BULL TONGUE by Byron Coley & Thurston Moore from Arthur No. 8 (Jan 2004)

Exploring the Voids of All Known Undergrounds
by Byron Coley and Thurston Moore

first published in Arthur No. 8 (January, 2004)

Interesting to see and hear the Tarot or Aorta: Memories of a PRE Festival CD right now. It’s one of the first three CDs released by sex-muzak kingpin Tom Smith’s rather recent label stab The Smack Shire (www.smackshire.com). Along with the remarkable Georgia peach new wave sci-fi teen toilet graphic is the actual document of what was an outsider-music festival, curated by the sad pockets of Mademoiselle Smith. When Tom sent the call out to the chosen sensualists to partake in the Tora Tora Tora fest it seemed then, in 1997, as an incredible venture. Surely he was nuts, this was already proven through his years as slaughter-poet/vocalist with To Live and Shave in L.A. and Peach of Immortality. What was exciting was Tom’s vast net slithering through and past the most obvious noise-boy contenders in search of deeper, more bizarro authentica. And it was beautiful: Loren Mazzacane Connors, Davy Williams & LaDonna Smith, Monotrona, Harry Pussy, Liquorball, leslie q., and a dozen or so more true American genius originals. If you were there it must’ve been swell, if you weren’t it all seemed to come and go quickly and the wild flurry of post-post-noise underground mania pulsed forward in bunny-fucking multipludiny–to the point where the Tora Tora Tora festival was a faint memory of some lost Mayan era. So much has come and gone with babies and grandmas and pas making all kinds of wonderful free-rock racket. There’s a whole new stream of blood-contingency today and Tom’s issuing of this live document is goddamned timely.

Stopping for a quick breath (or smoke, if you wish) and flipping thoughtfully back to the mid-late ‘90s, when Harry Pussy was a wholly magical signifier to new noise rock nowness, makes some kind of holistic sense. Particularly since Adris Hoyo (drum/vox of HP) has been seen returning to the stage as of late with a fascinating, new-thought edge. Listening to the throwdowns that run through this snapshot of Tora Tora Tora is at once quaint and curious. Most of the music freaks involved are still locked in devotion to their creative light, either in the same guise or anew, but some of them are possibly relevant only as historical archaeologics. Regardless, they’re all excellent or near-excellent in the way they rip the fabric of rock and roll, avant-garde music, free-anything into sputtering future delight. The curious thing is what the future delight has turned out to be in late 2003, a crazy six years hence. What’s going on now is an excited fusion of disparate intelligentsia, young pups and old dogs, preternaturally sophisticated though raw like dripping meat.

This sentimental conclusion was made painfully obvious when we trucked out to Minneapolis in early October for what was the Destijl/Freedom From Festival of Music. Both Destijl and Freedom From are deep underground labels from Minneapolis. While Freedom From is notorious for wallowing in the slop of any and all scum noise and chatter (with mixed technical results), they have achieved a well-earned nutso celebrity status. Label boss Matthew St. Germain is a hard-puffing cherry pop of a lad entering into the conflicted adult world with a hellbent Brother Theodore madness tempered with LSD-driven Kaptain Kangaroo positivism. His other love is the culinary arts and he paused hardly once to see how much greatness was being consistently exhibited on stage so as to run home and cook up whole fresh turkeys, pot roasts and soup pots for the rumbling artist appetites. For a real live punk freak he’s a bonafide super chef and last I heard he was in deep sushi prep studies. Destijl, in contrast, has a rather low-key stance, releasing very limited recordings of super-lost folk/psych woodsmen. No catalog listing or website presence but a recognized and honorable profile. It is also the label that initially spearheaded this event and it is a token of its appeal to absurdity that they would actually conjoin themselves with the rampant lunacy of Freedom From. It was a meeting destined for either total hell breakdown or magical mystery success. Fortunately, for all in attendance, it was the latter.

