Boston (MA), Avalon Ballroom
  1. "Cold World" (Siege)
  2. Chemical Marriage
  3. ( )
  4. Phlegmatics
  5. "Love Dance of the Saroos" (Joe Meek)
  6. The Bends - Panic In Blue
  7. Travolta
  8. "Love In Space" (Peter Thomas)
  9. Carry Stress In The Jaw
  10. "La Lucertola" (Ennio Morricone)
  11. Desert Search For Techno Allah
  12. The Bends - Aqua Swing
  13. ? (Armando Trovajoli)
  14. (Another Sax/Piano Noise)
  15. Ma Meeshka Mow Skwoz
  16. "Der Zinker" (Peter Thomas)
  17. After School Special
  18. Platypus
  19. "24.000 Baci" (Adriano Celentano)

Random Thoughts On The Show:

They were very good. The hoods were a nice touch. Travolta had the crowd going good. Although the highlight for me might have been the spanish song they closed with. Have no idea what it was, but it was quite good.

Surprisingly enough, Melt Banana were very interesting. Agreed, the sound got old, but still, they were a far cry better than Steel Pole Bathtub.

Bungle did come on late, about 10 minutes. Mike apologized, giving "Legal Seafoods" as their excuse.

Someone kept yelling "party" and "macaroni". I thought it might be Zena for a moment. Ha. Ha.

I was really impressed with Dunn's ability to play Upright Bass. Was very cool. However, when he spoke I could not help but think he was 12.

Patton coughed well. And the vanilla nylon on his head made him look like Powder, that awful movie guy. He was amusing.

Would have liked to have heard Stubb and Egg and maybe Carousel. a surprising amount of people around me wanted to hear Girls of Porn. I would have liked that as well.

They played a few songs that I did not know. I'm not sure if they were covers or if they were previous Bungle songs I did not know. A recent visit to the CACA VOLANTE WEB SITE has shown me that there are quite a few non-studio Bungle tracks I did not know existed.

Let's face it kids, this is Spruance and Dunn's band. Their stars shine the brightest in the Bungle Sky, though Heif was quite on the money all night.

Patton was a delight, though his nylon prevented the spit-a-thon that occured when FNM played The Roxy here in Boston two days before their Halloween show in NYC.

All in all, I was impressed.


A Japanese hardcore band called Melt Banana opened up, and surprisingly, the crowd loved them! I say surprisingly because they sounded much like a early Napalm Death, or a midbrow Naked City - real short, intense songs. The singer's repitoire of noises was not as varied as Yamatskua Eye's, but they were still nonetheless entertaining. The guitarist used a slide, and would often rub it very rapidly on his highest string past the highest fret for a strange siren kind of sound.

The crowd wasn't bad at all; a few assholes, of course, but that's to be expected. Even the few people who heckled Melt Banana sounded like they knew a bit about music ("This all went out with Napalm Death's first album!" one of them kept shouting). At one point in between songs, the singer (whose English was pretty broken but still understandable) pointed out very politely that someone had shouted at the band to "get off the stage, you bastards" and she very kindly asked the person in question to head toward the stage so he could explain why. The crowd jeered the poor guy until the singer gave him the mike and he pointed to his friend and said, "No, I was calling HIM a bastard because he didn't like you guys." Quick thinking saved his skin, I guess...

After an hour of bizarre intermission music (sounding like stuff Bungle, or someone with a similar mindset, recorded at home on a four-track), the headliners came on. All wore large dark hoods except for the percussionist (who was the only person whose face was visible - this would be the legendary William Winant, right?) and Patton, who wore a strange latex thing (not a condom - it would have had a little knob on the top) over his head with holes cut out for his eyes and mouth. Any audience member who griped about this should have paid attention before the show; Patton, Spruance, and Dunn all were out unmasked helping the roadies set up their equipment.

Lots of equipment it was, too. Three full size keyboards plus Patton's little Service Merchandise thing; both guitar and bass had two cabinets; five microphones plus mixer and effects rack for Patton (one normal, one heavily reverbed, one heavily delayed, one very distorted, and a little headset mike that he would hold near his throat while gurgling); full drumset, plus occasional garbage cymbal; upright bass; kettle drums; xylophone; congas; little shakers and percussion elements; a VERY LARGE sheet of metal; and two-man horn section (incuding saxophones and clarinets). I'm probably forgetting something in this list, but you get the idea. I'm glad I'm not a roadie for them.

