Who are the grandfathers of noise music? The Nihilist Spasm Band formed in 1965 when eight men, using homemade instruments, began creating noise together in London, Ontario. None of these men were traditionally trained musicians, yet they are often credited as being the major influence behind modern noise music, inspiring Japanese noisemakers like Hijokaiden and Masonna, as well as western artists like Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth. [more inside]
Tokyo-Ga: this excerpt from a Wim Wenders film offers an interesting little glimpse into the world of pachinko, a gambling obsession for so many in Japan. But while most are gazing hypnotically into the noisy little machines in order to win prizes or money, others are circuit bending them to make them even noisier. [more inside]
The perfect gift: A Noise-Cookie Flower! A compilation CD from Women Take Back the Noise with circuit-bent packaging. Available in pink, orange, blue (YouTube) or purple. Featured on MAKE: Blog in August.
Hugh McIntyre has died. The retired librarian was the bass player for The Nihilist Spasm Band, widely considered the first noise band. Started in 1965, the band operated way underground for most of their career, but achieved no small notoriety in the 90s, ran their own noise festival for a few years, had a great documentary made about them, and jammed with REM (!) about a month ago. My favourite memory of Hugh would be watching him time noise improvs with his stopwatch to make sure they weren't too long. RIP big man.