Friday, October 3rd was the pre-festival night at a hip rocking bar in St. Paul called Big V.’s. Hair Police from Lexington, KY, who we squawked about a couple of Arthurs ago, hit the stage and were sick. We mean literally sick. After playing guitar as if it was an alien bursting from his Whitehouse t-shirted chest, lung shredder Mike Connelly proceeded to puke into his upended guitar case. Many electric devil signs and middle fingers and power fists were flailing as Hair Police moved through a set of experimental action rock which proved that they, and Michigan kingpins Wolf Eyes, are the most exciting bands from the American Midwest since The Stooges and MC5. A number of sporadic sonic releases by Hair Police exist on vinyl and cassette but this weekend saw the band celebrating their new cassette, Probe Cutting, on Mike Connelly’s own Gods of Tundra label. This tape is remarkable as it offers an alternative view into the band’s group sound. While some may write them off as just another spazz attack, here they seriously delve snuffle deep into warp group cosmosis. An insightful interview with the boys Mike, Trevor and Robert can be read at the bettawreckonize webzine.

Next up was The Dream/Aktion Unit which was Chris Corsano drums, Paul Flaherty sax and Jim O’Rourke and T. Moore guitars. It’s a conflict of interest for us to talk about our participation here but let us just say moist nips were way erect by gig’s rosy dawn. And speaking of moist nips, it was a gas to catch the legendary Michael Yonkers romp through a set of hard blues slice-and-bake guitar rock. Yonkers has been busting with intensified singular outsider yowl in Minneapolis since the ‘60s, when he led teen garage dynamos Michael & the Mumbles, to the 70s, when he weaved improv slink with Milo Fine’s Blue Freedom’s New Art Transformation, into the ‘80s/’90s/’00s, where he continually pumps shards of gut from his axe unlike any other electric six stringer around. All this is apparent on the Microminiature Love LP which Destijl released in microminiature quantity. Thankfully, it has been rescued again and it is easily attainable as a Sub Pop CD. At this fest he was slipping a few of his new It’s Only Yonkers CDRs around and it’s already being touted as the most fried-inside of modern Yonkers yet. It demands release.

The next day was the official first day of the fest and Aaron Dilloway was chosen for the opening invocation. Dilloway is the one connective tissue ‘twixt this event and the six years prior Tora Tora Tora fest, as he had appeared at that affair with the trio known only as Hercules. Dilloway is like the hitchhiker in Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original Tobe Hooper film, not the MTV rip), but instead of googling the knifeblade along his arm he transubstantiates noise-gore energy through mind/machine improv. The last couple of years have seen him primarily involved with the ultra-ruling Wolf Eyes so to see him play this solo lunchtime slot was a precursor to an unflagging mindblow of a trip. With stringy locks hanging, black boots kicked forward, he drove his machine like a pit mechanic investigating a sweet ride. Dillo delivered an ace. He also runs the longstanding distro/label Hanson Records where you can seek out some solo Dilloway laceration as well as a host of other fine meats.

Up next was Metalux. Two women in association with the amazing Bride of No No, whose second, possibly posthumous, LP on Atavistic is in frantic rotation here. Like that group, Metalux give off a distinctly dispossessed alien zap. Songs take on a grey whoosh with blurposette whizzing vox and oddball sampled guitar crackle to make you maybe think you’re drunk on the moon. A curious display and not too far removed from the hep qualities found on their Fluorescent Towers LP available on Hanson. A forthcoming split LP on the Belgium Veglia label with the UK’s phenomenally fucked Evil Moisture has us all panic sweating.

Wooden Wand & The Vanishing Voice is the new project of ex-Golden Calves Money Band and this performance had ringleader James Jackson Toth joined by Tovah O’Rourke (of Dead Machines), Matt Krefting (of The Believers) and a few other sprites out for adventure. It all slipped from some faerie aether into a sweet lyrical pronouncement from Toth and within eight minutes he bailed into the audience and sang his way into the basement thus winding the rather extended ensemble to a finish. WW&TVV’s future plans are that they will hitch-hike tour across the USA. Give ‘em a lift and maybe they’ll turn you on to their Book of FM cassette released on their own Polyamory label. It’s an initial clatter of a session and downright weird but no weirder than what will be their future LP release on Destijl.

