To the naked eye, the second semi-annual New York Eye and Ear festival went off with a bang, and without any hitches. We briefly bothered the man behind the plan, Todd Pendu, about how he pulled it off, what his cat listens to, and how he's secretly slipping the occult into our ear drums.
Drawings by Karen Aragon
So how did it go?
On a macro-level, I'd say that I'm extremely happy with the festival. The shows were amazing. Truly outstanding performances from the bands coupled with a lively record fair really made for an extremely great time by all those involved. However, the Manhattan shows were under-attended and I found that to be very surprising. I seem to be a Brooklyn-centric curator and in reality I tend to go to Manhattan fairly infrequently, so maybe I shouldn't be surprised that not as many people came out to Manhattan for this. Who knows? From those who did come out though, I have heard nothing but great feedback. Everyone had fun. At least we had a Quality crowd even if it wasn't a Quantity crowd. That's been the case for many great events as we all know.
What was your favorite set?
Thursday night, Liturgy undeniably blew the audience the away. Transcendental Black Metal never felt so raw and stripped down; no war paint, no black clothes, no spiked-leather, just Black Metal played with pure primal emotive intensity. Other highlights of the night were Blondes, Love Like Deloreans, and Religious To Damn. Friday night, Led Er Est played as a duo and laid down a flawless set with other highlights being Mazing Vids, Further Reductions, Child Abuse, and SSPS. The drone room on Thursday and Friday also created some memorable sets from Matthew Morandi, Ceci Moss, K.P., and Slasher Risk.
Saturday night, it was almost no contest to say that Living Days were the favorite of the night and probably one of the most underrated bands currently playing in New York; their song "Go Oblivion" should be the anthem of the summer, not just for NY, but everywhere at once. Also on Saturday, John Wiese delivered a brilliant set as did Grasshopper and Axolotl. Sunday night revealed unreal back-to-back sets from Pygmy Shrews, Drunkdriver, and Total Abuse... nothing more needs to be said, fucking amazing!
I'm just delivering the highlights, everyone who played really gave it their all. Seriously, I couldn't be more happy with all of the great music that came out of the fest. All of the sets were recorded by Fingered Media and will be released on a double-DVD by Pendu in December this year.
What was your cat's favorite set?
Well my cat obviously wasn't there, but I know when I'm at home, she seems to especially get into Martial Canterel.
Were there any big fuck ups?
Not really, unless you count the debt that Pendu is in now due to this fest.
Your site indicates you're into occultism, adhocism, and eroticism. Are you trying to spread some of those vibes into Eye and Ear?
The Pendu Organization promotes what I call "Dynamic Ecstatic Transcendentalism" through occultism, adhocism, and eroticism. All of those elements can be found throughout the Fest from the occultism of Telecult Powers and Skin Drink to the adhocism of homemade cassette releases and zines. The elements are not always combined in any particular way, but they are always present. I'm always aware of them in my curatorial decisions, but I don't like to push ideas on anyone; I'd rather people discover them. It's more of a "Show Don't Tell" way of doing things.
What's the deal with that book you're working on (Bouzingo Means Noise)?
The Bouzingo were a group of French anarchist poets and artist from the 1830's who really fucked shit up for a time as one of the first modern counter-cultural collectives. There's not a lot written about them, but I've been compiling anecdotes and histories on them as well as a collection of their writings for publication hopefully in the near future.
Who would you fuck, kill, marry: Kenneth Anger, Gerard De Nerval, Alexander Jodorowsky.
Nerval is dead long ago and hopefully resting peacefully, and I have too much respect for Anger and Jodorowsky to have much of an answer; I'd rather have a beer and a long conversation with one or both of them.
Posted on July 15, 2009. More on: axolotl, blondes, bouzingo means noise, ceci moss, child abuse, drunkdriver, further reductions, grasshopper, k.p., led er est, liturgy, living days, love like deloreans, matthew morandi, mazing vids, new york eye and ear, new york eye and ear ii, pygmy shrews, religious to damn, skin drink, slasher risk, ssps, telecult powers, todd pendu, total abuse, transcendental black metal