As Low Level Lazer Radiation and with Cop City Chill Pillars, Nelson Hallonquist is continuing in his tradition of performing annually at International Noise Conference. Since the first INC, he's brought all sorts of West Palm Beach sounds to Churchill's Pub in Little Haiti.
Noise legend Rat Bastard organizes the event, which lasts somewhere between three and five days. Hallonquist says Rat's been a huge influence on him, calling him the "best person on earth. Totally an asset to music." He's looking forward to INC this year, and with so many bands coming from all over the country to perform for free, Hallonquist recognizes that the environment is "positive and encouraging for anyone who plays."
INC doesn't always only present traditional "noise music." When playing the first INC, Hallonquist remembers being in a punk band watching Unicorn Hard-on perform. "It's more tongue in cheek," he says, "It's kind of like music that falls out of the parameters of typical enjoyable music." Enjoyable being relative. It's uncommon for someone to attend INC and leave having not enjoyed any of the action or performances. They tend toward the wild, sometimes super smart and sometimes super stupid.
With his solo act Low Level Lazer Radiation, the musician offers complex, meandering electronic soundscapes, while Cop City Chill Pillars bring punk-influenced, warped rock and roll. "A lot of us feel the need to play different kinds of music to express different things," notes Hallonquist.
Of his two endeavors, he says, "They're just totally different. Musically, the objectives are different. It's kind of like different textures." LLLR is smooth; when rough it's like a gentle exfoliant, while Cop City feels like pulling chewing gum with your fingers.
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Hallonquist has been playing music since he was 13 and in bands since 2004. He's also a visual artist who works during the day as director of Gavlak art gallery in Palm Beach. He runs the label West Palm Beotch Records out of, well, obviously, West Palm Beach. Acts in the area he endorses include the Jameses, Guy Harvey, Band in Heaven, Chrome Dick, and Mothersky.
If you've seen LLLR, it was likely at either Little Munich or the Snooze Theatre The latter is run by Hallonquist's close friends and bandmates. Of the Snooze, Hallonquist says, it's "an open-ended place where almost anyone can do whatever they want, as long as it's a pretty cool thing that everyone can enjoy."
Jay Hines' Augurari Records is releasing LLLR's Transcendental Medication. Hallonquist's other ventures, Universal Expansion and Cop City Chill Pillars, are also recording soon.
INC starts on Wednesday as Pre-INC at Burger and Beer Joint (1766 Bay Road, Miami Beach). Catch LLLR on Thursday at 11:15 p.m. and Cop City Chill Pillars on Friday 11:30 p.m. at Churchill's Pub (5501 NE Second Ave., Miami). Check out the nine noisiest acts of 2012 at Miami New Times.