People have the internet and it's hard to shock them. Once threatening musical aesthetics like punk and hip-hop have long been neutered and incorporated into the popular culture canon. But noise is one of the few genres that can still get people riled up.
A regular charge against noise music is that it isn't music at all. Well, the International Noise Conference is strong evidence against that claim. There are acts perfect for headbanging. There are acts that will make you sleepy. There are even some acts with a beat. And hey, isn't that all you really need for dancing?
See the cut for ten supereclectic acts not to be missed at this year's conference.
10. Temple of Bon Matin (Pompano Beach)
Temple of Bon Matin is improv percussionist and vocalist Ed Wilcox, in ensemble and solo. Recently, Ed has been touring with Arkestra saxophonist, Marshall Allen, so expect a free-jazz state of mind.
9. The Fun (Philadelphia, PA)
Fun is a process-based sound-performance duo that recently added the article "The" to its name. The duo's live show is based on uncanny rituals and general nimrod behavior.
8. Clang Quartet (Nashville, TN)
Of all the I.N.C. regulars, Clang Quartet is the one we most associate with the phrase, "Is that guy serious?" Skip to 5:00 to see what we're talking about.
7. Haves&Thirds (Tampa, FL)
Friday night of I.N.C. is always curated by stalwart Tampa noise label, Cephia's Treat, and this will be the third year that label ringleader Haves&Thirds delivers the opening invocation by way of mammoth beats and saccharine, tinny guitar tone.
6. Russian Tsarlag (Tampa, FL)
Much like Fun, Russian Tsarlag is rooted in unsettling performance art, though the groups diverge in tone. While Fun exudes an otherworldly, primal, S&M vibe, Tsarlag is full of dry pagan incantations and bummer mantras. Sometimes Tsarlag even plays bangin' lo-fi creep rock, so stay on your toes.
5. What's Yr Damage? (Orlando, FL)
WYD? were a pillar of the Central Florida noise scene throughout the early 00s, and experienced waves of experimentation that included herky jerky post-punk, slamming stoner riffs and prancing hippiedom.
4. Neon Blud (Tampa, FL)
Neon Blud is one a few rock spoilers sprinkled throughout the weekend. They play totally fried late-period SST Records psychedelic punk. Their recent 12'' on Drugged Conscience was one of the best records of 2010 and they themselves may just be the best band in Florida.
3. Newton (Philadelphia, PA)
Few can blow ear drums so dynamically as Breathmint Records founder, Newton. He's everything you hate about noise.
2. Skeleton Warrior (Tampa, FL)
Skeleton Warrior make music that runs the gamut of synthesizer experimentation: frenetic electronic a la Cabaret Voltaire; sleazy electro pop a la Soft Cell; sneering keyboard punk a la the Weirdos.
1. Laundry Room Squelchers (Miami, FL)
Attending I.N.C. and missing the Laundry Room Squelchers would be like going to the World Series and missing the opening pitch. Every year the Squelchers close the opening night of Noise Conference, and every year all hell breaks loose.
-- Matt Preira
Interntational Noise Conference 2011, presented by Laundry Room Squelchers. Thursday, February 10 to Saturday, February 12. Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami. The chaos begins at 9 p.m. on Thursday, 6 p.m. on Friday, and 3 p.m. on Saturday. There's no cover. Call 305-757-1807 or visit churchillspub.com.
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