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Author Topic: THE LOWEST FORM OF MUSIC: The Los Angeles Free Music Society in London  (Read 9597 times)
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Pete Johnstone
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« on: June 11, 2010, 04:23:45 PM »

Second Layer, Harbinger Sound, No-Fi and Sound & Music presents...


THE LOWEST FORM OF MUSIC:
The Los Angeles Free Music Society in London






The Lowest Form Of Music is the first ever event in the UK dedicated to the work and influence of the legendary Los Angeles Free Music Society (LAFMS). This weekend of performance, film screenings and discussion will explore the legacy of one of the avantgarde’s great unsung movements.

The missing link between the far-out West Coast freakscene that spawned Zappa and Beefheart and the worldwide explosion of DIY experimental culture, LAFMS is a must-check for all those with an interest in underground alternative culture. Using humour, collage and buckets full of the bizarre, this collective kicked the early 70s out of its post-Manson nightmare and into the avant-gutter of a pre-punk endzone.

The influence LAFMS has had on the explosion of international DIY culture is immeasurable. Explicitly acknowledged as a motivation for the emergence of the Japanese noise scene in the 1980s, as well as being cited specifically by the likes of Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth) and John Olson (Wolf Eyes), the collective that emerged in LA in 1973 resulted in countless adventurous music lovers tasting the delights of a new kind of creative freedom and getting out there and doing it for themselves.

The Lowest Form of Music will take place over an extended weekend at Beaconsfield in South London, a venue “distinguished by its history of providing a forum for extraordinary events and exhibitions”. The programme will feature a host of LAFMS artists and groups
presenting performances, talks, films screenings and workshops.


"The LAFMS recordings (are) experimental rock history at its most historical and hysterical - a completely bizarro and further-out counterpart to the LA punk scene." - Thurston Moore, Sonic Youth

"LAFMS people have hybridized avant-garde, experimental, improvisational, punk, pop and even humorous stuffs. For Japanese fans, LAFMS has become a legend." - Takuya Sakaguchi, Osaka

"LAFMS were the New Weird America when nobody was payin’ attention 25-30 years ago." - Roland Woodbe, Siltblog

"The monster is back in its original nature! Human synthesizers!! Hijokaidan in its early days was heavily under (Airway’s) influence. Definitely a must for everyone in this era!" - Toshiji Mikawa, Incapacitants/Hijokaidan

"The guys in the LAFMS were inquistive smartie nerds determined to forge their own SONIC WORLD. What a shipwreck and coral reef they created!" - Gary Panter


Programme:-


Friday:-

SMEGMA
LE FORTE FOUR
TOM RECCHION
MORPHOGENESIS



Saturday:-

AIRWAY
INCAPACITANTS
JOHN DUNCAN
EXTENDED ORGAN
MARK DURGAN + SPOILS & RELICS

Plus films, art installation and a panel talk/Q+A on the multi-media art of the LAFMS with Tom Recchion, Takuya Sakaguchi, Frederik Nilson, John Duncan, Rick Potts and moderated by Edwin Pouncey.


Sunday:-

HIJOKAIDAN
THE TENSES
DINOSAURS WITH HORNS
RAIONBASHI & KUTZKELINA
BILL KOULIGAS / JOSEPH HAMMER DUO

Plus films, art installations and a panel talk/Q+A on the history and influence of the LAFMS with Jojo Hiroshige, Takuya Sakaguchi, Jackie Stewart, John Wiese, Toshiji Mikawa, Joe Potts and moderated by David Toop.



The Lowest Form Of Music
Friday October 22 – Sunday October 24
Beaconsfield, 22 Newport St, London, SE11 6AY



Tickets:
Weekend tickets £40

http://www.wegottickets.com/event/85854

Friday tickets £13
http://www.wegottickets.com/event/85724

Saturday tickets £16
http://www.wegottickets.com/event/85725

Sunday tickets £16
http://www.wegottickets.com/event/85726



The Lowest Form Of Music is produced by Harbinger Sound, Second Layer Records, No-Fi and Sound and Music.

http://www.secondlayer.co.uk
http://www.no-fi.org.uk
http://www.soundandmusic.org
http://www.lafms.com
http://www.beaconsfield.ltd.uk

« Last Edit: July 30, 2010, 02:14:23 PM by Pete Johnstone » Logged
Pete Johnstone
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« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2010, 07:14:08 PM »

Tickets for the event are now on sale - first post updated. We have a very limited quantity of early-bird 3 day tickets at £30. Half are gone already.
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Pete Johnstone
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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2010, 07:25:52 PM »

First post updated with line-up, venue, tickets, etc.
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Pete Johnstone
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2010, 01:13:28 PM »

The first post has been updated with a flyer.

