If you missed the Poor House performance of Dr. Madd Vibe (a.k.a. Angelo Moore from the band Fishbone) April 24, you lost out. About 50 folks turned up to investigate Moore and his exuberant spoken-word performance. Dressed in a tall top hat parked on his clean-shaven cranium, tails, suspenders, and plaid shorts, Moore animatedly recited passages from his five-year-old book, Dr. Madd Vibe's Comprehensive Linkology, and his new tome called The Yin Yang Thang. The crowd loved the memorable opener, "ME!," in which he unrolled epithets such as, "I am a termite gnawing at the hymen of the future." Between poems Moore indulged in some molasses-flavored squawks from his sax that were much closer to latter-day Coltrane than the slammin' funk of Fishbone.
Not all of the performance was fun and games. Some of Moore's insights into racism were sharpened into shivs and jabbed into the predominantly white crowd surrounding him; as he explained, he didn't care if he made us "uncomfortable like a hemorrhoid." Detailing an encounter with a "white ignorant stupid WWF corn-fed cracker" somewhere down South, he made some patrons squirm uncomfortably, as they did while he waxed very un-PC about black rock musicians living in a white world.
Despite covering ground that has already yielded crops for like-minded artists (Moore's "Black Box" unnecessarily retreads Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy's "Television, the Drug of the Nation"), the Dr. Madd Vibe show was riveting. In the end, he encouraged debate and made folks think -- and when, exactly, was the last time you saw that going on in downtown Fort Lauderdale?
Occasionally someone will complain, "There's not enough jizm and caca at rock 'n' roll shows anymore." Take heart -- here's a show certain to shut down such whiners: Sunday's heartwarming get-together with the Dave Brockie Experience at Ray's in West Palm Beach. Brockie is best known for his role as singer Oderus Urungus in the shocking slime spectacle known as GWAR, and he'll be joined by guitarist Mike Derks (a.k.a. Balsac, the Jaws of Death) and drummer Brad Roberts (a.k.a. Jizmak the Gusha). A poster promoting the show rather disingenuously labels the concert as "GWAR without their makeup and stage show."
Anyone who's ever seen GWAR would have a hard time getting interested in that anticlimax -- one might as well advertise a monster-truck rally with tires no larger than a Frisbee. But Brockie may make up for it with his grab bag of mushy love songs including "You Want to Suck My Dick" and "I Clean Up Real Good." A sure shoo-in for inclusion in your "wish-I'd-thought-of-it" category is the title of the Experience's new album: Diarrhea of a Madman. The band's label, Metal Blade Records, promises the pungent platter will be laced with plenty of "poo-poo humor." In the show's opening slot is the surly yet melody-packed Squatweiler.
Likely to be far less scatological is Discovering Zero, a dance-theater event to be held Friday through Sunday at the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach. To accompany avant-dancers Demetrius Klein and Gina Buntz, the Brothers Storch (Bill and John) have composed an original score of experimental electronic music.
"It's very dramatic sounding. I say "severe electronic' sometimes," says John. "A lot of noise elements. But I won't say it's abrasive. It's expressive."
He allows comparisons to sound terrorists Muslimgauze, Japanese noise artistes Shinjinku Thief, and the Soleilmoon label from Portland, Oregon.
"We want to incorporate that noise factor with a real lush symphonic sound," he continues. "It's probably the most blatantly electronic-sounding stuff we've ever done. Some of it is beat-oriented, though not a steady 4/4 beat or anything like that. Some is classically oriented... with low-level drones that shoot out into noise blossoms."
Nice descriptions like that make the Storches' music worth investigating. But the West Palm Beach-based duo aren't strictly into commissioning scores for the avant-garde elite of Palm Beach County. In fact the two dabble in nearly every style known to mankind, with the possible exception of speed metal.
"We've been doing this since we were teenagers," John says. Spending much of the '80s in Boston and New York, the Storch brothers came up with a college radio-friendly rock band, ATA-TAT, which caused moderate waves in New England. Moving back to South Florida in 1990, they aligned themselves with the experimental dance and performance art scene and began composing scores, mostly in the electronic realm. But more recently they've turned up in SoulXpreS, a danceable house-music project John describes as "soulful, gospel-y fun." Late last year the brothers appeared on a folk/ bluegrass album credited to Hillbilly Heart, showing their songwriting skills could survive well outside the experimental field.
"We've heard and loved and listened to a lot of things in a lot of different styles," he says. "We listen to everything and try to absorb it all."
Luckily for them the Storch brothers have lots of friends and collaborators with whom to bounce ideas around. Hillbilly Heart, he explains, came about when they started jamming with some acoustic musicians down the street. They've known Klein for almost a decade, as they have Mark and Dan Leahy, who, under the rubric Dow Raku Projects, handle the visual presentation of events such as "Discovering Zero."
"We want it all to be open to a lot of people in the community," John says, "and we're thinking about starting an Internet radio station, too." In the meantime the brothers keep making music of every conceivable stripe. "We love to write, record, and arrange," he adds. "And we have a lot of friends."
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