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Neon Marshmallow 2010 Recap

I’ve been thinking about Neon Marshmallow daily since last November when Dan Smith emailed asking if Telecult would be interested in playing. When he wrote that “I am good friends with Matt Kimmell [Acid Marshmallow] and he is also going to be helping out with planning the fest” it sealed the deal, Telecult were on board for sure.

It’s been pretty fun the last few weeks talking to the doom and gloomers saying shit was going to get fucked up, time slots were going to be thrown out the window, etc. With some people I go tthe vibe they were hoping it failed, others seemed to have genuine concern. My stance on it was essentially a big whatever, if Telecult got to play for 4 people at 4 am, that’s great.

So here are some thoughts on the Neon Marshmallow fest. Mostly these are just things for me to think about, when I am an old man and wondering what I did with my life I can look back and read about one of the crazy fucking noise fests I took part in. Hell yeah!  Chris Sienko over at Gapers Block was a bit more  thorough, some things he got right on the money, some I would argue with but it would be well worth it for you to check out his review.


Missed it, we were playing my lawyer’s basement in North Royalton, Ohio.


7:00pm Flower Man (Chicago) – I was like hey, I know this guy, it took me a while for it to dawn on me that he is a Caboladies, an act we played with a few weeks  ago at Matchless, Sam Goldberg rolled in to town with them. Good set.

7:20p Rust Worship (New York)  – Was cool to see Paul outside of Brooklyn, a fun and entertaining performance not unlike other ones I have seen him do lately, it was great to see him do it in front of a big audience in a different time zone.

7:40 Expo ’70 (Missouri) – I dug it and could see why Chris at BLRR loves them so much. I dream of a giant gong like that.

8:05 Skin Graft (Ohio) – The best harsh guy of all time, hands down. Disgusting and filthy, I kiss Wyatt’s ring. Too short at 40  some seconds, but whatever, I got the point. I’m a disgusting human lowlife that wallows in filth and decay.  :)

8:30 Bhob Rainey (Lousiana) The last two minutes I were alarming, hard to put into context, mellow almost beyond comprehension. Wondering if the whole set was like that.

8:45 EID (New York) – My favorite EID set of all time. Someone said that the way to judge good noise is if you feel like you went on a  journey, and I definitely felt this. Anthony is very thoughtful and contemplative of his work, very passionate and it comes out. This isn’t just putting some pedals together masturbating over it. Dude’s probably a good chess player, it was like he was planning moves steps ahead.

Astral Social Club @ Neon Marshmallow, Chicago9:10 Astral Social Club (United Kingdom) – Yeah. His guitar sound was gorgeous. My broken smile shined like the sun for the  whole set.

9:55 Dave Phillips (Switzerland) – Wow.

10:10 Illusion of Safety
(Chicago) – Just as good as it was when I saw him at Speak in Tongues many years ago.

10:35 Raglani (Missouri) – Joe has his act down pat. Glad to see he has recovered a bit since the disaster with Steve.

10:55 Leticia Castaneda (California) – Only caught a few minutes of it, seemed cool but I don’t really remember.

11:15 The Haters (California) – I have been seeing Steve do this shit for years now, the sparks that is, always entertaining. I’m glad that even with  the health issues he is still as aggressive and in your face as he was when he was 100 pounds heavier.  In a way puts it all in perspective, but it’s his thing tho, like Roger from Zapp and his vocoder. You’d be pissed if he didn’t do it. The Haters themselves were cool, I dug the suitcase  bumps.

12:00 Keith Fullerton Whitman (Massachusetts) I think Matthew said it best when he pointed out it was like hangning out with a dude in his living room, showing off a bit with a beautiful machine but in a relaxed, unassuming manner. Would love to do that for  real. Mr. Whitman, if you read this you should invite Telecult over some time, drink some beers and turn knobs.

12:25 Sunglasses (Chicago) – Really cool, A fun loop based jam of two friends drinking beer.

