[Photos and Words by Rez Avissar]
This was a different kind of show from the beginning, and it was more difficult than most shows to get press into. However, I decided to trek out to Brooklyn's isolated Glasslands, as Eric Copeland is one of my favorite noisemakers and I wanted to see what Thurston Moore and Carlos Giffoni (No Fun's organizer/curator) would treat us to (plus Glasslands is a choice place to see a show).
I arrived just in time to catch Copeland setting up. My feelings on his set went back and forth. Pitchfork's Mark Richardson called Copeland a "sonic dumpster diver" which is a pretty much perfect description of his solo work. DJ-style, Copeland deftly blended one song into the next, hunching over his pile of gear and sometimes picking up a mic to ..do what he does over it. I myself happen to be a musician and after seeing his band Black Dice several times, I still have no idea how he or the Dice make their sounds — from the audience perspective it's all focused knob twiddling. It wasn't too thrilling to watch.. made me think of this breed of noise shows in general and the name "No Fun."
During the set I began asking myself why I can't appreciate this stuff live as much as on record. I began to wonder if this kind of music is inferior to more straightforward music styles, especially in the live setting, but tracks like "Hermaphrodite," "Alien in a Garbage Dump," and the delicious "Green Burrito" (which I wish he played) as well as countless Black Dice tracks, have soundtracked many glorious subway rides and hazed-out walks down 8th Ave. Yet here I am standing before one of the best noisemakers around feeling shades of ennui setting in. Copeland and Dice's music is quite visual and the performance would have been helped by something other than the house visuals. Still, it was cool to hear his aural colleges in this environment, and cranked up.
What can I say? Thurston is a bona-fide king, a god, and I'd pay ten bucks to watch him assault the fuck out of a guitar for a half hour any day of the week.
[Thurston Moore and Carlos Giffoni]
Up next was Emeralds. I'm trying to get into the practice of hearing at least something by each band I am going out to see, but I didn't have much luck looking for their music online and didn't find out much more than that they're apparently an improv band from Ohio. Turns out it's three dudes with a bunch of analog gear and an effects-treated guitar. After five to ten minute calm drone, I quickly wrote them off.. it's not that they couldn't have pushed it further, as they did manage to squeeze some pretty cool sounds out of their equipment (synthetic waves and flying saucer sounds conjuring some sort of warm electronic lagoon) but I wished they did something a bit more interesting. Then, out of nowhere with a single arpeggio it began to peak... warm psychedelic textures emerged and spun around, and the chatter in the room died down. Very pretty stuff, true to their name.
[No Fun DJs]