Violent Vicki / Analog Tara

Friday, May 23, 2003

Ladyfest TX is going on this week and Joe and I decided to go check out the music at the Rhizome collective this evening. The Rhizome collective is out near 5th and Springdale, in the buildings that used to house the Free Skool (and, I guess, still do house the Free Skool).

Awesome place. Think big warehouses forming and “L” with one end housing a big, open art space (for theater, film, music, whatever) and with one end converted into co-op housing for about twenty. Very much the House of Commons vibe: art everywhere, progressively-minded political posters all over, very DIY in that way that good co-ops always are. And between the two branches of the “L” a nice garden that we couldn’t really see at night. Oh well.

Joe and I arrived just after the first performer finished up in the main music/theater space. It took Violent Vicki about twenty minutes to get her act together, so Joe and I chatted around and explored, going so far as entering the housing part of the house (sort of against my will and judgment), only to be scloded out by one of the residents cooking herself dinner. Understandable (to me). A mistake people sometimes make regarding co-ops is that they’re like dorms or libraries or other sorts of semi-public spaces that you could just walk into and look around. Co-ops are homes, semi-public for the residents, but not for random people to poke around in (any more than we would welcome someone we didn’t know just walking through our front door).

Anyway. We also talked to Lacey and Maria and Todd and some of the other usuals we recognized around the warehouse. I forget the name of it, but the warehouse had a library built inside that (I believe) collected books to give to prisoners. But they had it open for anyone to look around inside. Cobwebby. Smelled of brittle paper.

So Violent Vicki. The program used the word “queerelectronica,” which didn’t really do her justice. Vicki’s schtick was setting up her iBook (yup) on a stool, loading tracks, and singing/howling/talking over the music. I think she called her sound “hard core synth pop” at one point — mostly appropriate because all of her music had fastish drum and bass (not drum’n’bass techno-style) loops full of hooky synth pop riffs and chords. Just fast. And very low-tech. With a chunky lesbian in a red t-shirt howling on top. I actually enjoyed her set quite a bit. Catchy tunes. Fun stage presence (even if awkwardness was a part of that fun). Great.

And then another pause while Analog Tara hooked up. Tara had a more conservative approach with the Titanium Powerbook (yup) she calmly sat in front of like Rich Bailey (Proem) would. She had a definite mid-90s vibe to her sound. Synth loopy in a 1995 Orb sort of way. Good, but in a simpler, pre-glitch-era sort of way. Both Joe and I considered grabbing a copy of the CD-R she had for sale, but decided against it. I might pick one up at the Showcase (which she will play at on the 28th — you should come).

Anyway. Good times. Also saw Chad (Seneca co-op electronic music Chad, not Plan II Chad or dangling Chad or central African nation Chad), Jonathan Webb, and Christine (whose house I was at last weekend for a graduation/birthday party). And Lily and Amanda from the HoC. And lots of ladies. Befitting the event title (Ladyfest). In cool outfits.

Oh, and Violent Vicki has been staying at the House of Commons during her visit. And I ran into Marla at HEB afterwards (the Wyomingian goth who also lives there now). A night of connections.

What else? Um. That’s all.