Jul 1

Some quick thoughts on Saturday’s Cold Cave / Boyd Rice show:

  • Kris Lapke’s Alberich project is very, very good: living up to the HEAVY ELECTRONICS disclaimer on his tapes, he deployed harsh vocals and clobbering beats amidst eerie ambient drift. I didn’t get a photo but his transformation from offstage bespectacled everyman into skinhead disciplinarian nightmare is something to behold.

  • There are a lot of people on theyhateboydrice.tumblr.com whose money is definitely not where there mouth is w.r.t. direct action, venue shaming, and the like.

  • I would be shocked if Rice himself was not behind said Tumblr.

  • His music is not very interesting. One piece consisted solely a hammering martial beat, over which Rice declaimed: “Do you want / total war? / Yes, you want / total war! / […] / Let it burn! / Start again!” Campy fascism aside, the kernel of an interesting idea here, about how the formal qualities of the music are strongly and sinisterly manipulative. James Brooks from Elite Gymnastics has been writing some very interesting things about this kind of thing lately. But the sloganeering style isn’t as subtle or interesting as the concept deserves — he’s exploring these ideas with all the psychological acuteness of, uh, Bono.

  • Rice is actually on-stage with Cold Cave, so Todd P’s suggestion to “leave the room when Boyd Rice performs” isn’t so helpful — though the extent of his contribution is limited to standing behind some electronics and doing bumps of snuff of the back of his hand.

  • Wes Eisold is an excellent frontman. He throws himself around wildly — sometimes, it’s true, to the detriment of his vocals — but I love his caged, frantic energy.

  • "I FEEL SO GUILTY BEING ALIVE / WHEN SO MANY BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE HAVE DIED"

  • One last thought from Blissed Out by Simon Reynolds, who was already thinking about this kind of thing in 1990:

    The problem is that, as with any drug or intoxicant, tolerance builds up rapidly. The result is an exponential curve of increased dosages of noise/horror, and upward spiral that will one day, sooner than later, culminate in SEIZURE. As the barriers in the head get broken down, the noise buff becomes a kind of hip vegetable, by a process that paradoxically combines both brutalization and weakening. To be shocked (i.e. get your hit) requires that the individiual be immersed to some degree in a culture or value system. But noise hipsters have uprooted themselves so successfully from their parent culture, they can cope with absurd extremes of outrage/dissonance, and therefore require extreme after extreme in order to feel stimulated/mindblown. Burnout approaches.

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