Emil Beausoleil, the performing guise of RRRecords’ resident genius Ron Lessard, blew the house down. He plugged a table lamp in, and set it up on stage next to a couple of Ron-rigged turntables. A semi circle of curious elves gathered to see what this hurried man was up to. He chose his materials and set the needles down and listened to the front of house speakers emit their conservative rock and roll output. “Can you please turn up the PA??!!” he yelled to the soundman, who obviously had NO idea how to deal with Emil. The soundman, in his learned judgment, thought that the noise was loud enough as noise, unlike some lame hard rock band which he’d probably knee jerk to deafening decibels. But this was obviously wrong and to have it any louder would be criminal but Ron pleaded, “Turn it up! I am a professional!. The pleading became part of the show and Emil mixed it up with the great noise blowing out from the electric stylus hotcha all the while infuriating the soundman. After about 20 highly entertaining minutes of this back and forth Emil went into a wonderful choreography of preparing his self with the adornment of a button down sweater and tie. Now he was ready to go! But the soundman had to remind Emil that his time was pretty much up. Everyone was told to stay at the 30-40 minute mark as there were so many acts. At Emil’s 30 minute mark he exclaimed “I was just warming up!” and from there he fucking thrashed. He always does.

We were spent and ran out to fish for some liquids and missed Devendra Banhart but returned duly to be melted by the exquisite vocalese of Bridget St. John. Bridget released four dark folk LPs whilst traversing 1960s psychedelic London, Greenwich Village and the West Coast. She was a confidante of Nick Drake and had played in settings with Kevin Ayers and Mike Oldfield amongst others. Her four-and-a-half solo LPs Ask Me No Questions (Dandelion 1969), Song For The Gentle Man (Dandelion 1971), Thank You For (Dandelion 1972), Jumblequeen (Chrysalis 1974), and The First Cut (Shagrat 1996), are haunting masterpieces of folk charmed drama. Many thought her vanished but she has been alive and well on Bleeker Street, NYC for some time and appeared shockingly a few years back at a memorial concert for Nick Drake in NYC. Destijl plans on recording a new Bridget LP soon (a CD, Take The Fifth, containing a pastiche of odd session tracks was released on the UK See For Miles label, which also reissued the Dandelion sessions) and if her appearance at this fest was any indication of the beautiful nature that LP may contain, then be prepared to have mind and heart embraced. What was most telling of this festival is how much the boundaries between extreme noise slash and classic hippie dawn folk have blurred. The new generation’s appreciation of all outsider music as common aesthetic is as remarkable as it is organic, yet it’s also nutso in its record collector absurdity. The one performance I saw Wolf Eyes noise queen John Olson stage front at was the Bridget set and he was obviously digging the honest sublimity flowing like sweet clotted cream through his oracular scope. Or maybe he was just trying to cadge a beer from someone.

As soon as Bridget began to head for the basement zone she noticeably stopped and turned in quizzical response to an immediate sound happening back on stage. Fursaxa, the lone figure of Pennsylvanian Tara Burke, had immediately begun a chime tree incantation of readiness. All minds seemed to gravitate towards this non-break in action and it took the classicism of Bridget’s world and delivered a wholly other ‘scape of folk/psyche contemplation. Fursaxa swept the audience off its collective squat, emoting swirled long note vocal lines floating atop mystic pump organ balustrades. Her closing piece was a layered accordion texture composition that dropped all to enchanted grace. She has two new self-released CDRS on her site Trobairitz Are Here From Venus and The Cult From Moon Mountain, both of which are highly recommended.

We took another spill into the streets in search of reality and missed Espers, a folkish conglomerate from the East Coast, but made it back in time to catch a formidable excursion by Nmperign. Like John Stevens’ Spontaneous Music Ensemble, Nmperign (Greg Kelley-trumpet, Bhob Rainey-sax) evince music from small free actions and are fully inside the compositional propulsion, granting the listener a steam head experience of fresh born creativity. A helluva time; but you got to be right up in it to let it flip and canoodle around your psyche, otherwise it becomes so much tick-tock inside the environment. Which is not altogether a bad alternative. They had unboxed their new double LP handsomely packaged by the Siwa label entitled We Devote Every Effort to Offer You the Best That You Deserve to Have for Your Enjoyment. Siwa takes great care in producing high quality editions. This Nmperign LP is downright beauteous and it wonderfully captures the work style of these cats.

