–Radio Shock from New York City playing in Tampa, Fl during Post INC 2008. Video by Alex Gaesser
Ok, so there’s some great things happening in your town. Good, keep up with it and make sure it does nothing but grow. Now, what about other places? It’s nothing but a refreshing feeling to know that there’s locations both close and far that have either the same intentions, styles or most important of all, reasons to do something of their own. DIY culture is widely looked down upon and I’m tired of it, because I feel people think that if something is far too “easy” to do themselves, that the quality of it has automatically diminished and they’d rather just hear something produced on a much bigger label with more generalized sounds. I’ve come to the realization not everyone likes music for the same reasons, but I’d like to clear some things out with those that don’t realize that something beautiful could be brewing (and eventually dieing) either in a town nearby or right in their own beloved city with “nothing to do.” Also keep in mind Animal Collective were playing in warehouses plucking the same guitar notes over and over again while making animal noises to each other before they started getting large recognition just within the past couple years. Another thing to be widely aware of is that there are noise bands that give noise a bad name, because it causes too much preemptive opinions on anything experimental and left-field from there on out; if one noise band plays with 4 bands of a different species, it does not make the show one unconstructed Merzbow worship fest, this I will explain much more in depth later. BUT, this is a post about just other collective minds from around and not necessarily the DIY hate club.
-Kites at INC 2006
Basically with the help of networking, touring, and organizing big music events such as INC, Bloodfest, and Freedumb fest, the music gets out along with the word. It builds a bigger community and entices others to get involved. And for what important reasons you ask, or for what motives for doing this? Well, it’s not necessarily about getting a label to come up to you to ask you to record for a compilation or vinyl (a great bonus I must say), but to create an eternal calling card of your passion, art, and maybe to even inspire others to do so as well. Circulating within your own town is the best place to start and of course grow from roots, but it isn’t until you explore more on your own to find out that from places afar there’s also burning flames of DIY energy. Some of my favorite bands of previous generations have grown out of DIY communities, such as Chrome, Throbbing Gristle, The Cure, Swell Maps, Polvo, John Bender and tons of minimal synth artists hiding in their bedrooms making music to launch them off like a lost vessel in the deepest darkest regions of the ocean or highest skies, however you like to see it. It’s been the core root of music creations for decades, and especially since punk exploded there were tons of small bands making tapes and trading them out with each other in which only some recordings have survived and made it to the net. So, we’re very lucky in a way things can get out more, and although still under the limelight there’s no reason to not wanting to keep doing music because it starts from within and only the environment can carry the current.
Events and Groups
INC – a three day event that happens every year around mid-Feb at Churchills, Miami FL (as well as 2 other locations during nearby dates). Showcasing some of the current experimental, punk, darkwave and electronic bands from around Florida and up north along the east coast. The Laundry Room Squelchers set up the whole event and take over the setlist on the 1st night while Todd from Cephia’s Treat selectively forms the schedule of projects from Tampa and more on the 2nd night. I’ve never been but I heard it’s really worth going to and isn’t a bad deal at all if you’re already in Miami.
Pre/Post-INC – when there’s so many bands coming together in one location from all over the place, it would be a big bummer if they didn’t play anywhere nearby along their journey. So, most bands fortunately trek over to Tampa, Orlando, Sarasota, Brandon and anywhere they stop by on a tour to play. It’s a good way to get exposed to these groups from out of town especially if you can’t make it to Miami for the actual INC.
Bloodfest – Todd and Carlos (of Russian Tsarlag persona) organize catastrophes into sound for a whole days worth bringing together friends from the east coast as well as a couple of lost souls around the bay. Most of you that read this blog know what goes on already.
Action Research – Andrew Chadwick of Ironing runs these events in Gainesville of some of the darkest, throbbing electronic/industrial sounds you’ll hear from Florida. Besides Ironing, I really enjoy the hellfire storm of No Limit Cycle that plays at these shows quite often. Noise, yes; bad noise, no.
ZRadio – located in Philly, the operators of these live radio streams will play some things you will probably never ever hear elsewhere and ties in a lot of what my friends and friends of friends are doing.
Other fest/groups: I’m not too aware of what goes on up north from me as far as events go, but that brings me to what bands I do know about and enjoy that aren’t from around here that I’m sure do similar things.
Bands I haven’t mentioned this month:
These are groups I’ve either seen and thought they were doing something really special or bands I’ve heard a lot about over the grape vine from my friends in Florida.
Lazy Magnet – The man at the center of the cyclone. One of the most creative, passionate people I know and his style of collaged, schizophrenic shifts pretty much would be what I’d imagine the sound of the world’s birth, destruction, and voyage after within an album would be. More on his magi-stry later, but check Adventure Hippies to see what he and others around Nashville/Providence RI have been up to.
Kites – one dude, loud sound, from Providence RI. He’s pretty notorious for not only his bi-polar sets but also creates a great comic called Powr Mastrs. I wouldn’t be surprised if his music started to get more recognition within sometime soon.
Small Pox – tribal war jams from Charleston, SC. I saw them play at Bloodfest and was blown away from their ghosts on drugs sound.
Unicorn Hard-On – one girl electronic force. Dancey, dark, spacey and crude, and I keep missing her sets everytime I try! She also opened for Sonic Youth on a recent tour.
Taiwan Deth – things are getting a bit krauty and I’m not krautplaining
Drums Like Machine Guns – pretty much the sound of a factory gone haywire. Industrial has always been real DIY oriented.
Swordheaven – speaking of industrial… these guys might be a little harsh for some but I thought it was cool to hear that they opened for Skinny Puppy on their last tour.
Mincemeat or Tenspeed – the sound of a stampede of pissed off spirits devouring life out of land. From Philly.
Big + Tall – from Atlanta; not all no wave comes from a no new york
Faster Detail – modern electro from a dude that makes it nostalgic yet fresh at the same time. I’m glad that more dance styles have been incorporated more into the experimental scene lately.
Diamond Hymen – chillstress from Jacksonville FL that makes me scratch my head when people into dance pop won’t be convinced by my word to check her and other groove bands out. More on Jasmine’s project later!
Rare Youth – located in Providence, RI.
Corleone – Lazy Magnet’s label located also in Providence, RI
Breathmint – more on the harsh/noise spectrum of punk ethics
Load Records – I’m sure a lot of people can remember these days from their early curiosity in damaged art punk
Not Not Fun – the sound of an island tribe if the ocean surrounding was laced with mind expanding liquid
Oubliette’s Swamp Touch – not a label but Oubliette operates this blog from the east coast and collects a lot of the has beens and will be’s from a far yet close community of experimental projects
Feel free to send me any related information I missed and I’ll post it on here later. Of course, since ‘the other’ is so broad, I will spend much time talking about what’s going on as I find out. In the meantime, here’s a video of a “preview” of this coming month’s theme. Pretty obvious it’s going to be classical music month.
-Pro Bro Dog playing his heart out.