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
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
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,
"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.