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I am going to buy some goddam earplugs.

I mean it this time. For years now, I have intended to purchase something to protect my ears, my precious, precious ears, from noise--particularly loud concerts I am likely to attend with my friend, Noizetrauma. Once again, I have neglected this duty, exposing my hearing apparatus's to a four show set at Seattle's Neumos featuring noise-rock, industrial metal, drum and bass, and ambient drone. Clearly, this was a mistake, as I am now suffering tinnitus a full day later. However, I do not regret going.

The opening set (by La Fin Absolute du Monde, an appealing duo composed of one talented, handsome, black, male guitarist, and one Asian, mood-setting, beautiful, and less talented female keyboardist/computerist/singer) started off laughably bad, but was short, and finished very strongly with a distortion-laden peon to breaking up. With some packaging (including better production and some voice training), this group could put on a good show.
The second set (by the second of what would be three duos on the night--this one a nearly black-out-camouflaged, wordless guitar and mixing-board wielding mixed sex pairing entitled House of Low Culture) was nearly mind-blowing. They were like Stars of the Lid, with less classicism and more feedback. Highlight of the night for me.

Cut Hands (formerly Whitehouse), the only solo act of the night, played an extremely loud, intense blend of industrial-noise and mid-90s drum and bass that sounded like it came from an English rave 16 years ago. Not my style, but the middle-aged performer seemed to really groove to it, and so did about three people in the audience. It was probably this bit that did my ears in. Around this time, an old football injury in my left shoulder started throbbing with the beat (which continued through the close of the show). Mothers, don't let your children play American football. It is dangerous, and nowhere near worth the fun they might have. Get them to play golf, or something.

Godflesh headlined. They picked their openers well, as you could hear pieces of noize, DnB, and drone in their heady metal. There were moments where the various elements fused together wonderfully. As in every other performance that night, percussion was provided by a merciless, pitiless computer, which did not care one bit about my shoulder or my ears. My poor, poor ears. Yes, Godflesh was loud, too.

"ZZZZZZZZZZ!" says the tinitus, in one delirious, unending loop. But at least there are no computerized drums.


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