Now in its fifth year, Brighton's Colour Out of Space festival continues to meld experimental music, art, and film into a beautifully structured, chaotic live event and fantastic, surreal party. Each year Dylan Nyoukis, Karen Constance, and Michael Sippings coordinate the festival, selecting artists and filmmakers from all over the world. Some of this year's include folks from the UK, Italy, Denmark, USA, Belgium, and Israel, who performed over a period of three nights, and afterward, celebrated outside pubs and in the streets into the wee hours of morning.
Noisebloid presents the “Best Of” the festival:
The “Rodger Stella” Award
(This award goes to the person who stayed the most fucked up, yet still managed to pull off one of the best sets of the fest, similar to wasted American noise artist Rodger Stella of Macronympha.)
Winner: El Bootkeh of Wreck & Drool with Smack Music 7
Isreal's Wreck & Drool performed Friday, the first night, with co-coordinator Karen Constance (Smack Music 7). Their set was a perfect example of Nyoukis's musical tastes, which are, according to Rat Bastard, “mouth mumbling, classic crackling, and some drone.” This now legendary collaboration almost didn't happen when Drool (Isreal's El Bootkeh, founder of Redbootkeh record label) was arrested on the plane after landing in London late Thursday evening. El Bootkeh drank himself into a stupor, making the decision to smoke not one but multiple cigarettes in the airplane lavatory. (In case you are unaware, smoking on airplanes is ILLEGAL.) El Bootkeh was taken “downtown” where he spent the night in jail. The next morning he was DNA swabbed, fingerprinted, and was free to go on a “caution.”
“You know, it wasn't really that bad, I just got drunk and wanted to smoke. They gave me a free place to stay the night and a ride to where I needed to go the next day,” El Bootkeh told Noisebloid. “Basically you can be obnoxious or drunk on an airplane, but if you are both, you are going to jail!” El Bootkeh made it in time for his set and stayed in a consistent “mega-wasted” state all weekend. To prove he was “born a mutant,” El Bootkeh showed off his prosthetic leg Saturday night after peeing his pants while selling records at the merch table.
Best Couple Award / Most Eligible Bachelor and Bachelorette
Winner: Ludo Mich (pictured above) and Chantal Strubbe / John Schoen (Pengo) and Eva (Orphan Fairytale)
Antwerp's Fluxus artist/filmmaker/poet/musician Ludo Mich performed Friday night as well, reciting poetry and sounds backlit by lulling, nude threesome. Ludo had much to celebrate because he wed longtime love, Chantal Strubbe, on November 5th in Antwerp, Belgium. The newlyweds had a party with performances by friends including Dennis Tyfus who also performed at CooS Sunday night as Vom Grill, and who broadcasted the wedding party on Radio Centraal. They even made a short “teaser” film for their big day. Congratulations!
In other Belgian love news, Orphan Fairytale was this year's most Eligible Bachelorette. Eva performed with the Laundry Room Squelchers, and sported a giant orange bow all weekend.
Alex Drool and his girlfriend came in at a close second to Ludo and Chantal for best couple, and most Eligible Bachelor John “Licker” Schoen had “issues with short women” Friday night at the pub.
Best Stalker / Most Stalked Award
Winner: Alison Amazed / Daniel Spicer
Brighton's Daniel Spicer, a Wire magazine contributor, hosted a couple panels over the weekend on a variety of subjects. He is also the recipient of the “Most Stalked at CooS” award. It's understandable, as he is the Burt Reynolds of experimental pondering, but I'm pretty sure he wasn't prepared for the bantering, adoring, and the stalking he received from blogger/poet Alison Amazed. Alison, a middle-aged (and proud of it, by God!) American woman living in Brighton, had taken a liking to Spicer and his 'stache. She seemed smitten with him and intrigued by his status as a writer. Her posts on her blog about her three days at CooS constantly reference her disappointment with the lack of “wrinkled” women participating in the festival. She claims on Friday night she asked Spicer why he thinks there aren't more women on the bill, and according to her he replied, “Are you obsessed with gender equality issues?” Offended that he would think that she, as a mature, older woman would still have these issues, Alison lashes out at Spicer on her blog and claims she's already been there and done that, even though it is apparent by her behavior over the weekend and her online presence that she is, in fact, obsessed with gender equality AND Daniel Spicer. Her blog even suggests Spicer is publicly insulting her in a misogynistic attempt to “bring her down.”