They opened with some loud two-minute hardcore piece, then went into Chemical Marriage. I'm afraid I don't have a set list; I'm not sure how much it would help, because I didn't recognize half of the songs the band played anyway. Songs they definitely did do (not in order): Carry Stress in the Jaw (w/o the nonsense song that follows on the CD), Desert Search for Techno Allah, After-School Special, Phlegmatics, Ma Meeshka Mon Skwoz, an excerpt from the Bends, Backstrokin', Platypus, and Travolta. That's right; ONE song from their debut album, and the crowd went wild for it. The rest of the set sounded like brand new stuff, not from any of the demos, maybe one of them was the bonus track only available on LP; looks like Bungle's firmly headed in this new disturbed-jazz direction. They also closed with this bossanova thing. Mike Patton's Italian is definitely getting stronger and stronger. (Don't ask why I wrote that Patton sung Italian over a bossanova song; it's late, and I've got enough aggrivation.)

I wish that I had some idea of how long the band played - probably a little over an hour, by my guess. They had three encores, too, but they were all planned. The crowd was still rabid for Bungle after the end of the show.

As I said, with the regular few exceptions, the crowd was very cool; at worst, they were confused over whether to slam to free jazz, but at best, they were open-minded and tolerant of these strange new sounds coming from the PA. My friend Seth who saw the Limelight show in New York told me that his crowd wasn't so lucky; the crowd kept on shouting "play a song, cocksuckers" during the more adventurous parts of the set. I'll try to get him to send details of the show; he did tell me that the band did not pay Stress but did play a very slowed-down version of Everyone I Went To High School With is Dead, as well as Loverboy's anthem Everybody's Working For the Weekend.

Anyway, it was one of the better concert experiences I've been exposed to, even though they didn't have that excellent black "Space-walk" t-shirt in XL, and I had to go for the more enigmatic Enema t-shirt.

Gil Hova
Visit ASCENSION - the unofficial Glenn Branca web site!

o.k. starting from friday noon. I went to boston with my friend li and two other friends. we got there fine and we just hung out around newbury st./back bay area. that was normal. then we headed to avalon, the club where mr. bungle was going to play. the opening band, melt banana, was a little too noisy to my taste, but very powerful. they were japanese (i think I told you about them before), 2 guys and 2 girls. their bassist was like 5' and she played hard core. then the vocal girl was very tiny (not as small as the bassist) and she pretty much shouted the entire set. she screamed really high for 30 min., I don't understand where that voice came from (she was very skinny). the guitar player had a unique way of playing. overall, I felt bad because the audience was so rude. they weren't even booing, but they were just laughing at them partly because they couldn't speak english very well and they appeared rather timid when they were not playing. I wanted to slap all the assholes telling them to go home.

mr. bungle was right after them. first of all, can I tell you how incredible their stage set was? mike patton had 3 main microphones, one special one, among with keyboards etc. there were so many percussive instruments, tons of keyboards, clarinet, flute, saxophone, trumpet, tronbone, bass, guitar, double bass, some weird instuments (i think one ot them was a brazilian instrument -- that's what li told me). they played many songs from their new albums and you know how it is almost impossible to make all the sound effects live, well they did it perfectly. mike made so many interesting sounds with his voice and/or microphone. they were all wearing masks -- mike wore a rubber mask which was skin color and half see-through, danny the drummer wore very original mask which had goggle-like thing and hair made out of baseball cards connected together (i found out later), the rest of the band had dark purple/black masks on. they played only one song from the first album (travolta) and they did a lot of short improvisation/noise things between songs. they also did some cover songs, a spanish (?) song, etc. etc. it was a very good show even though the crowd was annoying as hell (they'd yell out old song titles, yell out in the middle of improvisations...)

alright, it was just the beginning of the fun. after the show, I went to the side of the stage to look for their tour manager gregg because i contacted him about 3-4 times through email and he told me to look for him at the show. I talked to one of the people at the club, and a while later gregg came out. he was very nice and he remembered emailing me etc. and he said he can let me and li go backstage (actually I planned this -- i emailed him consistantly so that he'd remember me and let me meet the guys). so it was all great and we went back. I met trey the guitarist, and we talked for a long time about music. they are really not like typical rock musicians. he and mike are really into 20th century music and when I mentioned my prof.'s name (he's a composer) he said his name sounds familiar to him. so I asked him if he wanted to have a copy of my prof.'s songs, he said he'd love to. in turn, he said he'll make a list of albums I should listen to and bring it to the show the next day. the only thing I kind of regret is that mike was wandering around and I missed a chance to talk to him. my friend talked to him, but I barely got to talk to him. by the way, do you know how they formed the band (or how they got to know each other)? through their music theory class in high school. isn't it funny? I told trey that a guy in my music theory introduced me to bungle. what a coincidence...

... continued in New York

Akemi Fujita

Source: CVDB
© 1995-2001,2011-2012 Stefan Negele