Scraping Genius Off The Wheel


  • Gary Suarez


Typically, I’m not very interested in or even impressed by the majority of the acts that perform at the New York’s annual No Fun Fest, now a three-day event showcasing multiple noisemakers from around the world. On the occasions that I’ve actually attended, it has only been for a single night and typically to catch a single act. Though I read about this year’s lineup some weeks back, I’m still surprised and impressed just how many of these acts are actually exciting me–in my pants.

The dates are May 15-17 at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg, with tickets going on sale this Sunday ($60 for a three day pass, $20 for Friday, $25 for Saturday, $20 for Sunday). Below is the full lineup (leaner than previous years due in part to the venue), but let me call out some of the metal-related (and unrelated) highlights, day-by-day.

FRIDAY MAY 15: Fans of Melvins, Earth, High On Fire, Sunn O))) and Harvey Milk should already recognize Thrones as the solo project of Joe Preston who has played bass in each of those aforementioned groups at one time or another. That’s the penultimate band of the evening, opening for Bastard Noise, which began in the early 90s as a Man Is The Bastard sideproject. (Intronaut drummer Danny Walker is a recent addition to the lineup.) Tracks from the group’s latest release, Rogue Astronomy, can be heard here.

SATURDAY MAY 16: If you only know Sonic Youth from their Geffen recordings or MTV-approved music videos, then you’re missing out on a whole other side of the band, a side which will be on full display when it headlines the second night of the Fest. I’ve seen Thurston Moore do a noise set before that was incredibly loud and incredibly boring, but the full band has the chemistry to keep things interesting. (Plus: you’ll witness hipsters–distraught that the band wont be playing anything off Dirty or Daydream Nation–crying and covering their ears. Aces!) Psych rockers Bardo Pond open, which is damn cool.

SUNDAY MAY 17: Merzbow. ‘Nuff said. Matthew Bower’s (Hototogisu) enduring Skullflower has second billing that night, but would be worthy headliners otherwise. This might be the best of the three nights given some of the openers, which include provocative British power electronics legend Con-Dom, Lightning Bolt side-project Black Pus, and Peter Rehberg (the other half of Stephen O’Malley’s KTL project).

FRIDAY: Bastard Noise – Thrones – Grey Wolves – Xeno and Oaklander – Carlos Giffoni – Chris Corsano – Axolotl – Raglani – Noveller

SATURDAY: Sonic Youth – Bardo Pond – Rafael Toral with C. Spencer Yeh and Trevor Tremaine – Sons of God – Pedestrian Deposit – Blank Dogs – Yellow Tears – Mattin – Pulse Emitter

SUNDAY : Merzbow – Skullflower – Con-Dom – Black Pus – Emeralds – Peter Rehberg/Marcus Schmickler – Cold Cave – Jazzfinger – Conrad Schnitzler Con-Cert


[Gary Suarez kissed a girl and he liked it. He also writes for Brainwashed and usually manages the consistently off-topic No Yoko No.]

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