The MVEE Medicine Show is Matt Valentine and Erika Elder and, as evening began its nudging arrival, these good practitioners of earth/magic love played a welcome set of radical animal head jam. It’s Matt and Erika’s Child of Microtones outfit which put on the Brattleboro Free Folk Fest which The Wire splashed on its “New Weird America” cover and, in a more outside/rural way, pre-dated this now full blown orgy of groove.

At this point, the group mind of the audience was in superbake mode and it was due time for some regal ass-kicking, ‘though we weren’t quite in agreement as to how that should take place. The Wayne Rogers Unit took the stage and a cynical perspective took hold. These guys are gonna play some psych-rock noise jamz? That might be a cornball bummer! Within 30 seconds of Kate Biggars’ awesome rock + roll guitar goddess power swings and Wayne’s zapped lead scorch, the club was a burning hole of high time energy. Completely and totally ass blasting, the entire dumbstruck audience lit up with raging rock energy and pushed this band into sheer sonic epiphany. They shut down with a weepingly great rendition of Thunderclap Newman’s “Something in the Air.” The night time is the right time and all systems were jumped. Wayne and Kate have plenty of different sides available from their record label/store Twisted Village. Hopefully they’ll kick out a Wayne Rogers Unit disc quick.

Before exiting the smoked stage, Kate raised both hands in the air and yelled “Borbetomagus!!!” as that was indeed the next salacious course. We’ve been tracking the Borbetomagus monster since its mid-‘70s inception and tonight they strode onto the stage like feted royalty. It was legend time and in celebration of such mythos, Don Dietrich sported an oversized Jimi Hendrix t-shirt which was a visual call to arms. Dietrich and Jim Sauter, within a hot minute, locked their horns “bells together” and sent out snaked multiphonics careening with total life over the guitar driven field of concrete miasmas courtesy Donald Miller. Unusual for Borbetomagus, at least in our experience, the trio actually got into some quietism, which opened their palette of intensity to a neo-sophisticated, freakish level. To the delight of everyone, the reedmen whipped out rubber hoses and attached them to their horns and blew out jettisons of grunt ending with Dietrich on his back gurgling up a mouthful of beer through the sounding rubber. This was sex Nyack NY style and the room was dripping.

The midnight hour threatened as last call would be in effect and it was in giddy anticipation as Tony Conrad dropped a white sheet across the front of the stage and set up his violin/electronics unit. Tony Conrad = fucking heavy. In collaboration with LaMonte Young in the ‘60s Tony formed the Theatre of Eternal Music, where a newfound investigation and reckoning of drone music dynamism was put to action. This was a direct current through John Cale into the Velvet Underground, a premier influence on just about everything moving in this room. And that’s but a segment of Tony’s history in multimedia. Long, sonorous electric bowed tones filled the space and at each pause a percussive moving whomp of a signal punctuated the environment. All the while, a surrealist shadow of the performer bellowed in gargantua across the stage. This was pure and utter mesmer music. As heavy as God. First night over. All crawled home and slept for the coming Sunday.

A different vibe this day, as second days usually are. Bleary brained mortals ready to bust a second nut but knowing they really need to find some fucking java and soon. We missed Ian Nagoski’s opening set but heard it was a sublime offering to the rising tribes poking about the aether.

Neon Hunk decided to caffeinate the gathering heads with hard spiked electro slap adorned in knitted tumble-wear. Each hyper bonk karate chopped its way through our skulls, not unlike their wicked LP on Load Records Smarmymob or the bonkers cassette Neyan Honkies (on Twig from Nautical Almanac’s label Heresee). This duo, Jennifurmium on lead synth/ vox and Pink Diamond on drums, modular ‘tronics and vox are always a sweet kick to catch but we were still seeking the sex charm left the night previous.

