Fun From None: Live at the No Fun Fest 2004-2005

This double DVD is a near definitive document of America’s current noise idols. Festival performances bring together the old vanguard-turned-cheerleaders like Kim Gordon, here with her Sweet Ride (Jim O’Rourke, DJ Olive, Ikue Mori), Lee Ranaldo, Alan Licht and grand pappy jazz noise nicks Borbetomagus. Representing the new wave are Wolf Eyes, Hair Police, Carlos Giffoni with Dylan Nyoukis, Double Leopards and so on. Each video performance document is a five- to ten-minute glimpse into a man/machine interface that goes horribly wrong, a Tetsuo: Iron Man musical of sorts. The grainy production complements the feedback-drenched tones overall but occasionally the out-of-sync editing strategies overload the already redlining tension. Trying to piece together what-makes-what-noise is a fun game for fans and casual viewers alike. The Double Leopards performance highlights their ability to expertly control the dynamics within their multi-source sound storm, whereas Prurient highlights how angry a shirtless man can get at two microphones and a P.A. stack. Those already in the fold will enjoy the opportunity to put some (occasionally blurry) faces to the caterwaul on their limited edition seven-inches and CD-Rs. But the one limitation that the DVD can’t overcome is that the effectiveness of 90-percent of these types of concerts is derived from the physical pummelling that comes from being trapped in a room with these maniacs. Until there’s a 5.1 mix that comes with cheap beer and a sweaty guy in a Xasthur T-shirt to stand eight inches behind you this is what you get. (No Fun)