Megamultimedia juggernaut Negativland performed live onstage at the historic Crystal Ballroom in Portland Oregon on August 29th for their new show CONTENT!
This time around, Negativland is a supergroup of sorts, consisting of Negativland founder and copyfighter Mark Hosler, cut-up legend Jon Liedecker, aka Wobbly, Peter Conheim (Mono Pause, Jet Black Hair People, Neung Phak) and sound collage and video artist Steev Hise. At 70 years old, the Jimi Hendrix of the radio cart tape machine Don Joyce no longer tours with the band, nor does band muse and electronic music and household cleaning expert David “The Weatherman” Wills, but you’d never know by listening; many familiar samples from Negativland albums gone by are there, all aptly folded, spindled and mutilated by the touring Negativland, as are the sounds of the Booper, that homemade electronic instrument originated by Wills in the early 70s.
In fact, this was one of the most booper-laden concerts by them ever. It all sounds simultaneously like the Negativland of old and yet strikingly modern. We’re jarred into our media-saturated present with the sights and sounds of Ferguson and more.
They say no two performances of the program CONTENT! will sound the same, and due to the improvisational chops of everyone involved, the beautiful unpredictability of homemade electronics, that’s likely quite true. I have to say, it was one of the best Negativland performances I’ve seen in recent years. If they come to your town, drop everything and go.
This was all broadcast live on KBOO Community Radio.
Also, here’s an interview with Mark Hosler, conducted by Dr. Zomb of Dr. Zomb’s Stereo Obscura and myself, recorded just a few days previous to the show:
Listen to Mark Hosler Interview:
You can also hear the entire broadcast for the night, with openers Cascadia Nights [link] Portland Noise legend Daniel Menche [link], an intermission/interview segment [link], in addition to the Negativland set [link] over at KBOO’s site.