It was within the grasp surely of Burning Star Core. We raved about these little fuckers an issue or two ago and they’ve only grown in amazingness. The violin slicing Spencer Yeh, electronix arbiter Mike Shiflet and drummer Trevor Tremaine had spent the last 36 hours noise slamming in the pits, from the Hair Police Friday kill-down to last night’s Tony Conrad mind-crush. They were ready to slay and they did and in their own time. They didn’t beat off and blast, they let the music take its own path and guided it masterfully. Zipper fuck violin amp rock intershot with improvised quarktronix grabbed us back into the beast. It was topped off with Hair Police’s Mike Connelly joining for a vocal necksnap and we were on our way to a fucking killer day of sickness. Connelly’s Gods of Tundra label has just released the Amplified Body Sound cassette and we suggest you grab a couple now.

Into a room abrim with pariah visions, shuffled the crown prince of outsider U.S.A.: the soul-blamming persona of Arthur Doyle. Arthur has heard the noise of God penetrate Satan’s sacrum in more ways than most of these pups have had teeth in mouth, but does he lord this wild wind about their shells? Naught! He calls a dog a dog, and today he was the diva with the hand cream notion. His recorder and voice songs were gracious Nivea to the grey matter of towelette consciousness. The ladies in attendance I saw, Heather Leigh Murray of Scorces and Rita Ackermann of Angelblood, silently evoked this man’s great hands in bliss everlasting with smiles and eyes betwinked. Arthur Doyle can lay waste to any jaded preconception and though today’s salutation was noteful for its brevity it was nevertheless relentlessly religious.

An event a lot of us were salivating for was the appearance of Dead Machines, the romantik-noise union betwixt John Olson and Tovah O’Rourke. Olson runs American Tapes, possibly the most recognized of contemporary U.S. underground noisetronix labels. It’s also one of the most infuriating as releases come roughshod out of the gate in extreme micro numbers (editions of 15 are not unusual) and are discontinued post haste. And their iconography is hardcore psychoslash making them rather difficult to differentiate. Which, of course, is their beauty, as it constitutes a universe of living music. The label is just past its 300th release with no sign of slowing down. Since Tovah (ex-Golden Calves) relocated to Michigan to take Olson’s hand in sacramental rite, as well as to do her own thing, she’s released some of the coolest sounds from the American Tapes factory to date. Together they’ve exhibited stretches of improvised junk machine counterplay which bring to mind a feminized Wolf Eyes with a gonad butter dish of bohunk. Olson is insane in his fabric splitting military fatigue t-shirt and drink-fight-and-fuck keychain belt and Tovah is resplendent in her natural gorgeousness. When Olson walks over, kisses her, grabs the mic and proclaims “fuck the cops,” you know you’re at the center of the universe. If only just for a while. They have a one-sided handcut LP “The Things” (edition of 15 – available as of press time but probably long gone). There’s a great cassette in a large edition of 40 called “Future Funerals” which is really the real deal.

Jack Rose, continuing his investigation into folk blues guitar text, sat his ass down and ripped through his blue mountain repertoire. Jack came out of the mighty drone psyche world of Pelt and with the same southern charm that combo identified itself jack does so in solo stance. The process of breaking-through is as meritorious as the actual blow-out and Jack languishes at this acoustic door showing us all things we may have been dulled by through the years of post Tora Tora Tora exposition. He has just released a great document of this time of his travel on the Eclipse label called Opium Musick.

What seemed like a dude-laden day got busted as Angelblood made a completely rare appearance on the live stage. Angelblood forms from the uncategorizable flares of NYC’s Gang Gang Dance, Diadal and No Neck Blues Band as well as the ricochet finger jab-guitar licks of Orthrelm. Indeed it was Orthrelm’s Mick Barr who was responsible for a lot of the compositional guitar action, but his lickage is now played by a strapping Swede improviser who gave the group a new sense of metal flow. And metal is the elemental catalyst of this odd yet sultry swagger. What began as a three woman night-trip (Jess Holzworth left for warmer climes) is now just Rita Ackermann and Lizzie Bougatsos singing/chanting/evoking/crying/screaming the spirits of earth and moon, driven by the right-on dark metal skin pummel of No Neck’s Dave Nuss who got this shit down cold a long while back whilst a lad named Bambi in the Texas metal circuit with Angkor Watt. Rita moves with a sensual Hungarian nightclub lilt with a smile and a cigarette and a voice howling into the soul of dark dreams while Lizzie stands in black with an early Ozzy intensity, her banshee shreeks breaking any freak spell within 9000 miles. The tunes were killer and the girl/girl sex possession rituals were uncaged eros. The scent was dizzying. After the Angelblood and Masses of the Daggers CDs on the Japanese Captain Trip label they now have a new CD of this crazed line-up being readied for issue by Printed Matter.

