Coachella it ain’t

The INC cometh and Cage's Variations VII
By SUSANNA BOLLE  |  April 15, 2008

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Rat Bastard

Founded in 2004 by Florida noise musician RAT BASTARD, the INTERNATIONAL NOISE CONFERENCE started as an acid-tongued spit take on the club-oriented Miami Winter Music Conference. It’s a marathon, three-day event featuring a slew of abrasive, experimental music acts from around the country. This year Rat and his band, the LAUNDRY ROOM SQUELCHERS, are taking the INC on tour for a series of mini-fests. Curated by JESSICA RYLAN (a/k/a CAN’T) and SHANA PALMER (a/k/a CHILD BRIDE), the Cambridge edition (at MIT) is packed with all manner of noisemakers, from the gut-crunching, lo-fi spectacle of NOISE NOMADS to the refined tape manipulations of HOWARD STELZER.

“The INC is probably the most fun noise festival,” explains Rylan. “We’re trying to create a similar kind of feeling. I want to make sure that it has a wide variety of music, and I thought it would be fun to get a lot of offbeat bands that you never get to see otherwise.”

For full details on the line-up, see squelchers.com. Sets last a scant 10 to 15 minutes, so forget the Ritalin — just remember the earplugs.

At Mobius (mobius.org) in the South End, the MOBIUS VARIATIONS PROJECT will present one of composer John Cage’s most enigmatic and rarely performed works, VARIATIONS VII. Mobius’s DAVID MILLER likens the piece to a sonic fishing expedition, explaining that Cage characterized it as “inside composers fishing for outside sounds.” In the original 1966 performance, the performers cast for outside noise and auditory information using telephone lines to reach beyond the confines of the concert hall. At Mobius, they’ll update this approach as they troll for sounds with 21st-century communications technology like the Internet and cellphones. Now that’s using your anytime minutes wisely.

INTERNATIONAL NOISE CONFERENCE | Wong Auditorium at MIT, 70 Memorial Drive, Cambridge | April 24 | 7-11 pm | free | JOHN CAGE’S VARIATIONS VII | Mobius, 725 Harrison Ave, Boston | April 18-19 at 8 pm | 617.638.0020

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