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MFT Noise-A-Thon kicks off at 7 p.m. tonight


Jon Rogers, executive director of MFT - MICHELLE CRAIG
  • Michelle Craig
  • Jon Rogers, executive director of MFT

We've outlined the various and sundry celebrations Musical Family Tree is planning to mark their 10th anniversary this month. Add tonight's Noise-A-Thon to the list, then gird your loins and plan your caffeination schedule for tonight's mega-long experimental performance which features (at last count) more than 40 individual performers and groups.

It kicks off at 7 p.m. in SmallBox's basement. SmallBox is, of course, essentially the parent company for Musical Family Tree, which was created by SmallBox founder Jeb Banner. SmallBox and MFT are inextricably linked, although their relationship has changed since MFT began seeking nonprofit status.

"Over the years, SmallBox was the larger house for MFT, but now that it's a separate organization, it's more of a sponsor-type relationship," Rogers said when I spoke with him last week.

As part of the organization's new non-profit status, Rogers now reports to a board of directors; members include Jeb Banner, John Beeler, Karl Hofstetter, Ben Jones, Brandon Judkins, Rusty Redenbacher, Sean Smith (Oreo Jones) and Annie Skinner. Casey Bradley and Abby Schoonveld serve as secretary and treasurer, respectively.

We gave MFT a Cultural Vision Award last week to honor their decade of work in Indy's music community. Here's our profile of Rogers and our cover story from a year or so ago. (I'm also currently harassing him to post his barn-burner of an acceptance speech online for those who couldn't attend.)

Cover of the 10th anniversary zine - MUSICAL FAMILY TREE
  • Musical Family Tree
  • Cover of the 10th anniversary zine

In addition to the events, MFT plans to release another zine this week (which they plan to do quarterly), for which writers have contributed a year-by-year exploration of Hoosier music, beginning in 2004 (the year MFT was founded). I'm guessing that will be available at various MFT functions this week.

Can't attend tonight's Noise-A-Thon? Curl up with a hot cuppa and check out thelive stream here. You can also add this weekend's anniversary events to your calendar, which include a fundraising party at the Speak Easy (Friday) and dueling sets at White Rabbit and Radio Radio (Saturday).

Here's a few words from some of tonight's performers about their plans for tonight's sets:

"My rig changes every time I set it up, always ad-hoc, cobbled from whatever (if only my circuit-bent Miley Cyrus toy had not been so fragile and/or I had been much better at soldering the tiny connections) and only mentally plotted. I'm always huffing after some electric buzz. It's good though, because if I know too well how to work the thing I start to get bored.

"I'll set down the iteration I'll use at the MFT Noise-a-Thon, though: 12 quart metal pot. Assorted drumsticks and mallets. Change jar. Tape measure. Egg shaker. 48 ounces of water. Bag of large rubber bands. Two microphones, one wireless, one karaoke bearing the MTV logo. These go to channels one and two of a four-channel mixer. I use them largely as intended.

"The left output of the same mixer I have routed through an equalizer pedal and back in to channel three. The headphone output is routed through distortion and reverb and, finally, into a looping pedal that I should really use more sparingly (no crutches!). There are small clips from secret songs edited, queued, waiting to zip through the mixer's tape input. One's pitch-shifted into a low grind, three steps past recognizability. All of this sits on a card table that sometimes doubles as my desk, except for the looper which is on the floor out of habit. I swear it's loud enough."

- Taylor Peters' other musical project, Perfect Teeth, will play next Wednesday with Little War Twins and Ray Wyatt at the Moon Mansion. Tonight he'll perform in the 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. time slot.

"John Flannelly probably won't be getting much sleep this week because he's so excited about the imminent release of his new album Chillin' on Earth and the start of his summer tour with Shame Thugs from Indianapolis. So he thought he'd stop by and do his usual set: a tripped out series of keyboard improvisations with assistance from a few effects pedals and a fancy wardrobe."

- John Flannelly kicks off his tour with Shame Thugs Friday in Carbondale, Ill. He'll perform tonight in the 10 p.m. - 11 p.m. range.

"I'm not entirely certain that I'll get to perform - I'm working on a schedule, but I'm sure things will be pretty loose/flexible. If I do get a slot, I will be doing a rare Golden Moses encore performance of the piece I played at Sir Deja Doog's recent tape release show. The piece is entitled "Ransom Family" and it's for cassette tape, synthesizer, and sampler mostly. I don't usually perform a Golden Moses piece live more than once, but I've been a little too busy to make a new set for this event, and I think this one is pretty solid, so it's worth performing again. I may throw in bits and pieces of other past Golden Moses performances as well. I'm kind of viewing myself as a "backup" choice in case we end up needing more music or there are spots where no one is playing. The goal will be to keep a performance going at all times during the Noise-a-thon."

- Jon Rogers is the Executive Director of Musical Family Tree. He'll (maybe) perform in the 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. time slot.

"My set is a 10-minute self-improvement seminar roughly titled The Pitiless Machine: Becoming an Emotionally Void Version of Ourselves. I don't really know how to describe it other than as interactive and destructive."

- Rachel Enneking is also a member of S.M. Wolf, who will play Friday at Three D's Cafe with Amo Joy and Von Strantz and Saturday at Radio Radio for MFT's anniversary. She'll perform tonight in the 9 p.m. - 10 p.m. slot.

Here's a loose schedule from organizers:

7 p.m.: Tay Peters, DH Strother, BrainTwins/Golden Moses? (as needed throughout)
8 p.m.: Ko and Miss Mess, Ben Traub, Jon Wood, Frequency Ghost AKA "Adam Gross on meds"
9 p.m.: Tanner's VHS tapes, Andy Young, Rachel Enneking
10 p.m.: John Flannelly, Powerjoint, Sonny Blood
11 p.m.: DMA, Ryan White and his Magic Johnson, Ben Bernthal / Todd Heaton, Sharlene Birdsong
12 a.m.: Refusal Fossil, Tony Beemer / Nate Gonzales, Canhoto Dourado, PATACHOU
1 a.m.: Sirius Blvck, Justin K Prim, Andrew Pavel, Oreo Jones
2 a.m.: David Palmer, ByBye, Drum circle for Cody?, Chieftan
3 a.m.: Matt Hagan / Brandon Beav, BrainTwins, Andy Salge here? or whenever works
4 a.m.: Duncan, Jacob Gardner, open
5 a.m.: Open, various lectures, catch up time
6 a.m.: Morning group quiet ambient jam thank you very much
7 a.m.: Breakfast is at Biscuits because Biscuits is the Best (Editor's note: Agreed. Biscuits is best.)


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