by carl wilson

Bifurcated Bedeviled Noise Crossroad Prophesy Clash!

Wolf Eyes. Photo borrowed from Nathan Baker.

Thurston Moore: "The new folks of no-wave-ish tendencies as opposed to straight-up noise like Prurient, Wolf Eyes, etc. all seem to exist and deliver with one real difference from the old days: The new guys know how to play. Back in the day it was more interesting to me because no one really knew how to play. It was a real epiphany of new language development."

John Fell Ryan (Excepter, ex-No-Neck Blues Band): "It's not like No Wave where everyone is reducing things to black and white. The current scene is much more omnivorous and exploratory. [...] Indie rock died flat in 1994 and everybody knows that, viscerally. It's not just a New York thing; there are noise scenes everywhere. The entire planet is a noise scene. You don't have to ask why people are making visionary apocalyptic music right now. Drop It Like It's Hot is a noise record!"

Or at least that Ying Yang Twins whisper record is definitely a noise record.

Opines? Me, I think the time is right for the high-school-sophomore noise-music big bang, but am not so sure if it's going to yield much nutrition for those not directly participating. On the other hand, hurray if it makes the whole corpus of noise more available at your local five-and-dime, and hurray-squared if pop gets even more noisy, like grime-plus (the Ying Yang song, actually called Wait, is one of crunk's closest proximates to grime). But down at ground level, how much pure mineral is there to mine out of the noise quarries that hasn't been tapped already? Noise purists diss Lightning Bolt for being too musical, but that's what's juicy about it, because I don't see what's left to be proved about being rigidly anti-music. Also I like this urge around "dumb noise" because noise has already gone right around the ring of so-intellectual-it's-stupid, it needs to reach that opposite pole. Too bad Andrew WK cashed in his quarters and quit the noise arcade (or did he?). I want Kelly Clarkson's noise single, y'know? (Though I still like the noise-as-harsh-therapist, body-shortcircuiting skool of thot.) On the other hand maybe I'll be surprised - for instance at this year's Victoriaville festival, where I'm heading this year partly because I'd be an idiot not going where Anthony Braxton, Prague's Plastic People and Peter Brotzmann's Tentet, among others, will be, but also because it's got a sick contingent of new-gen noisicians such as Wolf Eyes and Hair Police (and their big stepsiblings No Neck and The Boredoms) coming, a good chance to mulch these issues. How they get received by the jazzbos should be a heckuva sideshow in itself.

How's the noise where you are? Read the rest of Brandon Stosuy's piece on current New York noise in today's Village Voice, from which the quotes at the top of the post are lifted.

Update, March 16: Even if I stayed in town, I could see a passle o' noise cats thanks to the VTO off-festival festival (i.e., gentleman Ron Gaskin), reportedly including Les yeux des loups on May 20.

Update update: Ever feel like you're corroding your soul with excesses of pop culture, like your spirit is a set of dentures fizzing away in a bowl of Pepsi? That's me today. Noise is good for scouring that off. Blog posting, not so much so.

The Writ | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, March 15 at 03:34 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (2)



Noise band recommendation for someone who doesn't really like noise (except Lightning Bolt): Hunting Lodge.

Posted by Joe on March 17, 2005 05:59 AM



I am jealous that you are heading to Victoriaville Carl. I have never been. I think the fact that you are so committed to the avant-garde, is what keeps me coming back to zoilus and reading your column even if you are often dealing with pop music. You come at it from such an interesting place it keeps it interesting for me. (obviously, I love when you write about VTO or such things too!!)

Posted by tim posgate on March 17, 2005 12:40 AM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson