage. That worked out much better anyway. I'm running around trying to make sure everything's happening as smoothly as possible. Also, I shouldn't be trusted with cash. I dropped wads of cash out of my pocket SEVERAL times like an idiot. Thankfully people kindly returned it and I eventually had the brains to move it to the pocket with a zipper.

In spite of my worries the first set started on time and every other set transitioned according to schedule! I'll happily claim my crown of guy who keeps stuff running on time. I'll also say that every goddamn set was astounding! It was so incredible to be a part of it all and to have it all happen successfully. Fuck, I put on an experimental electronic music festival in Memphis. It fucking happened, how insane is that!? Had a few cancellations but we made it work. Oh, the goddamn food truck cancelled like an hour before it all started. Was really pissed about that. Mary Beth went out to pick up pizza from Midtown Crossing just around the corner. So that saved us a bit. Three acts cancelled but we made it work seamlessly anyway.

Aster was first and had his nice, beautiful modular texture. Revenge Body (Jacques) was next and he had awesome industrial beats with noise. Next was BlanketSwimming (from Hattiesburg, MS). He had some really nice noise. The guy from that is also in NEPTR so when his set was over the other two guys just came up and joined in on the same setup. They were both awesome sets, though a little hard to remember where one began and the other ended now. Ben Bauermeister was next. He had some awesome modular stuff with a little bit of a beat smattered about. Division of Labor (also Hattiesburg) had stuff based on prepared guitar with lots of tabletop effects. Nonconnah was excellent as always. This time I got to see 'em with Denny (she had to work the last show I was at and Dominic filled in). companyofquail never showed up (had a bit of a feeling as he never responded to any emails once I started sending 'em out, I mean, lots of people don't respond a whole lot, but he never did). So I let Nonconnah extend their set and Belly Full of Stars (Nashville) extended hers as well and meet in the middle. Her set was really good. Very ambient. Not sure if I mentioned how snwv couldn't make the drive from Pittsburgh due to some stuff that came up last minute but he still wanted to play so he worked out a livestream (using software called "butt" seriously that's what it's called). The livestream was successful. I ran it from my phone. He set it up so it was real easy to connect. His set was awesome as always, even if he wasn't around. Count Zero Interrupt had his Buchla and his sound is pretty awesome. A bit of early industrial hard-hitting noise (that description doesn't quite feel accurate though, maybe more heavy than noise-noisy but a little bit of noise, just not like power electronics harsh noise). Qemist closed the night and turned it into a dance party. Here's the thing. I was up and dancing. I don't dance but I did. It was a whole fucking lot of fun too.

Cain and Ryan (his friend who travelled with him as a kind of roadie) stayed at our place. So I ended up sleeping on the couch. Got up early again to get ready (well, earlier than I'd planned and figured I might as well start getting ready). Had to repatch my modular for my set since I'd changed some stuff for the movie (luckily I drew my patches out!). I got pedals ready for the exhibit. I'll go right out and say it. Sunday's exhibit was a bust. Nearly completely. Thankfully Alex (who wrote the amazing feature in the Memphis Flyer) lent his theremin for it and that was our saving grace. That was the SOMETHING we had. So there was a theremin there to play. And it was fun. Dustin brought Daphne and she was really into it. Was setting all the other shit up and realized that by the time we'd finish anything it would be time to take shit down and start the show (if not longer than that). It would've been cool but a bit complicated I guess. Which is sad 'cuz when I was working out some of the contact mics through distortion it just sounded SO cool. Oh well. We gave up when we realized the futility and went straight to setting up for the show.

It was another day of things going smoothly. Not as big a crowd as expected but it was still pretty darn decent. More than I was expecting. Bruiser (Zach) was first and his set was really good. First time he'd ever played a show of any kind. He had really good ambient sounds. I was next. Felt like it wasn't very good at the time. Lots of things didn't go right. I think a label fell off one of my cables so I wasted time searching for it. Some things didn't go quite right. It's probably fine though. Ara Hanissian was next. He's the kid who's in high school I met at that other show. He had a friend playing with him. It was good. Wasn't sure what to expect. He played guitar and the friend played synth and there were lots of pedals. It was folk music based (the guitar which dominated) but gradually started to get buried in noise and dissonance. Oh, since I was playing I didn't think to have my video cued up so I played with no video. I ran my video during Ara's set though. Most of the artists played to the video Josh made, he had three hours and we looped it all throughout anyone who didn't provide their own video. It was pretty awesome. manualcontrol was next and they were really good. Had light sensors controlling instruments stuck up on the wall. They were a little worried about the setup 'cuz there was a good deal of sunlight in the room even with the curtain and the shades. But it worked out pretty well. Argiflex (Cleveland, MS) killed. Really bangin' experimental techno. Lost Man (Josh!) cancelled as well. Sad face. He said he wasn't able to get it ready in time. We told him he SHOULD have just made shit up like so many of us (I mean, I "wrote" a score but it was pretty loose and since things were going weird I ended up rushing through it on accident and finished not much more than halfway through and fell back on a good sounding drone, from a part that was supposed to be a short burst). Anyway, we did the same thing as before and Argiflex extended her set and Cheap Spirits extended his to meet in the middle. Cheap Spirits was really good again. Vexadrem (sort of Cleveland, MS/sort of Memphis) was really good as well. Similar sound as Argiflex. Ben Ricketts (Oxford, MS) had a really good sound. A bit musiqe concrète sounding though with toy instruments (oh he did have tapes too). Very different from his singer-songwriter stuff. Still relatively quiet compared to some others, but very abstract. Tatras was fucking fucking incredible. Probably my favorite set of the festival. Though my memory of Saturday was a bit fuzzier. I was running around a lot more. Sunday was much more laid back and I was able to focus some more on the music (though I still focused Saturday too). Very dark heavy drone. He bowed a cymbal too. Then there was a fucking one-two punch. The second best set was right after. Pas Moi (Cleveland, MS) had some awesome noise. Samples and shrieking oscillators. This was power electronics or close. It was the same kinda thing as his recording, but live it was just so much more and so...fuck yeah! Ihcilon was incredible as always. minivan_markus also cancelled but his labelmate Qemist suggested filling in. At that point I was just like sure, whatever. He wanted minivan's pay (which the Rare Nnudes artists had an agreement for a certain amount). A little kinda funny but whatever. There was diminishing returns though. I mean he was good again, but seeing it nearly twice in a row didn't have the same impact. Plus by that point we probably didn't have the adrenaline to run on to get dancing again. I'll wrap up shit in another post.

