The best music/concert DVDs and videos always make you wish you could have been there. Fun From None documents a ton of explosive performances from the 2004 and 2005 No Fun Fests held in Brooklyn, New York, and you'd better believe that witnessing the sweat-soaked sets captured here have me majorly regretting my missing these events. This two-DVD set, shot and edited by esigned by Chris Habib from Visitor Design, is bound in a DVD case with gnarly artwork and a trifold booklet of liner notes from the key producers involved. The first disc explores the festival's 2004 lineup, with footage of To Live And Shave In LA, Alan Licht's 1970 (a quartet featuring Licht, Chris Corsano, Matt Heyner and Tamio Shiraishi engaging in some awesomely heavy noise-rock destruction), Kim Gordon and the Sweetride, Giffoni/Nyoukis, Wolf Eyes, Hair Police, Nautical Almanac, Double Leopards, and a scorching feedback/rock jam from Lee Renaldo, William Hooker, and Roger Miller. There is a lot of static, strobing footage on many of these sets, but the recording is excellent, and some of the sets (Wolf Eyes and Nautical Almanac, for instance) are intoxicating to view. Some of my fave cuts on this one include the opening blast of fucked-up beatbox glitch/improv from To Live And Shave, the headbangin' Wolf Eyes jam with the Olson/Young/Dilloway line-up crunching out a brutal rendition of ""Black Vomit"", and a thunderous slab of free floating power-drone from Double Leopards.
The second DVD captures No Fun circa 2005, and has even better film footage (this time with multiple cameras), with on-fire eruptions from all
included: Prurient opens the disc with Dominick Fernow in total Rock God mode, exploding skulls with intense high-frequency feedback manipulation delivered with a Hardcore level of aggression, and Magik Markers slur their way through a dreamlike fug of deconstructed noise
rock. Another uber-gang made up of Brian Sullivan (Mouthus), Chris Corsano, Trevor Tremaine (Hair Police), and Carlos Giffoni, The Giffoni Death Unit rage through a lengthy blizzard of free drumming and earth shaking electronic noise that is one of the more mind-bending performances on here. Jazzkamer invoke a crushing industrial noise behemoth, Heathen Shame summon up a cyclone of crushing turbo free-rock, and Dead Machines create another one of their weird, creepy alien landscapes with squealing reeds and glitchy electronics. I fucking love Mouthus ever since I first heard them open for Dinosaur Jr., and their stuff here is likewise righteously crushing, sounding like fragments of some massive indie pop band buried underneath a mountain of delay, distortion, and feedback.
Nihilist Assault Group is a trio made up of, from what I have been able to gather, Richard Rupenus (of New Blockaders), Dominick Fernow (of
Prurient) and an unidentifiable third party. Their set consists of two of the masked members going ballistic on an arsenal of turntables, contact mics, and other sound generating tools, as the third masked member sits in a chair at the front of the stage sipping a glass of wine. This is probably the weirdest set from the entire DVD, and one of the loudest/heaviest, too. Sweet. Then comes 16 Bitch Pileup's dreamlike footage, a mass orgasmic dogpile on the basement stage backed by a wall of slurred, syrupy, howling splatter drone, filmed in fuschia with layers of film footage overlapping. What the fuck. That's gotta be some of the most Dionysian noise footage I've ever seen. Monotract belts out a bruising, hypnotic no-wave assault that's a welcome shift in sonics.
Macronympha's set has Joe Roemer accompanied by Dominick Fernow and a girl in bondage gear; Roemer and Fernow whip up a devestating wall of amplifier-humping, contact-mic vomiting distortion aggression and sexual festishism. Intense shit. And then comes the festival closer, an
explosive set by the godz of SNUFF JAZZ, Borbetomagus, their double saxophone/noise guitar combination emitting a hallucinatory cloud of skree, amp hum, and ominous sax grunt.
Whew! It's a fucking who's who of the whole American avant/noise rock/brutal improv/noise punk/harsh noise underground. A total ear n' eye feast. Highly recommended.