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Bobby Griffiths, Thrift King

“What can I say? I love junk.”
        Bobby Griffiths has made beautifully haunting ambient music for nearly 13 years, has made visual art much of his life, and has run a cassette label since 2006, but his most recent project, Gear Two Thrift, has brought Griffiths into the strange world of pop-up shops and instagram retail. An outlet showcasing products that range from vintage horse t-shirts to “Where’s the beef?” enamel pins and 1980s Buffalo Bills mugs, Gear Two will host a pop-up event this Friday, February 22, at Allentown’s Pine Apple Co. from 6pm-10pm.
        This thread of secondhand use runs deep in Griffith’s programming, most easily found in his strange tape-based music as “VWLS”. Griffiths’ music, from ambient soundscapes to lo-fi hip-hop, often pulls samples from thrifted tapes and records, reusing old tape players from the Library of Congress created for those with visual impairments. Griffiths then pushes these samples and modest equipment to the furthest po…
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Cancelled: John Wiese at Sugar City 1/30/19

UPDATE: CANCELLED

         Braving the Polar Vortex, Los Angeles-based experimental noise artist John Wiese will be making his way to Buffalo's west side Wednesday evening, for what is sure to be a captivating live performance.
        A true veteran artist in the world of sound-art, Wiese has been a part of the noise scene for the last twenty-five years. He has the striking ability to create narrative stories told only through sound effects, and is an expert in the creation of profound experiences using original sound-elements and abstract forms of communication that exist outside the realm of music. His latest LP, "Escaped Language" (available on bandcamp), is a balanced creation of a gentle yet abrasive soundscape.
        Wiese will be performing at Sugar City (1239 Niagara St, Buffalo) along with some of our favorite local artists, God of Gaps (harsh noise/ power electronics), Icky Reels (experimental electronic) and Justin Von Strasburg (unamplified snare drum …

Sound Science: How Hearing Works

While at first it may seem out of place in a noise blog, often musicians, sound artists, and listeners alike overlook the most important part of any musical experience: the human ear. An incredible piece of machinery, this complex, multipart system creates the perception we know as sound simply from vibrations in the air, but how do we get from air vibrations to the visceral emotion elicited by a favorite piece of music or sound art? The answer lies in both physical conduction and neural sensation.
        Though this information can be found in many textbooks, Peter W. Alberti’s World Health Organization (WHO) article, “The Anatomy and Physiology of the Ear” provides an in-depth look at how hearing works.
        The human ear can be divided into three parts: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. The outer and middle ear deal primarily with continuing the resonances of air vibrations, physically conducting sound, while the inner ear converts these vibrations into…

Boiled Over: Celebrating the Life of the Cass Project

After roughly two years of providing enriching and inspiring sound and visual art events, The Boiler Room at 500 Seneca has closed its doors and its curator Tina Dillman will soon return to the San Francisco Bay Area. A result of increasing business and gentrification to the area, the beloved hub of community art that once hosted beautiful displays and fantastic sounds will now host a kombucha brewery.
       Dillman, event planner and promoter for the Cass Project, an arts initiative based in Buffalo, has hosted music and art events in the Boiler Room since January 2017 as well as a multitude of other art events in venues and in the community. The Cass Project aims to “provide the City of Buffalo and the region, with culturally diverse artistic programming and events that engage, empower, and spark dialogue and action in creating community and rehabilitating neighborhoods.” With this project, Dillman has curated exhibits, hosted music and sound art events, and initiatedU many…

Smoke Alarms and Cyborgs: HUNS and Westward Journey at Revolution Gallery

Buffalo’s HUNS and Westward Journey teamed up Nov. 9 at Craig LaRotonda’s Revolution Gallery on Hertel ave for an unforgettable farewell to HUNS’ Jake Whitefield. Smoke machines set fire alarms off in the packed gallery, but the band powered through, gifting the audience with two sets of noisey post-metal doom. As of Nov. 11, Whitefield has relocated to New York City, though he says: “We’re hoping to maintain the long distance thing as we have one more EP that we’re three-fourths done with writing and wanted to see it through. We’ll have to cut down on shows, but I’m hoping that I can come back periodically and maybe pick up one here or there. Or maybe even find some spots to play out here.” The show would prove to be a wonderful end to an era for HUNS, hosted by a beautifully eerie gallery strung with works of dark surrealism and preceded by an incredible ambient performance from Buffalo’s Eareckson Murray, performing as Westward Journey.
      The gallery features many of LaR…

Tense and Release: Should Anyone Make Noise?

The second millennium burst through our dissociated society nearly two decades ago, and the world dashes with more force and more speed than ever before. Poorly lit billboards flash, smartphones incessantly beep and click and speak to their users, and an ever-present pressure to produce more, to consume more, to “do” more permeates every tear in the fabric of our global culture. We talk faster, we move faster, we process faster than any culture before us, but at what cost? Among greed, violence, socioeconomic and political unrest, and an overall sense of amnesia, this speed has driven its culture’s citizens to more pressure, anxiety, and repressed tension than they can take. People lash out at each other verbally and physically, both in person and on the digital world of the internet, further isolating themselves and building only more tension and destruction. It seems our world has reached a critical point, and the dam may burst at any moment.
​      The question arises, what can be…

A Brief History of Noise via The Guardian

For those new to noise music, Paul Hegarty's article for The Guardian, "Noise and Music: An Eternal Conflict of Sound," provides a brief and accurate history of noise in music and as an art form all its own. Though published 10 years ago, the piece informs as well as provokes, succinctly citing some of the social issues evoked by such an art form. Perhaps some of these issues are more relevant today than ever...