After Ish

Jun. 27th, 2017 10:02 pm
ateolf: (Robert points the bone at you)
So yeah, mind blowing fucking weekend. Oh, we had Matt go get sandwiches for Sunday so people were fed. Um. I picked up a bunch of merch. On Saturday I picked up these cds: Argifelx: Throatless, Argiflex: Cybersmog, BlanketSwimming: The Ringing in Your Ears Is the Cricket in the Stars, NEPTR/Pas Moi: Split, Merzbow: Sha Mo 3000, Merzbow: Dust of Dreams, and Terre Thaemlitz: Trans Sister Radio (the last three are from Luis's Thisco label from back in Portugal as well as any future ones from artist that didn't play the Memphis Concrète). On Sunday I picked up: Pas Moi: ...And the Body Has Memory, Riyaz Master: Machine Readable Data Made in India / Part 001, and Antibothis CD Volume 4 (which came with Antibothis Occultural Anthology Vol. 4 magazine). And after the show on Sunday this older guy came up with some flyers and some cds to give me. He ran electronic music labels going back to the 80s here in Memphis so that's pretty awesome. In a similar territory, my former scrummaster Melissa's ex-husband is the guy who ran Manifold records (who put out those crazy and crazy awesome Aube albums in the themed packaging: metal, stone, water, etc). Anyway, the guy gave me: Larb: The Story of Larb and Kuwahara: Kandyheartafghan. Also later I found the Nonconnah box and grabbed Nonconnah: The Gloom & the Glowing. Oh yeah, and Curtis of Argiflex brought up this computer and game she'd developed (sort of an interactive music video to a song) and had a little demo station and that was a pretty nice touch. Brought it Saturday but didn't really have a place to set it up plus was a bit hectic before the movie. Brought it was a real nice table on Sunday and it worked pretty well, I thought. Oh, this dude who works at Crosstown and was there for a good bit of the event, we were talking about the festival and how it's crazy it's here in Memphis and he couldn't believe there were that many musicians of this type here and he's from Providence so I asked if he was there when The Body was and he's friends with Lee. Pretty crazy. He's really cool too. Still tying up loose ends with merch. I kinda dropped the ball there. Had shit ready with a system and all but forgot to communicate it to the people doing merch! Doh! There may have been some inconsistencies in recording it. At least I had the square app to account for a lot of it (and I'd pre-organized the bands' stuff in there so it could be sorted and accounted for...when actually used right). I think I puzzled it out okay. Oh fun story. I ordered the square reader like weeks ago and then it never shows well past its due date. So Friday I finally go out and buy one (at least they refund one you purchase one time). Well, of course what shows up in the mail later that very day? But not that bad since I did get it refunded and ended up with two readers. Still it was a little funny when I saw the package. Oh more merch I forgot. I got some shirts. Saturday I picked up an Argiflex shirt and Sunday I picked up a Vexadrem shirt. I sold a good bit of Memphis Concrète shirts (though not enough to make bank...yet! but they ARE so awesome). Al the musicians seemed really into the whole experience which was great. I think there was a pretty good vibe going on. The audience seemed into it. It was pretty great. Oh, had planned also on taking chairs down after the movie but left 'em out. I mean it was all so long people sitting down was really the best choice. Anything else? I'm sure there's a ton of shit. Maybe if I remember I'll include more later.

Took Monday off of course. Day of rest! More or less. Last night on the couch. Said farewell to Cain and Ryan. They were really awesome. Bonded a lot over hoarding cds and movies and the same interests in both. Oh, I may have missed labeling him as from Knoxville in my last post. Monday ran errands. What else? I caught back up with the last Twin Peaks episode (episode 8...and HOLY SHIT!). Okay back to work today. Tying up last bits of financial loose ends and I think I should have money to share with all the bands. Profit! Did I actually throw a fucking experimental electronic music festival in Memphis and it actually happened AND it got a little bit of a profit!? Was NOT expecting that. Was not expecting anything near the level of success we got. I know a lot of it was help from people like Alex at the Flyer (by the way, still haven't even picked up that issue yet!). And just awesome people with awesome mouths to spread the word. Oh and I saw Natalie from Nots there. It's cool she came out for it. Didn't even end up needing Nots to play to make it a success. I mean, that still would have been awesome but it really was awesome on its own. Ah! It's sort of hard to process it all! I'm just gonna keep exclaiming shit I should stop now.

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