Baculum: Sometimes it's like you've played forever, but you've played ten minutes

Categories: DIY or Die

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Photo courtesy of Baculum
This evening marks the beginning of Tourniquet Noise, a series of harsh noise performances at the Kitty Cat Klub each Monday during the month of July. The series, curated by local musician Kevin Cosgrove, aims to bring together artists who have played an instrumental role in giving life to the ever-changing atmosphere of noise music in Minneapolis. Tonight's lineup includes Baculum, the project of local harsh noise veteran and owner of Phage Tapes (blog here), Sam Stoxen.

"At first I thought harsh noise was stupid," Stoxen says over brunch at Muddy Waters. He is somewhat of an intimidating presence, his face shielded by a rather outgrown rust-colored beard, a hat reading "Fuck art, make noise" pulled over his forehead. Solid black tattoos form a landscape of ink over most of his body, faded with time, and interrupted by the outlines of various symbols and lettering. He had pulled up to the restaurant on his chopper to meet with us, lamenting a mechanical issue that has been plaguing the bike, a mass of metal crafted lovingly by Stoxen himself.

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Kitty Cat Klub hosts Tourniquet Noise series


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Local label Forward Records: It's a hobby gone wild

Categories: DIY or Die
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Adam DeGross
Ibrahim Al Said and James Muschinski of Forward Records

About six years ago, Ibrahim Al Said and James Muschinski created a booking company, which according to Al Said "booked all the bands that people didn't want to see." The company, Empirical Booking, supported primarily hardcore bands.

The two had met at a mutual friend's apartment. Their friendship quickly grew, supported by mutual interests in music and participation in the local hardcore scene. Eventually, the booking company disintegrated, but Al Said and Muschinski went on to create their brainchild and perhaps Minneapolis' most underrated propeller of local (and now national) music: Forward Records.

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What is the Varsagod? Lungs explain their terrifying instrument invention

Categories: DIY or Die
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Adam DeGross
Lungs

Lungs have been a band since 2007, evolving considerably over the years as its members changed. Writing has shifted predominantly to its last remaining founding member, vocalist and drummer Jeff Nicholas, but the objective has remained the same: to capture and exploit human emotions, using post-metal, sludge and doom as a vessel.

The band is currently working on a new album to be released late this summer that will incorporate the use of the Varsagod, a self-made instrument utilizing sound elements created by manipulating recovered car parts and discarded trash items to create eerie backing tracks and samples. Bassist Mike Cushing, Lungs' newest member and the Varsagod's inventor, is hesitant to take too much credit for his creation. "It kind of made itself," he says.

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