12:45 Cornucopia (Puerto Rico) Awesome!

1:10 Disgust (New York) Super fun. Once again Matthew said something better than I could, it looked like Soliday was playing Ditka for a team of lunatics.

1:30 R. Jencks aka Sixes (California) This shit was a dark jaunt threw a disturbed wasteland. Very cool and aggressive, lots  of building up, not as harsh as I had thought it would be.

Somewhere during this evening Slither snuck in and jammed in the bathroom.

Saturday Afternoon

12:25 Sean McCann (California)  – Missed it.

12:50 Carter/Clixby/Yeh (NY, NY, NY) Missed it, sucks, I enjoy all three on their own so together I bet it was rad. Meg did her thing Tetsuo Rebirth this past May, was ripping.  Video on Vimeo at least.

1:15 Girly Temple (New York) – Sorry, Camissa, missed it.

1:40 Fragments (Ohio) – Really Field of Hats, Jeff Hatfield took us on a nice little ride with his Moog. Outstanding for sure. really missed Zach tho. Next time!

2:30 U.S. Girls (Pennsylvania) – Missed it? Not sure.

2:55 Preyers (California) – Really the great Mark McGuire. I’m super fucking biased but by far the best use of a guitar all weekend.

3:20 Nmperign & Lescalleet (Louisiana/Maine/Massachusetts) – Sweet.

3:50 Cornucopia & Telecult Powers (Puerto Rico/New York) I don’t know, you tell me? One guy said it was uneasy and quasi academic where I heard from someone else saying it was blissful and mellow, and another said it was harsh and cinematic. Proud that so many people have different ideas about it, and proud to have shared the stage with Mr. Castro.

4:20 Astral Social Club & Carlos Giffoni (United Kingdom/New York) – Sounded cool.

4:40p Regression (Nate from Wolf Eyes) (Michigan) – Fucking hell. Sort of made me think of the Nukeface Papers from the Swamp Thing comic. Delta Blues through a toxic waste lens. Impressive to say the least.

5:10p Burning Star Core (New York) – Only caught the first couple of minutes of it which sucks, have only seen Spencer play once since he moved to NYC but had to get a hold of some family members about a recent death. Listening to the video of it online right now, sounds good, no surprise there.

Saturday Night.
7:00 Mike Forbes & Andrew Young (Chicago) – Ha shit these guys fucking rule. Even playing first for the night they brought it, insane professionals.

7:20p Grasshopper (New York) I’m probably too biased to give an honest opinion, but these guys are super stars in my mind. I have never seen them and been disappointed at all. Playing with them in Hex Breaker Quintet is an absolute joy.

8:05 Dog Lady (Michigan) – Missed it but I loved his set at Champagne of Fests IV, I can’t imagine it wasn’t fantastic.

8:30 Carlos Giffoni (New York) Sounded cool but missed most of it.

9:10 Dolphins Into The Future (Belgium) – John Lilly was last seen lost on a highway somewhere on the planet Mars.

9:30 Wasteland Jazz Unit (Ohio) - Sweet stuff. Sat in the bleachers and chilled while they went nuts. Intense pair.

9:55 Dead Machines
(Michigan) – A very loose Dead Machines set but awesome. John Olson is the charismatic leader of the wasted youth of noise America. Thumbs up. I loved the warm up speech, and banter between Mr. & Mrs. Olson was endearing. Jams from the heart.

10:10 Red Electric Rainbow (Chicago) – Entertaining, almost cinematic.

Social Junk (Pennsylvania) Missed it but caught them Monday, really enjoyed it, crazy rock tapping into the source.

Emeralds (Ohio) – Glorious. Funniest shit was watching these kids in the back mocking Mark McGuire rocking his guitar and then seconds later they were sucked in, mesmerized, absolutely drawn into the Emeralds. Mark & John looked like they were having so much fun on stage, very awesome, and Steve was a stoic scientist. Rad.

