If Patch wasn’t my brother, I don’t know if he would be successful in talking me into going to all these frankly bizarre shows with him. I never regret going, I always see them as a cultural experience if nothing else but each time I walk into one of these places I always question what I am doing. This time, we were at some place called In Spirits or something and it really was just a room, with large windows in the front like a store and about 10 chairs in front of a bunch of synths with hipsters milling about. Patch and me quickly slunk in and acted like we belonged. It was a free show but I still felt weird going in without any sort of payment or even knowing anyone or anything about what we were about to see. I knew that some members of Deerhoof were to be here and that Powerdove, a supposed folk, noise group was also in attendance. That was it.
The first group, not sure which one they were supposed to be, had three synth/keyboard/noise board players and two guitarists. They produced noise in its purest form, with electronic sounds constantly assaulting my ears along with random and interspersed guitar notes. There were also some piano/keyboard sounding sounds but were so distorted it just added to the noise. It crescendoed and decrescendoed and each time it got quiet I wondered if they were done. When they did end up finishing, half the band didn’t even seem to know, as the guy from Deerhoof looked up from his guitar and asked what was that sound when all that was left was the buzzing of the amps. It was fairly trippy but not really drone. It really was nothing else but noise and when they played another song after the first, I could not figure out how they knew what to play. Patch told me most of it was improvised and they kind of just winged it. I guess when it comes to a genre like noise, that’s really all there is to do.
My favorite part about this set though, was the fact that one of the women who was playing a keyboard had a baby strapped to her front. She played the entire set with it there on her chest, not really doing a whole lot, which I found hilarious. The baby did wake up almost immediately after the show started but never showed any signs of discomfort or anger and clearly could not hear what was going on. The mom kept adjusting something on its ears making me hope and think that there was some serious ear protection going on that made the baby think that everyone was just being really quiet. The idea of a baby born into a noise family is such a funny concept; I could not help smiling every time the baby would turn its head slightly, as if trying to hear a little better.
The next group consisted of a bass player who also had a synth in front of him and a drummer. Music wise, what they played could really be described as free jazz with a hint of drone because the drummer basically was playing whatever he felt like in no pattern or any real order. The other guy seemed to be looping bass riffs combined with some synth playing which added the drone aspect. The drums made this set much more interesting to me because I never knew what was going to come next. But the drone part took its toll on me and I eventually had to sit down on the cold concrete and close my eyes. I droned out a bit, but every time the drums would do something un expected I would jump and snap out of it. Towards the end of the set I started to shiver, the cold from the cement I was sitting on was slowly seeping into my bones and not even the drone could warm me. I left cold and fairly tired, but again, not regretting for a second going. Patch has never led me astray and I don’t think he ever will.