A Certain Ringing in the Ears

Rat Bastard's noise caravan rolls into town

As a former South Floridian, I spent many a night at the dank, dirty Miami dive known as Churchill's. Every Thursday night for what seems like forever, Frank Falestra, aka Rat Bastard, would gather his group the Laundry Room Squelchers - named after the laundry room the bar inexplicably had out back - and become the house band. The LRS was always Rat and anyone who wanted to play, and the balmy screech and squall could clear the room or incite a riot, depending on the night and how drunk everyone was.

The International Noise Conference is basically Rat's squirming brainchild, the idea being to bring that Thursday night vibe to different cities across the country. On Monday at Emo's Lounge, Austin gets its chance to clean up. Here's a quick Q&A with fellow Floridian/Baby Robots and Rubble guitarist/conference co-organizer Bobby Baker (along with guitarist Doug Ferguson), followed by the lineup, with helpful descriptions of the bands (by the bands).

Schadenfreude: Will there be an actual conference?
Bobby Baker: God, I hope not. Rat doesn't articulate well, especially after 35 beers.

S: How long has Rat been doing the INC?
BB: I think this is the fourth year. He wanted to bring his sonic battering ram on the road, basically getting all the noise freaks from around the country together to do it in their cities. The same thing he does every Thursday night in Miami, which is blow people away with the most awful/awesome noise rock.

S: I noticed on the INC website it says, "No laptops! No droning!" What will you do if someone shows up with a laptop?
BB: Make them go on stage and check their Myspace for 15 minutes, in front of God and everyone else.

S: What are some of the bands to catch?
BB: Leslie Keffer with Venison Whirled. Venison Whirled is the best noise thing in the country, in my jaded opinion. Laundry Room Squelchers will close the show with some must-see antics.

Low Red Center: Minimal analog synth-provisational troupe with tape/record voodoo-tronic collage.

Kosmodrome: A jet engine filled with the ghosts of the Red Revolution attacking your appliances.

Static Storm System: A project which explores noise. Utilizing found sound, field recordings, radio transmissions, and other non-traditional instrumentation, Static Storm System embraces an experimental style of sound composition.

Nick Hennies/Josh Ronsen: Nick Hennies and Josh Ronsen will use a cymbal and aluminum foil to create a symphony of acoustic noise.

Xathax: Designs, manufactures, and markets analog and mixed signal noise enabling connectivity worldwide. XathaX offers mobile noise solutions, including noise, front-end noise, and integrated solutions for cellular noise.

Kirk Laktus/Sarah Norris: "In a country fashion," a duet for 2 with live processing.

Amputee: Harsh, cold alcoholic drugscapes for scum bags. Started in 2004.

Skillful Means: Greg Elliot and Kevin Searle fuse ambient and harsh noise to create something reminiscent of stormy water moving tons of sheet metal and wires.

Steve Marsh: Steve Marsh, longtime Austin and New York underground vision master, is performing aggressively hacked analog electronic noise and ambience. The instrumentation may be anything from misused stomp boxes to circuit-bent drum machines to the electric 2x4 played with a vibrator. Expect "something else."

Young Clam: Young Clam is 3/5 of the band Rubble. We sound like the band Flipper without any arms.

Aurora Plastics Company: Aurora Plastics Company is organic electronic improv music, featuring Anne Heller on guitar and theremin, Lars Nilsen on guitar, keys, vocals, and effects, and Blake Carlisle on percussion. We've been pushing the boundaries of experimental music since 1996.

Plutonium Farmers: Plutonium Farmers care about their name. They love what happened musically, hated what it was reacting against, and now we are reacting against things we don't care for. It is done joyfully and with great skill. It features Aaron Dugan (baritone drumkit), Matt Armistead (alto drum set), and Jonathan Horne (soprano tenor guitar).

Douglas Ferguson: A shamanistic journey from the physical world to the astral plan conducted via acoustic guitar and dance.

Venison Whirled/Leslie Keffer: Venison Whirled is gyrating strings and snare drums and cymbals being corralled by Lisa Cameron into big weird sounds. This will be a collaboration with Nashville, Tenn., resident Leslie Keffer, a truly amazing noisestress who is also into making big weird sounds.

Aunt's Analog: Cat fight, dial-up Internet sound, construction, malfunction, waterfall, siren, car crash, dental drill, orgasm, electricity, ouch, tinnitus.

Air Traffic Controllers: A duo of Gerard Cosloy (guitars) and King Coffey (drums).

Black Ferveur: A combination of furious electronic shrieks and armor-coated plates of distortion is arguably some of the harshest stuff coming out of the Willamette Valley. One of the most fascinating aspects to his work is the contrast created through the juxtaposition of occasional moments of quiet and subtler electronic effects.

Laundry Room Squelchers: An embodiment of obliterated rock and roll from Miami Beach. A disharmonic convergence is derived from traditional instruments, bizarre electronic gadgets, and anything else that might help create some of the most unusual junk sounds this side of a train wreck.

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