The second night she decided to talk to co-curator Dylan Nyoukis about why there weren't more women and what he thought about the female presence at the fest. According to her, Nyoukis told her he didn't want it to be a sausage fest and that he was disappointed at the lack of a female presence at the fest. This is obviously ridiculous because there was great representation of women performing and attending the festival, and Dylan had co-curated the event with his WIFE. She then stated she had no problem with Dylan (even though he had a hand in organizing and selecting the artists), and blamed Spicer for it simply because his “entire agenda is to bring women down.”
“Well, who do you suggest should be performing here that isn't?” Spicer finally asked her. She replied: “Me!” Spicer told her he doesn't “dig” her material. This sent Alison over the deep end and she proceeded to verbally assault and attempt to humiliate him in front of everyone outside the pub. At one point, Sharkiface (another woman) and I tried to distract her and relieve Daniel by suggesting she participate in our squelching Sunday night, but predictably she talked her way out of an open invitation to perform alongside other women, scanned for an out, saw Dylan and yelled to him, “Everyone thinks I'm your lover! Or your mother! But I have a man 17 years younger than me who wants to date me, so I should go--I need to prepare my uterus.”
You can read all about Alison's opinion on gender equality issues in noise music at Colour out of Space and in general, Daniel Spicer, and Wire magazine on her blog. There are photos from performances posted as well.
The WTF? Award
Winner: Tom Darksmith
Friday night was San Francisco artist and musician Tom Darksmith's third-ever public presentation of his music. A grade school teacher by day, a moody, erratic performer by night, Darksmith's stage presence confused and taunted the audience. He was either smiling and showing confidence or he was cursing the audience, ripping his shirt, or trying to break his gear. An audience member from Belgium leaned over to his friend and said, “I'm feeling an asshole vibe, I'm going to go outside and smoke,” while others in attendance provoked and haggled him. “Take off your shirt!” someone yelled. “Fuck you!” Darksmith responded. Then the music stopped and he screamed “No, No, NO!” and started up another wall of overwhelming drones. This went on back and forth for about 15 minutes until the sound guy turned on the house lights, forcing him to stop. No one was quite sure of what was going on. “Was that serious? Is he pretending or is that for real?” I overheard from people in attendance. Most people were speechless while others ridiculed the performance.
Was he serious? Who knows…
On Saturday, Darksmith was overheard telling Dennis Tyfus that he takes the pills that are in the photo on the cover of his record.
“What are they?” asked Dennis.
“So you are psychotic?”
“Naw, just bipolar.”
Later, after the show, outside the pub Darksmith and I were chatting about the Bay Area when we decided to go get some bourbon at the liquor store next door. He waited outside, holding our drinks from the bar. I was in line when he suddenly put the drinks on the ground, ran in, and yanked a Tiger Beat magazine off the rack. He gave that and some money to me, so that I could purchase it for him.
“I have to have this!” He exclaimed, wondering if perhaps he should get two.
He eventually decided just the one would suffice.
Rat Bastard watched Lady Gaga's Monster Ball HBO special on the airplane on the way back to the States.
Sleep Deprivation Award
Winner: Dog Lady
Michael Collino, Michigan's Dog Lady, arrived at CooS Saturday morning after not sleeping for two days because of work and the traveling to the UK. When he got to the venue, co-curator Michael Sippings gave him a key to a room at a guest house about a 20 minute walk from the venue. After the show, Collino was so delirious he was nearly hallucinating, and he decided to go back to his room and finally get some rest. After walking with all his luggage and gear, his key did not unlock the door to his room! So he walked all the way back to the venue to let Sippings know he couldn't get in. Sippings told him to hold on, he'd walk him back to his room and try to figure it out.
At this point Dog Lady had been up almost 60 hours and was starting to hallucinate and sweat. He left all his stuff at the club and ran outside and haied a cab. He tells the driver to take him to a place he can stay, he just wanted to go to sleep. After many failed attempts at full hotels, the cab driver took him way out of town into a sleazy neighborhood and dropped him at a flophouse. They told him he needed to fill out this paper work for the room, which included his passport number. He'd left his passport with his luggage at the venue so he left that part blank, filled out everything else, got his room and finally fell into bed. About an hour later he woke to someone pounding on his door. He couldn't tell if he was dreaming or awake. The knocking intensifies and he hears people yelling his name, ordering him to let them in. He opens the door only to get kicked out of his hotel because he didn't have a passport number. Dog Lady hit the streets, hallucinating from lack of sleep, having no idea where he is or where to go. He eventually found the beach, where he lay down on a bench to sleep. He didn't rest for long before waking up to the police telling him it was illegal to sleep on there. “You can be on the beach," they told him, "but you can't be asleep.” So, in a dreamlike state, Dog Lady sat on the bench and watched six suns rise on Brighton Beach until the venue finally reopened.
Previously - A Special Report from Pentress, WV