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Damaged Goods

By Mike Breen · January 30th, 2008 · Spill It
Since I began writing about Greater Cincinnati music more than a decade ago, there have always been murmurs about what the "Cincinnati sound" actually sounds like. The conclusion is usually that it doesn't sound like anything ¸ and everything all at once. The folks at Art Damage, Inc. and Tokyo Rose Records (both longtime supporters of experimental music artists) have called their new CD compilation/collaboration Art Damage Vol. 1: What Cincinnati Makes You Sound Like. For those with tender ears, you might not only wonder what is in the water locally but it might be time to check air pollutant levels as well.

The music on the CD, made by an array of local sound manipulators (from newer practitioners to those who have been at it for decades), showcases the fringe of local music, spotlighting artists that throw away musical rulebooks (or maybe they never knew they existed?). The "noise-art" on the disc ranges from Pure Church's droning noise-feast "The Art of Faith" to Le TechnoPUSS13s' esoteric No Wave/Disco/Rap track "Cause and Effect" to a live otherworldly Free Jazz workout by Gordy Horn recorded at the Highland Coffeehouse in 1996 to IOVAE's festering, ambient soundscape, "Hello Fugue Proper." Your average mainstream music lover won't get through 10 seconds of the disc, but those with an ear for "noise as art" will be in heaven.

A CD release "festival" takes place this weekend at three different venues. Opening night at the Art Damage Lodge (4120 Hamilton Ave., Northside) features Le TechnoPUSS13s, Black Fives and Destined to Fester, plus Lexington's legendary Hair Police, Tight Leather and Handicapper Horns featuring John Olson from Wolf Eyes. The fun moves to Kaldi's downtown Saturday, as Master of Horror (featuring Cincy ex-pat and experimental music legend Uncle Dave Lewis), Nebula Girl, Gordy Horn and Wasteland Jazz Unit perform. The release weekend ends at The Gypsy Hut in Northside Sunday, with music from IOVAE, Wild Gunmen, Recollectio and David Garza.

For more info, go to myspace.com/getdamaged or myspace.com/artdamagelodge.

More Local Notes
¯ Pete Dressman & the Soul United Nation celebrates its first CD release, The Current, with a show at the Madison Theater in Covington this Saturday. Dressman is a remarkably mature singer/songwriter (think Pete Yorn) and his bandmates help give his songs precision and kick. The music is radio-friendly and accessible but far from vapid, as the band pours lots of soulfulness and feeling into the proceedings. The trio is joined by Kristen Key, The West End Band, Preston Long and Tupelo Honey for Saturday's all-ages 8 p.m. show. (petedressman.com)

¯ The benefit concerts for local bass player Chris Walker (seriously injured in a car accident last year) keep coming. This Saturday, the Rivertown Music Club hosts a benefit show for Walker at The Blue Note in Price Hill. The 9 p.m. show features music from Kentucky Struts, Dan Varner, Kelly Thomas and the Fabulous Pickups, One Horse, Kinsey Rose, Joshua Scutella and the Dusters, Rubber Knife Gang and Voodoo Blues. For more on Walker (including regular updates on his health), go to myspace.com/friendsforchriswalker.

CONTACT MIKE BREEN: mbreen@citybeat.com


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