Lt. Governor Race: the \'Luchadora\' vs. the Tea Party radio host

Lt. Governor Race: the 'Luchadora' vs. the Tea Party radio host

News: A few Saturdays ago, I spent several hours hanging around a Texas Realtors Association conference in San Antonio, trying to catch state Sen. Dan Patrick... By Alexa Garcia-Ditta 9/17/2014
The Permanent Gangsta Status of Mobb Deep’s Prodigy

The Permanent Gangsta Status of Mobb Deep’s Prodigy

Music: Prodigy, better known to ’90s rap aficionados as the prodigious half of Queensbridge duo Mobb Deep, has made a successful career operating on... By James Courtney 9/17/2014
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Best Lounge

Best Lounge

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email


Beautiful Noise: John Wiese’s sound art will freak you out

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

In the late ’80s, powerviolence emerged as a distinct subcategory of punk, condensing heavy metal with hardcore in songs as short as 20 seconds.

Like the name suggests, bands of the ilk, including Spazz, Insect Warfare and Bastard Noise, violently dismantled the assumptions of the genres that influenced powerviolence, sprinkling their heavy works with noise pieces and jazz-fusion riffs.

This background of sonic breakdown acted as a proving ground for artists like John Wiese and Lance Higdon, part of a free, challenging and outrageously loud bill this Friday at the Dorcol Distilling Company. Higdon, who helped curate the event via his “local creative catchall” Resonant Interval, spoke with the Current about the natural progression from powerviolence to noise. “Where can you go from writing a one-second song?” Higdon asked. “Only vertically. The sounds become instantaneous. Noise is all the parts of an Insect Warfare song playing at once.”

Though noise is conventionally understood as unwanted sound, 20th century artists from John Cage and Lou Harrison to Lou Reed and Sonic Youth folded it into their work. In the field of sound art, noise transforms from unwelcome byproduct to a work’s central focus, using conventional instruments in new contexts or ordinary, nonmusical objects as instruments.

For Higdon, it’s also a logical step in the minimalist process, “the end game of refusing technique. The only things easier than barre chords are no chords.” In his debut performance with Davis Jackson as Felix Et Fur, the pair will play junk metal through the mangled lens of pawnshop guitar pedals in quadrophonic (surround) sound to “approach noise from oblique directions.”

At the top of the bill, sound artist and former member of Bastard Noise and Sunn O))) John Wiese will haunt the Dorcol Distilling Co. with his studies in feedback and digital manipulation. As Sissy Spacek, Wiese released multiple and madly varying recordings by re-splicing the same 20 minutes of material, a think-piece on sound’s mutability.

With his background in powerviolence, Weise provides a unique scope for his sound art. As Higdon said, Weise’s work “isn’t polite gallery music, but it’s not stupid hammer-smashed-face-rippers either. Aesthetes and headbangers are both going to feel a little bit weird at this show, and that’s good—discomfort makes room for growth.”

San Anto artist Justin Boyd also makes an appearance on the bill with his new collaborative project Blacknail. As Mat Roy pounds his drumset, interpreted through Boyd’s modular synthesizer, and the Grasshopper Lies Heavy’s James Woodard tears at his guitar, Blacknail will passionately deconstruct the music each member makes individually. (Full disclosure: Woodard is a Current contributor)

The Austin-based trio SSBT—whose drummer Chris Cogburn has brought the improvised music fest No Idea to SA since 2006—will also present their outward-bound fusion of structured death metal and free improvisation, all with a healthy dose of noise. For audiophiles looking to expand their palate and experience music well outside its conventional box, Dorcol is the place to hear experiments in improvised noise. Just don’t forget the ear protection, as the show takes place in the distillery itself, further amplifying the evening’s avant-gardists.

John Wiese with Felix Et Fur, SSBT and Blacknail

8pm Fri, April 4
Dorćol Distilling Company
1902 S Flores
(210) 229-0607

Recently in Music
  • The Permanent Gangsta Status of Mobb Deep’s Prodigy Prodigy, better known to ’90s rap aficionados as the prodigious half of Queensbridge duo Mobb Deep, has made a successful career operating on... | 9/17/2014
  • Our Picks for the 31st Annual Jazz’SAlive Eddie Palmieri: 9:30pm Saturday. Jazz’SAlive has traditionally made sure to clear at least one headlining space for Latin jazz... | 9/17/2014
  • Loudon Wainwright Hasn’t Got the Blues (Yet) Emerging with his eponymous debut in 1970, singer/songwriter Loudon Wainwright III found himself lumped along with fellow post-Dylan folk-revivalists Leonard Cohen, Cat Stevens and Randy Newman. But where those contemporaries relied on abstract imagery or p | 9/17/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus