Every year, producer-musician Rat Bastard throws his globally acclaimed International Noise Conference at Churchill's Pub. And, every year, squares of every shape, size, and variety -- from costumed punk rock LARPers to "serious musicians" with serious chips on their shoulder -- bitch and moan every chance they get. The most common charge is "this shit isn't even music."
Well, hey, Gramps, didn't they say the same thing about your precious punk? Or, really, rock 'n roll in general?
In today's wear-that-crappy-influence-on-your-sleeve, post-relevant music industry, noise -- and we're talking about the actually noisy stuff, not the pan-genre big tent that includes everything from techno to post-punk -- may be one of the last bastions of raw rock 'n' roll intensity.
So here are the nine nastiest, noisiest acts "gracing the stage" at this year's International Noise Conference.
Metasplice (Philadelphia, PA)
A collaboration between veteran INCer Dave Smolen and beat-oriented compatriot, hair_loss, Metasplice takes on the challenge of being "noisy" without necessarily getting harsh, extreme or totally brutal. Instead, the duo sounds like an iPod loaded with IDM and/or glitch, and completely submerged in hot sauce.
Microwave Windows (San Francisco, CA)
Never before has a musical artist sounded so much like their namesake. Microwave Windows sounds like the exact synthesis of a humming convection oven and the boot-up music for Windows 95.
Williams, Hosker and Bristol (Jacksonville / Broward)
Free-jazz is a lot like free-balling. And if you don't know what we mean, might we suggest checking out this no-core trio (featuring master improvisers from North and South Florida alike) for a crash course in jazz that sounds like testicles.
Oubliette (Clyo, GA)
Southeastern noise champion Oubliette follows a variety of self-prescribed mandates - including a ban on "after" effects like delay and loops, all sound is always improvised and tailored to the room, and so on - to maintain the projects seriousness and devoutness in light of genre trends and lazy noise.
Douglas Ferguson (Austin, TX)
Nothing like a good harsh noise wall to cleanse the palette, eh? Douglas Ferguson starts with a lil' drone spark, adds some juice courtesy a mountain of effects, and before you know it your body is completely consumed by an inferno of sound.
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Blue Shift (Providence, RI)
A violin-based squall factory, Blue Shift forges tones that render men impotent and put's every dog within earshot into a trance where they stand up on their hind legs and do a soft shoe.
Tusco Terror (Cleveland, OH)
The last time Tusco Terror played I.N.C. (back in 2009) the entire set was one giant malfunction: each member tried to get their gear to work, uh, until none of them could. The end. The gritty-and-brooding table-noise ensemble has also been known to conclude performances by completely trashing their equipment, assuming it worked in the first place.
Tippi Tillvind (Stockholm, Sweden)
We have no idea what multimedia Swedish artist Tippi Tillvind has in store for Churchill's Pub, but we hope it's something like the noise-mobile collaboration featured in the video above.
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Cock E.S.P. (Minneapolis)
Cock E.S.P. are the sloppy, semen-encrusted kings of North American noise. For over a decade, this "experimental music and art ensemble" has traveled the world wearing crappy, dirty costumes, beating the shit out of each other, and making horrible messes. A Zen koan poses the question: "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" We have no idea, but we're positive it's the complete opposite of Cock E.S.P.
International Noise Conference 2012. Wednesday, February 8, to Saturday, February 11. Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE 2nd Ave., Miami. The noise begins at 9 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, 7 p.m. on Friday, and 5 p.m. on Sunday. No cover. Call 305-757-1807 or visit churchillspub.com.