Telecult Powers (New York) Hard to say, once again you tell me. We started it off by mentioning that Jorge’s laptop was ripped off and asking the audience to send love to the person that stole it. Being the reactionary fellows we are the idea of a curse came up but decided that would be counter productive. I am really glad we went that route because the next day the laptop was recovered, it was packed up by someone that had the same one, he was in a hurry and made a mistake.

Video taken by Mathbill. (Check out his page, it is filled with lots of great noise sets.)  The video is there if you want to watch it but . It’s a bit too hard to try to capture it, I honestly feel that you just had to be there. We had extra reinforcements on the PA so it was solid, the range was huge. The video focuses a bit too much on un twisting nobs and not the film so it is a bit visually lacking, in night vision so we are green and weird looking.

It took a little bit of time for us to get into the groove, 16 mm film adjustments, etc. but when we did it was blistering.

Pedestrian Deposit (California) – Missed most of it, I was still coming down from our set just before but I caught them on Monday in Cleveland. Pretty neat. Not sure why nobody closed the door to this room but the chatter from the bar was very distracting. I could hear Mr. Matthews in the next room talking to someone congratulating them on their set, that was awkward but fun.

John Fell Ryan of Excepter, Neon Marshmallow 2010Excepter (NYC) – Not really sure what I can say that hasn’t been said before. Stripped down to just JFR, Lala & Jon Nicholson… Claire & Nathan, a couple of deck hands on the SS Excepter  couldn’t make the trip out so this was a bit of a leaner machine. I really wish they their set hadn’t been pushed back so late but it was top of the line. Excepter made me think of Genesis 6:4, actually.


I missed a lot of Sunday, my great aunt passed away a few weeks ago so I went and met her son and his family. Noise is important but family is more so. Really sorry I missed Temple of Pei recording artist Family Treasures, Matthew told me that it was great,  he also said that Peter J. Woods & Instinct Control were something really special. John Elliot of Emeralds and Jeff Hatfield of Fragments did Medicine Rocks, I heard that was good and fuck! Missed Drainolith. We played a show with him (Alex) a few weeks ago and he was FANTASTIC. Oh well, like I said, family is important.

I did catch…

5:25 Jason Soliday (Chicago) – I said earlier that harsh noise is best when it is a journey but this is the exception. Staggering jolts, conniptions, shake downs, crazy and entertaining. Jason is one of the most stand up dudes I know and this shit was fantastic. I only caught a few minutes of it because we were setting up but what I saw of  it was great.

5:45 Hex Breaker Quintet
(New York) -  Matthew & I’s third set of the weekend, our collaboration with Grasshopper. Chris Sienko of Chicago based Gapers Block was asking why we call it a quintet and not a quartet, his theory is we were mocking numbers fascists. Actually it really is a quintet, our fifth member started out as Old Scratch but has also included many greats from history such as Plato, Hermes Trismegistus, and August Strindberg. Just because someone is invisible it doesn’t mean they don’t help guide our actions. Josh named our set “When I Die, Ma, Take This Badge Off Of Me, I Won’t Need It In My New Cosmic Home”.

6:25 Burial Hex
(Wisconsin) – Fucking awesome.

6:45 Piss Piss Piss Moan Moan Moan (Chicago) – Really fucking awesome.

And that was it, 6 hour back to Cleveland.

Jason Soliday @ Neon Marshmallow 2010

Jason Soliday

Oh, and special thanks to Joe Malone for opening up your home for us to stay in. It really helped being so close, you made a huge difference.

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  1. Sipping Tea w/ Dr. Strange on the Astral Plane, or My Q & A With Neil Campbell, a/k/a Astral Social Club | Bingo Games Online, Play Bingo Games linked to this post on September 8, 2010

    [...] headed out to the Neon Marshmallow Fest in Chicago a couple of weeks ago and it was a real treat. Sure, here in Brooklyn my act gets to roll deep with sonic heavyweights like Grasshopper and [...]

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