Summer of Weirds II
Friday, August 19, 2011
Every single piece of press about Summer of Weirds II at Churchill's Pub, including the feature story published by New Times, opened with a mention of the festival's incredibly rabid Facebook presence. Like we said, social networking is a totally relative experience. So maybe your inbox wasn't flooded with the constant picture changes, invitation to spinoff groups-slash-events and the bonafide shit-stream of astonishingly obscene imagery.
But if your email actually was flooded with Weirds filth and you happened to make it out to Churchill's last night, you would likely agree that -- much like its army of digital doppelgängers -- Summer of Weirds II was in-your-face, relentless, and mind-shatteringly crude.
There were a lot of bands! And somehow, Weirds had managed to defy the eternally damning, inescapable grip of Miami Time, drawing a big enough crowd early on to only delay the start of the evening by an hour.
Luma Junger opened with a meld of dark, post-punk vocal pop and synthesizer antics. Their poise and composition was greatly contrasted by noise trio Ballscarf's incredibly foul performance.
While most of the band sat on the floor twiddling knobs and pressing buttons that in turn manifested deafening roars and some genuinely painful moments of feedback, Ballscarf vocalist Aiden Dillard performed a bizarre, shrieking (as in, he was screaming very loudly) strip-tease in front of a video that seemed to depict the artist taking a mammoth dump. The video's centerpiece was a large, gaping asshole raining down feces. Weirds!
Depending on who you asked, this early scatalogical outburst was either the evening's highest or lowest point. It was at least the evening's noisiest. Next, Sharlyn Evertsz performed an incredibly nuanced ambient set in which a rollicking drum beat and ethereal instrumentals laid a framework for eerily witchy incantations and full-blown siren singing.
Then, Boise Bob and the Backyard Band held the room hostage with their bewildering mutant Americana soundtrack.
Put simply, the evening was an onslaught of stimulus. There was no escape from the freak parade. The Churchill's back patio, typically a reprieve from the mania happening a few feet away inside the bar, was subsumed by the Tweaker Creature Council's drum 'n' bass universe.
This Heart Electric
Churchill's doorman Mr. C was the evening's master of ceremonies, which amounted to him dressing like a lounge singer (complete with wig) and shouting, "Give it up for Snakehole, you cunts!," over the bar's P.A. before the raw garage trio -- who played a smoldering, notably metallic set -- took the stage
A quick trip to the gas station across the street led to us running straight into a midnight Haitian drum promenade. There were two chickens hanging out too.
What else can we say, shit was Weirds.
The Crowd: Norms, weridos, everything in-between, and beyond.
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Random Detail: Sweat Records clerk Emile Milgrim had never seen another person shit before watching Ballscarf's set. We'd like to think this was true for most of the audience. But, uh, this is Weirds we're talking about.
Overheard in the Crowd: "Free show! Don't go!"