Dinosaurs With Horns and Extended Organ featuring Paul McCarthy now complete the bill - first post updated with the definitive programme.

Anyone hesitating on getting tickets should do so now because when news of Paul McCarthy playing goes public we're expecting ticket sales to rise considerably.
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« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2010, 04:06:33 PM »

great ! it just gets better !
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« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2010, 09:30:31 PM »

ticket booked. Maybe this time I finally get to see 2nd layer!
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Pete Johnstone
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« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2010, 07:16:19 PM »

You can now buy weekend tickets through paypal via the No-Fi website:-

http://www.no-fi.org.uk


ticket booked. Maybe this time I finally get to see 2nd layer!

The shop will be closed from Friday afternoon until Monday because me and my only assistant will be working at the event. Second Layer will have a large stall though plus there'll be a few exclusive LAFMS releases to tie in with the event including an Airway / Hijokaidan split LP, Pain Jerk / Rock'n'Roll Jackie collaboration CD and a few LAFMS reissues.
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« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2010, 07:29:57 PM »

one could say just: congratulations!
Watched almost all the bands. Missed perhaps 1 completely, and little bits of couple, but talking merely about few minutes.
Meeting lots of friends abroad and also Finland was pretty heavily represented. At least 10 people come to my mind instantly. Nice Jerman pub close to venue worked well for pre-show drinking, venue itself pretty nice and all complaints there could be, are just minimal bitching a'la perhaps 30-50cm higher stage for better visibility..

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« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2010, 10:12:40 PM »

Good venue. Volume could have been more generous and it wouldn't hurt the bar to have a larger stock of beer (draught) but over all I think it was a really good venue. Plenty of room to move around, clean toilets and friendly staff.

Regarding Hijokaidan. Apart from Junko looking quite glamorous, what was so special about this? I understand there is a 30 year history which must be where the worship comes from but I honestly heard or saw nothing during their set that couldn't have been done by just about anyone else.
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heretogo
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« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2010, 09:30:36 AM »

Pretty much the perfect festival. Good venue, everything was kept within schedule, not too many bands and the quality of the performances was stellar. Hilghlights for me were Incapacitants, Hijokaidan, The Tenses, Airway, Raionbashi & Kutzkelina and Mark Durgan w/ Spoils & Relics. Most of the other stuff was really good also, I was only disappointed by one or two performances. I can't recall another festival with such a great signal-to-noise (hah!) ratio.
If I was of the whining type (hmm...) I would point out the sub-optimal visibility due to the stage being so low and the small lack of volume for Incapacitants & Hijokaidan. But these were minor details and don't detract from the overwhelming success of the festival.
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« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2010, 09:48:52 AM »

Regarding Hijokaidan. Apart from Junko looking quite glamorous, what was so special about this? I understand there is a 30 year history which must be where the worship comes from but I honestly heard or saw nothing during their set that couldn't have been done by just about anyone else.

I think immediately 2 points:
1) it could be done by anyone, but nobody else is doing it (as far as my knowledge goes)
2) charisma of the performers & atmosphere of rock'n'roll show. Which isn't the same if it's some bearded hipsters or army surplus baldies doing "the same", heh..

From Hijokaidan, one could say, better mixing & better PA job would have been good. Electronics to PA instead of just some combos on stage. It was great, yet could have been potentially ten times heavier and with more detail to be heard.
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« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2010, 01:54:17 PM »

What I saw LOOKED good but in terms of sound it was pretty ropey. No real effort on anyones behalf. For a legendary band like this I expected much more. Sometimes you see a band you may not have heard much but their legendary status rouses your interest. A why not, let's give this a chance type situation. When they play you realise why they have the reputation they have. They are that bit better than the rest of the bill and/or have something special going on. In Hijokaidan's case it was the opposite.

