Austin Noise Enters the No Zone

Anarchist Scott Crow tops Jan. 16 anti-music bill

Johnathan Cash wails on an angle grinder. (Photo by JA Clo)

Take any Beatles song, then turn up the amps to maximum overdrive. Forget the melody. Give Ringo $200 worth of PCP. Replace the guitars with explosive static; John has a chainsaw. Actually, just forget about the Beatles, because this isn’t even music. This is Noise.

And it’s your typical weekend show presented by Austin Noise, the semi-organized local community dedicated to the promotion of “Harsh Noise, Power Electronics, Drone, Dark Ambient, Industrial, Noise Rock, Musique Concrete, Avant-garde, Noisecore, Grindcore, Outsider, Progressive, Free-Jazz, Improv, Spoken Word, and other Experimental genres.” Basically, if you are unsellable, Austin Noise wants you.

Friday’s performance at the No Zone (5809 Alsace Trail) promises rebellion beyond music. After a very loud bill of various homegrown and touring noise crews, Austinite and political activist Scott Crow (generally not capitalized) gives a PowerPoint presentation on creating collective power to confront capitalism. The New York Times has characterized him as an “anarchist, veteran organizer,” while NPR’s This American Life called him “a living legend among anarchists.” His latest book, Black Flags and Windmills, has been described by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! as “an important contribution to a history of movements that far too often [go] untold.”

Explosive in a different way will be the politically charged performance of Decide Today, touring noise-punk act of scene veteran Robert Inhuman. It’s punk in all its DIY ethos, anti-authoritarian lyrics, and relentless hardcore rhythm, plus the fact he’s from Cincinnati. It’s noise in that the guitar is reduced to a whining buzz, the beat a broken drum machine, with vocals shouted through a ludicrous amount of hi-pass filters. Call it more punk than punk allows.

Johnathan Cash’s Breakdancing Ronald Reagan also puts in an appearance. He’s the progenitor of Austin Noise, arguably the biggest name in the local scene. If you want to experience noise in this town, he’s the man to hear it from. Cash describes BDRR as “absurd performance (f)art” that utilizes cut-up and spliced noise, power electronics, and tape manipulation.

There’s also Randall Cunningham Dance Company, a fourpiece free jazz/noise group; Saca Mocos, offering the harshest noise of the lineup mostly with effects pedals and contact mics; Marcus Rubio, a San Antonio instrumentalist whose minimal, melodic violin compositions offer a reprieve from the otherwise relentless terrorism; and Blues Dog, an electric, bass-strumming blues act from Cincinnati that Cash calls a parody of the Stevie Ray Vaughan “worship in this town.”

Austin, you’re now entering the No Zone. 6-10pm, BYOB.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More noise
Shout It Out
Shout It Out
On talking in all the right places

Monica Riese, June 27, 2013

More by Waylon Cunningham
Q&A With Scott Crow
Q&A With Scott Crow
Anarchist and community organizer co-founded Common Ground Collective

Aug. 28, 2015

Urban Outfitters Concept Takes Shape
Urban Outfitters Concept Takes Shape
The Drag gets the Brooklyn treatment

Aug. 7, 2015

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

noise, Austin Noise, No Zone, Scott Crow, Decide Today, Robert Inhuman, Johnathan Cash, Breakdancing Ronald Reagan, Randall Cunningham Dance Company, Saca Mocos, Marcus Rubio, Blues Dog, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Beatles

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle