lucio menegon | music•noise•art


strangelet @ ivy roomStrangelet had its first gig last night and we decided to dress up a bit. Jonathan Segel wore a nice steampunk ensemble, Suki O’Kane a santa suit and myself, a gold lame w/ black fringe jumpsuit that Scottie Chapman scored at a clothing swap party last weekend.

‘Case you didn’t know, the Ivy Room has been transformed from the former dive it was. Now it is comfy couches and DJ’s…but on Mondays…wierd gets to take over – and it was cool.

We played a torrid 25 minute set of improv. We were gonna play longer, but it felt over – although we did forget to do the confusing ‘is the set over?’ outro that was planned. Oh well, next time. As is often the case, MZ and Matt Cora recorded it.

The next bunch of players competently jammed around for a bit, sounding like an unorganized Emerson Lake and Palmer meets Bitches Brew era Miles Davis. Their set suddenly took off when this guy came in with a l.e.d. embellished, pedal powered MC bicycle set-up and rapped about being a fool for fuel, pedaling bikes and taking public transit.

Who says experimental can’t be fun, short and sweet?!

Just so you know – A Stranglet is a theoretical particle that could possibly prove to be the realization of the infamous ‘Ice-Nine’ from Kurt Vonnegut’s, Cat’s Cradle. From Wiki:

If the strange matter hypothesis is correct, and a strangelet comes in contact with a lump of ordinary matter such as Earth, it could convert the ordinary matter to strange matter. This “ice-nine” disaster scenario is as follows: one strangelet hits a nucleus, catalyzing its immediate conversion to strange matter. This liberates energy, producing a larger, more stable strangelet, which in turn hits another nucleus, catalyzing its conversion to strange matter. In the end, all the nuclei of all the atoms of Earth are converted, and Earth is reduced to a hot, large lump of strange matter.

Apparently folks are not quite sure whether the giant new Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland will manage to loose a Strangelet (or even a Micro Black Hole) upon us all.

a hot, large lump of strange matter.

Boise, again (and again)

david grollman & valerie kuehne

david grollman & valerie kuehne

…played the Boise Creative And Improvised Music Festival this past weekend. Did one set as Strangelet (with John Hanes on electronics) and another as Prehistoric Horse (a new collaboration with John, LM, drummer David Grollman and cellist Valerie Kuehne). The Horse did a lot of wandering about Boise and had a lot of fun just hanging out. Our intense thirty minute set on saturday night started off an evening of incendiary performances by Emily Hay/Motoko Honda, Colter Frazier/Rob Wallace, Jim McAuley and Kribophoric.

The venue for the festival was The El Korah Shriner Hall (entertainment unto itself with a kick ass grotto-bar, prop room and fully costumed group portraits). Attendance was better than past years (it was free), but slim at times and there was the feeling that most of Boise had no idea or care that this was going on. However, the audience was polite, attentive and given what must have seemed like pretty confusing music to the majority, appreciative.

john hanes & lm

john hanes & lm

We attempted some guerilla promotion tactics during an outlandish visit to the 8th street pedestrian, which was mostly met with polite smiles and the occasional offer to stop by the festival. During the promotion blitz, we were approached by a photographer for – perhaps attracted by our thrift store furry puppet accessories (that he chose a picture of just me & my monkey over one of myself, the monkey, Valerie and her Wooly Mammoth puppet is baffling).

Boise is a vanilla kind of place. It’s pretty small and it doesn’t take long to walk back and forth across the downtown and we did so several times – not much else to do. We stopped in for pizza and beer at our favorite joint and discovered the salvation of the saturday late-night streetcart shawarma guy (doing our best to safely run the gauntlet of staggering frat-party drunks filling the sidewalk).

woolly mammoth & wylie monkey

woolly mammoth & wylie monkey

All together an odd setting for such music. So how is it we end up back here in this high desert potato town playing crazy-ass improv and experimental music year after year? One: the performers. Many of the same players who made last year a highlight were there and it’s fun to hang out with them. Two: Kris Hartung & Jeff Kaiser . Kris is the guy who has made great efforts to put together the Creative and Improvised Music festival for four years running and Jeff has been responsible for curating and raising the level of talent. Bravo, guys.

Experimental Improv Hootenanny & Social Club

Sonic evidence courtesy of Michel Zelner/House of Zoka (link takes you to a directory of all the audio):

#1 7/14/08
Brumit/Carnaki, Blue7, Jonathan Segel, John Hanes, Myles Boisen, John Shiurba/Morgan Guberman/Suki O’kane, Allen Whitman, Guberman/Spurgeon/Lightning (Fisted Lizard)

#2 9/15/08
Laurie Amat Sextet, Ross Hammond Quartet (w/ Hanes, Mezzacappa, Greenlief), Mark Growden Quintet

#3 10/27/08
Reid Johnston, Jeff Hobs, Geo, Jonathan Segel, Pluto

#4 11/24/08
KAP/Myles Boisen, ‘Lude, Lords of Outland, Michaela Peterson

#5 2/16/2009
Allen Whitman, Strangelet

#7 4/20/2009
Greyscale, Jet Black Hair People (P. Conheim), O-Type, Suki O’Kane, LM, David Slusser, Jeff Hobbs

#8 5/18/2009
Michaela Petersen (w/ Damon Smith/Weasel Walter), Mark Growden Sextet (w/ Hanes, Mezzacappa, Greenlief, Ross Hammond, LM), Wayne Grim, Salane & Friends

#9 June/15/ 2009
Ross Hammond, Matt Lebovsky, Salane & Friends, The Noodles