I disagree that no one else is doing this. I could throw a stone at random towards London and probably hit a band of trendies with a flat sound and no plan doing something very much in the same vain as Hijokaidan. That they may be scrawny, bearded and sadly lacking a glamorous front woman is irrelevant in my opinion.

In short, more Nips doing stuff that aint particularly interesting and people lap it up because "aren't these Japs just so wild and exotic". As one fine philosopher famously said, humbug!
« Last Edit: October 26, 2010, 02:02:16 PM by TheGreatEcstasy » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2010, 03:42:26 PM »

I disagree that no one else is doing this. I could throw a stone at random towards London and probably hit a band of trendies with a flat sound and no plan doing something very much in the same vain as Hijokaidan. That they may be scrawny, bearded and sadly lacking a glamorous front woman is irrelevant in my opinion.

Well, it is easy remark to make just about anything. Like that finding another Con-Dom or another GO is piss easy. Ramdom stone will hit close to some neatly dressed guy with synth, heh..  But seriously, it was during Airway set, which was not THAT far from what Hijokaidan does, when friend of mine was saying it is a miracle why this isn't done more. Since it's so easy. And really, anyone COULD pick up instrument and with very little skill and very little advance preparation could achieve if not the same, at least very close. Or even better? Who knows. But until I'm given references of who is playing this style I can't accept that it's being done.
Whatever random freejazz jammer doesn't qualify, like the random synth guy doesn't qualify as the equivalent of G.O.

When one listens for example Jojo Hiroshige debut album, it is really 100% sure that such guitar noise could be indeed done by anyone. And when I say anyone, I mean anyone. But I have never in my life heard album alike it.

In material like this, it is predominantly emotional. It's hardly possible to point out why they would be impressive, if one doesn't feel it. I think same goes to majority of these LAFMS groups. One could try to explain to me why Smegma set was killer, yet I don't really get it. For pretty much 100% same reasons as TheGreatEcstasy doesn't get Hijokaidan, hah!
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2010, 04:50:26 PM »

You got me on one point. I can't really name any names but I have on more than one occasion witnessed bands spazzing out with guitar, drums and noise gear. Not exactly like Hijokaidan but equally as unimaginative, flat and unplanned in the lets spazz out and have some fun vein. It's fine, let them have their fun, but I ask what is so special about this particular one outfit? I couldn't hear it.

It's possible both Hijokaidan and Jojo have done amazing stuff on record but I'm talking about this particular gig. What I heard was bland and with their elevated status in mind I expected more. Much more! I saw more crowd pleasing than hearing actual musical effort. After 25 minutes of swinging his SG like a ragdoll and sending it into the crowd and nothing else I wished Jojo would play the fucker just once. And why is he playing a Gibson and not an Aria or some of the other ace Japanese copies of the 70s and 80s? Now that would have been cool!

Saying I don't understand Hijokaidan because you know I generally don't like the Japanese groups is patronising. I have listened actively to music since I was very little and been active with playing and organising gigs since I was in my early teens. I have been involved in a wide range of concerts (big and small) and my record collection is very eclectic. With that in mind I think my sceptical opinion deserves a bit more than a quick brushing off with "well you don't understand this anyway so...".

GO is more to my taste but if they did a ropey gig you can trust me to say so. Same for CON-DOM, you, me or anyone. Maybe Hijokaidan IS out of this world amazing otherwise, but to my pretty well trained ears they weren't much to write home about last Sunday. Others (99% probably) will see it otherwise and that's how it goes.
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heretogo
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« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2010, 09:06:06 AM »

I guess it boils down to what people respond to in noise. Some may admire the compositional values, others are overwhelmed by powerful yet alien soundscapes and to some it's all about the ultimate ecstasy and abandon of full-on all-out noise bliss. And the last one is the most difficult one to analyse and dissect. Like Mikko said, often it's a case of "getting it" or not. And of course many people find value in all of these approaches. I for one thought that Hijokaidan was the perfect example of total rock'n'roll noise machine, even with the small  inadequacies in sound setup. Yes, Jojo didn't seem to participate much in the sonic action but I was too busy grinning ear-to-ear to care about such details. And it was quite intriguing to see both Airway and Hijokaidan on the same festival. Both share the same basic idea but have different approach & motivation and this results in quite a different listening experience. I enjoyed both of them immensely.
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