First night of the High Mayhem Emerging Arts Festival was generally phenomenal as usual. The Brilliant Dullards launched with brooding, introspective ambient country/folk music that had an original edge, with references to Tom Waits, Bill Frisell, Radiohead, etc. Jeremy Bleich’s melodica and Milton Villarrubia’s subtle but energetic drumming made it really move for me. Steven M. Miller up next with cascades and washes of tripped out electronic music of the sort that provided a drug-free out of body experience. The highlight of the evening for me was Dino’s Out of Context. A large ensemble including spoken word and voice, OOC is an improvisational orchestra shaped in the moment by Dino’s conduction. He uses 40 different hand signals and was brilliant in his sound sculpting; the ensemble showed focus and prescience.
Another layer altogether provided by Damon and family outside drumming and hollering hilarious poetry through a megaphone. Also, the Anarchestra shack, this year streamlined with quieter instruments. Scary red curtains in a square little room. Reminded me of hell as depicted by David Lynch in Twin Peaks. No backwards talking dwarves were in evidence, however.
What I personally could have done without: a segment of the otherwise intriguing Simulate Sensual performance that included a smug asshole pseudo-shaman who sang lyrics like this: “I want to be enlightened but I’m too fucking frightened.” Go away kid, you bother me.
This evening’s highlight for me personally will be me personally attempting not to personally slaughter Chris Jonas’s intricate and fierce compositions.
The un noted a couple of days ago that High Mayhem is the only thing that has kept me from Friday night poker. Excepting the silent film gig months ago.
The un has generously offered her apartment to my niece Emily and her (what? Boyfriend? Partner? Another conversation with the un about the unsuitability of these relationship names. Maybe this is confirmation through linguistic analysis of The Sponsor’s general theory that relationships are an illusion. Maybe not) boyfriend, who are here for a wedding. This offer comes in the midst of some soul searching around who stays where when, so it is particularly generous. More on that later.