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Your Noise Music Toolkit



*John Olson says hello, his finger hovering over the Mormon-garbling equipment of Aaron Dilloway, 9/21/06 (MT Photo: Doug Coombe).

Screaming, screaming, screaming, some guy screaming in a leather jacket - a noise music toolkit

“But while the noise scene definitely has its proponents of the extreme, that doesn’t mean there’s only darkness at its core, or that all noise is meant to breed fear alone. It might not ever be warm and fuzzy, and what’s at its core can be mysterious. But noise can definitely excite on a visceral level, and lately it’s been offering some of the most creative music in Detroit.

There’s a sense in all of it, from the critics to the diehard fans, that noise is some of the most real music being made today, especially in a culture that increasingly celebrates “reality” as something to be manipulated and codified for mass consumption.”

— From “Sound and Fury: Trajectory, meaning, and discovery in the Detroit noise music scene”

Are you ready?

Donna Parker live in Arder, Thessaloniki, 5/19/06:

Hive Mind live at Luna Cafe, Sacramento, 6/7/06:

I like when Greh stares into the camera just after the titles come up. It's like he's asking the question above. "Are you ready for this?"

Wolf Eyes at TT the Bears, Boston, 9/21/05:

In this clip, I love it that the fans are screaming "Encore!" "Encore!" I'm also surprised the mic doesn't pick up that one guy who's always yelling "Freebird!" You know that he exists at a noise show just like he does at all the rock shows.

Also fantastic: John Olson's Richard Duvall-in-The Apostle-like stance as the set begins. He's preaching to the lords of noise.

Metal Dungeon in Columbus, OH, 7/19/04:

I bet they brought the eerie grey/green lighting with them from home.

Additionally, here's a quick bit of Metal Dungeon from a show in Hamtramck this past August.


Want some more Wolf Eyes in your life? Check out this link to Sub Pop's Web site, where you'll find MP3s of "The Driller" from their new album Human Animal, as well as "Stabbed in the Face," that ol' chestnut from 2004's Burned Mind LP.


Maybe you're like Davin Brainard, and have some theories about sci-fi sound effects vs. noise music. Or maybe you'd just like to waste a good few minutes in your respective cube farm watching some classic Japanese TV. Either way, here's Ultraman.

Part 1:

Dig the groove-laden theme.

Part 2:

Who let that kid in the control room?

Part 3:

Take out the somewhat hokey, Perry Mason-like background music, and the sounds of the monsters fighting really does sound similar to what might occur at a typical noise show.

Davin Brainard just might be the Greil Marcus of noise music.

Not noise rock, but hilarious simply because this post is so YouTube-heavy. Maybe these guys are the Japanese OK Go:


For even more online noise fun, bookmark the Inzane Studios site.. John and Tovah Olson (aka Dead Machines) are your hosts for a series of podcasts that feature live music as well as record spinning. Great stuff.



Dead Machines

Villa Valley

Odd Clouds, Cotton Museum, and much more

Also, read Mark Richardson's review of Mitten State Transmissions, the recent 4-disc box set from Top Quality Rock & Roll that collects a host of Michigan-based noise, experimental, and space rock acts.




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