With boners engorged, we crawled to a bar around the corner to drown the heat, missing the over-excited hard rock of No Doctors. But we returned in time to see the last half of Noxagt who were on a rampage of crushing blackball bass (Kjetil Brandsdal), whamming drum constructions (Jan Christian Kyvik) and hyper violin shard spray (Nils Erga). These three Norwegians have been at if for a few years now and recorded a killer document of their moves released by Load Records called Turning It Down Since 2001. This disc just plain slams and tonight’s gig showed the crux of their group gush. A perfect soundtrack to our horndogged oats.

Jackie-O Motherfucker played an extended piece of music completely beyond anything we’ve ever heard them do. It was an exhilarating display of mass instrumentation in active repetition. They had the sophisticated wherewithal to let the composition have its own accord, whilst gracefully directing it to new wide-open levels of positivism. Astounding and assured and joyful. Head honcho Tom Greenwood runs the U-Sound Archive where much JOMF is available (as well as a new limited edition book of illos by legendary Chocolate Monk/Prick Decay/Decaer Pinga wizard Dylan Nyoukis—brilliant).

After JOMF warmed the club to a sweet sizzle, the mood was buzzing in warmth and grooviness. No Neck Blues Band set the stage up with their classic array of urban fire music percussion and prepared guitar/sax. And there was Michiko, long-haired Japanese woman adding a vibe of actual Noh-wave spontaneity. And Keith Connelly with Stooges aviator shades and wildstyle red beard. People were ready for this. Many here knew No Neck as some mythical sub-world improv OUTfit. All the band had to do was do what they do best: wrap the music round their heads and let it rip. It certainly started off this way and the audience was latching on, but then it went into bloopersville. An attempt at living danger was in effect, but to a crowd of hardcore Midwesterners this was about as dangerous as the Knick City Dancers. Drums and cymbals flew into the audience, ashtrays were tossed off the balcony blasting glass bits around the onlookers feet (cool!), blindfolds were worn across the stage (though there was obvious peeking going on), and a beer bottle shard was used to cut into skin (ouch…fuck!). It was entertaining, regardless, especially Keith’s antagonistic “hey why dontchyou shut the fuck up?” patter to the heckling crowd. The club owners threatened to pull the plug on the festival after witnessing the backstage fruit tray being tossed in the air nearly shattering hanging light fixtures (cool!) and demanded to Clint Simonson, the Destijl organizer, to stop the band. Clint was digging it, we all were—retardo chaos is a gas—so he refused. It ended with most of the band winding down in apoplectic disengagement. There was the feeling of divisiveness and regret, as a chance to prove how good No Neck can be was overshadowed by a food fight. A general review of, “whatever,” was handed down. It certainly would be one of the more discussed sets of the event but for total mindblow it didn’t even enter the race.

NNBB had been touring around with Trad Gras och Stenar (Swedish for, Trees Grass and Stone) and everyone was waiting to see these legends from Sweden. They came out to a riotous welcome, four elder gentlemen with shirts tucked in, and proceeded to trip out into a long classic drone rock groove. Lead guitarist Bo-Anders Persson was 60-plus years old and severely kicking everyone’s ass. A mainstay of TG+S, Bo first formed the group Parson Sound in 1967 as a way to explore minimalist rock raga. The band changed their name to International Harvester in 1968 and re-arranged members a bit, and got very involved with hippie “free” culture, recording two excellent LPs Sov Gott Rose-Marie (Love Records) and Hemat (Decibel Records). In 1969 they got more into it traveling throughout Sweden playing outside any mainstream confine with a freaked light and happening performance aesthetic, changing their name this time to Trad Gras Och Stenar and proclaiming “you are the music we are just the band.” The next four years saw them release a self-titled LP on Decibel, Rock for Kropp och Sjal (Silence) and Djungelns Lag (Tall records). They split up in 1973 and released the posthumous Mors Mors LP (Tall), but regrouped every once in a while (once during the 1981 punk days as T. Gas). The Ti’llinden label released a 1970 live CD in 1995 called Gardet 12.6.1970 and a double CD of Parson Sound music, both which are awesome, and Silence issued a 2002 session on CD “Ajn Schvajn Draj”. And now they are in fucking Minneapolis jamming heavily and we are more than mellow. Jim O’Rourke is passing out free LSD to anyone who’s ready and much to everyone’s pleasure Rita Ackermann comes dancing onto the stage to muse the men into a higher key. Sweet!

For almost everyone in attendance this was the end, but one more act was ready to go and it was Dwight Frizzell, the man who released the weirdo 1976 out jazz LP., Beyond the Black Crack. The talk was that this LP was going to be recreated live tonight but instead….well it was a rather softcore take on mid-‘80s Arkestra action and pretty cornpone. We bolted to get some sick pizza around the corner and returned to see Matt St. Germain boogieing like a mouse on fire as the club personnel swept away the dust of goddamned good time.

Where a festival of this consistent greatness can lead is only to a next generation. What seems to be in the cards is the idea that anyone can put on a festival like this if they have the focus to do so. Also 3 to 5000 dollars helps. The next one in the works right now is the No Fun festival in Brooklyn this March 2004, as curated by Carlos Giffoni of Monotract. What distinguished the Tora Tora Tora fest and the Freedom From/Destijl fest was the curators’ devotion to the tapestry of artfulness and original soul power running through avant garde jazz to dark folk dreams and buzzbomb noise power. Note to Giffoni: can’t fucking wait, dude.

Bull Tongue
PO Box 627
Northampton MA 01062

American Tapes: http://www.geocities.com/americantapes
Atavistic: http://www.atavistic.com
Bettawrechonize: http://www.bettawreckonize.com/interviews/hairpolice.htm
Borbetomagus: http://www.j51.com/~borbeto/
Burning Star Core: http://www.dronedisco.com/bxc/
Captain Trip: http://plaza14.mbn.or.jp/~captaintrip/
Child of Microtones: lunarmv@hotmail.com
Tony Conrad: http://www.geocities.com/hstencil/tonyconradintro.html
Aaron DillawayHanson Records: http://www.hansonrecords.com
Arthur Doyle: http://www.furious.com/perfect/arthurdoyle.html
Eclipse: http://www.eclipse-records.com
Fursaxa: http://www.fursaxa.net
Gods of Tundra: http://www.geocities.com/godsoftundra/
Heresee: http://www.heresee.com/heresee.htm
Load Records: http://www.loadrecords.com
Metalux: http://www.metalux.com
Ian Nagoski: http://www.redroom.org/documentation/nagoski.html
Neon Hunk: http://www.angelfire.com/super/neonhunk/
Noxagt: http://www.noxagt.com
Polyamory: http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/1590/
Printed Matter: http://www.printedmatter.org
RRRecords: http://www.rrrecords.com
See For Miles: http://www.seeformiles.co.uk
SIWA: http://home.earthlink.net/~siwa/front-1.html
Smackshire: http://www.smackshire.com
Sub Pop: http://www.subpop.com
Trad Gras och Stennar: http://www.tgs.nu
Twisted Village: http://www.twistedvillage.com
U-Sound Archive: http://www.usoundarchive.com
Veglia Records: http://www.vegliarecords.com
Michael Yonkers: http://www.michaelyonkers.com

Categories: "Bull Tongue" column by Byron Coley and Thurston Moore | Leave a comment

About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2023: I publish an email newsletter called LANDLINE = https://jaybabcock.substack.com Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca.

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