Fire-Toolz @ The Empty Bottle, 11/16/17

Fire-Toolz is a lot of things: vaporwaved nü metal, bionic id, industrial jazz fusion, a reliable source for videos of a CGI baby going in and out of a womb. It’s also the most fully conceived project from the hyper prolific Angel Marcloid, formerly Pregnant Spore and proprietor of the Rainbow Bridge label. Fire-Toolz sets and albums are equally high-production-value affairs, with a savvy sense of structure and more stimulation than an audience could possibly ever crave.

This video is from the Fire-Toolz album release show at the Empty Bottle, for the tape Interbeing. It came out right around the same time as a new release by AM’s vaporwave project ᴡ ᴇ в s ɪ ᴛ ᴇ ツ and precedes another Fire-Toolz LP coming out later this year, which itself follows an Angelwings Marmalade release. Additionally, Suite 309 just put a Fire–Toolz remix tape.

This video was shot by  Erica Gamble.


Viszk @ Savage Weekend VI, 5/14/2016

Savage Weekend what a scene! Ok, this video is older than what we typically post, but Jill Lloyd Flanagan aka Forced Into Femininity suggested checking this one out and it is an absolute must. Viszk works through this physical crescendo, her body slowly revealing itself as possessed. The dirt she flails in really sells this as an affecting, off-putting performance. Also, love those boy band headset mics.

Not a lot of information about Viszk online aside from her first name (Eli) and her location in Chapel Hill, NC where Savage Weekend takes place. There is a Viszk SoundCloud, but it seems to exist wholly to remind that the actual Viszk experience is live.

This video was shot by Andrew Chadwick.


Inclusions @ Heavy Petting, 7/21/17

Jazz, baby! Inclusions has an interesting take on free jazz, in line with the compositional strain of the genre that was really Ornette Coleman’s wizardly innovation. No free funk here though, just beautifully structured post-post-post-post-bop blessed with savvy Sun Ra influence, melody, and bursts of atonality. Where’s the album, guys?

Inclusions features two members of ADT — Carlos Chavarria on sax, Adam Tramposh on keys — plus Scott Dunkerly on drums and Jeff Wheeler on baritone guitar.

The video was shot by Erica Gamble at show organized by Jeff Wheeler.


Crank Sturgeon @ Art Rat Studios, 7/8/2017

Actually, choosing a Crank Sturgeon video to post is incredibly difficult. Probably worth doing a whole post on his stuff, but for the time being here’s Crank in full freak mode last summer. Probably the master of the contact mic, Crank uses it here to trigger a series of little gadgets and capture his strange whistling, breathing, and words. A+ slapstick here, what with the big belly and the pants falling down.

Crank Sturgeon, for me at least, is who comes to mind when I think New England freak scene. He’s a constant well of creative performance ideas and resourcefulness for wringing noise from this or that old thing. First time I saw him, he had stretched out many feet of packing tape and was playing it like some big string instrument.

Be sure to check out Crank’s website, which is a total assault on the sense and also where you can buy the very excellent contact mics that he builds.

This video was posted by sacredeyecon, shot during AfterMAF 2017 at Art Rat Studios in Roanoke, VA.


Ana Roxanne @ Betalevel, 10/21/2017

Look at this audience rapt, totally lost in those slow motion waves projecting from the screen. You know how  hard it is to get every single person in the room on board for something so mellow, so meditative. But you can hear how still everyone is when Ana Roxanne takes a break to grab a beer. They’re waiting.

AR’s Bandcamp contextualizes the Los Angeles musician’s approach: “southeast asian devotional music. an offering to the romantics, spirit people, and the great R&B divas of the 20th century.” But it doesn’t speak to the way that sounds get melt into each other, differentiating themselves as frays in this continuous, flowing fabric of drones and long-held vocal tones.

This video was shot and edited by The Royal Academy of Nuts and Bolts.


Oracle Plus @ Temescal Arts Center, 9/10/2017

This is the best. Video, abstract music, sculpture, costume, ritual — Oakland’s Oracle Plus blends it all together, elevating to transcendent performance.

Here we see something of a preparation seminar on the apocalypse of all consciousness. The title of the performance is “Eternal Viewing Options,” and taken most literally our viewing options into eternity include an egg, a video mirrored on itself, masks, and from time to time, the Oakland-based sisters Steph and Miel Lister themselves. By the time it gets to the mangled pseudo-QVC segment, perhaps you too will get the feeling that Oracle Plus has elevated this scramble of ideas and approaches to the most exquisite omelet.

This video is hosted by Pilastr Agonistes, who may have shot this video at its performance in Oakland, CA.


Andrew Scott Young Ensemble @ The Hideout 7/13/2017


You see a lot of things going to experimental shows, but string quartet is rarely one of them. Andrew Scott Young, consummate bass virtuoso, has assembled this group to perform his own compositions and they are admittedly is best experienced in the flesh. That’s when you really feel those vibrations agitating the air and worm through your body. But, honestly, this video still rules.

The ensemble can change around a bit, but this one includes Hanna Brock, Kimberly Sutton, and Ike Floor. ASY plays in Tiger Hatchery (supposedly working on a new album, potentially for ESP-Disk again) and has put in stints with Circuits de Yeux, Riley Walker, and Mines. Plus a bunch of other stuff.

The video was shot at by Erica Gamble at an entry in the Resonance Series organized by Ben Baker Billington and Sullivan Roger Davis.


Olivia Block @ Rockefeller Chapel, 4/21/17

Olivia Block is hands down one of the best current composers to cut her teeth in the underground scene, and her recent space- and structure-oriented work over the past few years has been a really exciting channeling of her talents. This performance was incredible. OB filled this chapel on University of Chicago’s campus with sustained organ tones and pre-recorded drones, causes hundreds or little pockets of new resonances to take shape. Laying on the altar and blissing out gave you different music than sitting in the pews, or standing under an arch, and so on. Really special stuff.

Olivia Block keeps the release schedule pretty steady, and put out a self-titled album on Another Timbre later last year. OB’s 2015 cassette on NNA is especially choice, if you need a recommendation.

This video was shot by Erica Gamble at an event put together by LAMPO.


Andrea Pensado @ Elastic Arts, 8/5/2017

Make this video full screen, turn it up loud, and watch the whole thing. This is what Andrea Pensado does and it is chilling. We’re lucky that she’s one of those performers whose live work actually translates to video so well, and the security cam angle here lends the whole affair an especially haunting quality. You feel just like you’re trapped in a prison cell with a ghoul, right? Oo!

The Argentina-born AP has been a Massachusetts scene presence for well well over a decade at this point, doing solo performance work making computer music something truly freaky as well as playing in the bands Phurnne (also an incredible project, alongside Jen Gellineau and Stephanie Germaine) and Los Condenados.

This video was shot by Erica Gamble at a show organized by Julia Dratel.


Potions @ Situations 2/18/2017


If ever their were a man who knows the definition of “groovin'” it’s Tom Owens. Potions sets will keep you wiggling forever and ever, like this dude’s whole existence revolves around booogying. I booked Potions for this show. It was his live set in many months and he kept insisting he was only going to play for 20 minutes. I said, alright, but you really could play for longer if you want to. He played for much longer than 20 minutes. It reminded me of the first time I saw Potions after moving to Chicago back in 2014, when he did seven separate encores.

Potions has some great tapes out on 100% Silk and Hausu Mountain, and DJs every now and again for the fantastic community radio station in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago, Lumpen Radio. TO also fronted Distractions for a long while, a band that many Chicagoans still talk of glowingly. Pretty sure he also lived at Ball Hall?

This video was shot by Erica Gamble.