I went to the Forest City Gallery the other night to see a group of noise music bands. As the name implies, noise music is noise. The instruments used can be traditional, but more often, they are home-made (one dude used a pot with a chain in it as an instrument). They are not tuned to each other. There is very little rhythm or melody. Random chanting or screaming replaces lyrics. Basically, all the defining properties that make music music have been thrown out the window.
But there's something to it. As I sat there with my ears hurting from the extremely loud high-pitched squeal of feedback, there were moments of musical bliss. Even when a bunch of people are just banging out seemingly random sounds, some form of expression, some emotion, still squeaks through. It's like people can't help but create music. Or maybe it's just that people can't help but interpret noise as music. Or maybe it's just that anything remotely pleasing-sounding brings relief after excruciating discord. In any case, while I wouldn't listen to it every day, yeah, there's something to it.
The main act are called The Nihilist Spasm Band. These guys have been around since the 1960s, and there is something strangely awesome about a bunch of old dudes that still get together just to make noise.
Here are pictures:
Nihilist Spasm Band
Disguises. Crazy homemade trumpet thing.
Disguises again. Singer/screamer and chain in a pot.
Forget this guy's name. His noise was entirely electronic, with a bunch of tapes running, and some weird magnet thing that would fuck up the sound.
Here are videos:
Nihilist Spasm Band
Nihilist Spasm Band with guest screaming girl.
Crazy electronic dude (and me forgetting that you can't take videos sideways).
I didn't take this one....but it's the Nihilist Spasm Band being laughed at on Japanese Television. These dudes are world famous.
Edit Dec 8:
OMG, I forgot to show you my button! OMGFG I LOVE BUTTONS!!!!