Noisefest 2012: Musical Chaos, Loud Noises, and Brunch
This weekend (October 5, 6, 7) is Norcal Noisefest, Sacramento’s annual gathering of experimental musicians, noise artists and musical outsiders from around the country. This Noisefest is the sixteenth held since the festival’s founding in 1995, making it one of the longest-running festivals of its kind in North America.
Because noise is a profoundly unpopular musical genre, most people are unfamiliar with noise–there have never been any commercially successful noise musicians, although many successful musicians (from the Velvet Underground to Sonic Youth and Radiohead) have experimented with noise. The linked video below is a four-minute summary of what you are likely to see and hear at the Norcal Noisefest:
The Noisefest is not a music festival for those comfortable with traditional music. It is an exploration of what lies beyond the edges of music–peeling back the layers of musical form to see what sits underneath, and exposing it to an audience, in all its mixtures of ugliness and beauty. This year’s festival features approximately 38 performers at three different Sacramento venues. Friday night’s session at Luna’s Cafe (1414 15th Street), starting at 7 PM, is a more intimate setting for solo performers and duos, like locals Deadly Nightshade and The Tulpa Effect and visiting acts like New York’s Fisted Lizard or Blood Into Water from San Jose, capable of fitting on Luna’s small stage. While the venue is small, its intensity is unparalleled, and provides a traditional warm-up to the Noisefest.
Saturday’s session at Sol Collective (2574 21st Street) is a larger venue for acts that require more space, with a brutal eight-hour schedule of noise performers, including Rocklin’s own Liver Cancer, Oakland’s Styrofoam Sanchez, Crank Sturgeon from Portland, Maine, and the evening’s special guests, noise legends Bastard Noise. The show will begin at 3:30 PM with a collaborative set by Northern California acts Venetian Veil, Chopstick and Medicine Cabinet. Sol Collective’s back room will host our Noisemall, where this year’s Noisefest performers will show off their musical wares, effects pedals and electronic devices, and assorted disturbing swag.
Sunday’s matinee session at Bows & Arrows (1815 19th Street) starts at noon, and features jazzier acts in a more casual environment, like Lords of Outland and Eurostache, although some of these acts will still leave traditional jazz fans reaching for their earplugs, like solo artists C.J. Borosque and Moe! Staiano, and ending with a set by Sacramento jazz/noise deconstructionist daemon Instagon. In between bands on Sunday, DJ Missy Mark will play soothing sounds, and Bows & Arrows will serve brunch (brunch is separate from admission, except for those who purchase all-weekend passes.) The Noisemall will be held on the Bows & Arrows back porch for last-minute musical purchases.
Each day of Noisefest will also feature the return of our NOISE TOY GIVEAWAY raffle: purchase tickets at the event to enter a drawing for valuable noise merchandise, including NOISE-SAC box sets (featuring a copy of every NORCAL NOISEFEST compilation album), GRUNDLE contact microphones, and the featured prize for each day, locally built AUDIBLE DISEASE effects pedals!
All NORCAL NOISEFEST 2012 events are all-ages. Each day of noise costs $10 and includes earplugs. An all-weekend package is available for $40, and includes admission to all three days of the Noisefest, a commemorative button/event pass, a Norcal Noisefest T-shirt, a compilation CD of eighteen of this year’s Noisefest performers, a Noisefest sticker, and a coupon for a free Sunday brunch entree at Bows & Arrows. Tickets may be purchased at the Noisefest itself, at MIDIKAT BOUTIQUE (1115 21st Street), PHONO SELECT (2312 K Street) or online via BrownPaperTickets at http://norcalnoisefest.brownpapertickets.com .
NORCAL NOISEFEST 2012: October 5-7, 2012
Friday October 5: LUNA’S CAFE, 1414 15th Street, 7 PM-11:30 PM
Saturday October 6: SOL COLLECTIVE, 2574 21st Street, 3:30 PM-11:30 PM
Sunday October 7: BOWS & ARROWS, 1815 19th Street, NOON-4 PM
All shows $10, all-ages. Weekend pass $40, includes T-shirt, CD, sticker, button and NOISEBRUNCH.
Norcal Noisefest 2012 is funded in part by the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission’s "Microgrants" program.
Disclosure: William Burg is executive director of the Norcal Noisefest.