Los Angeles, California
Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9, 1996
Borbetomagus is a free-floating, amorphous blob of extremely loud sound that swirls around other dimensions and occasionally gushes out into the realm of human hearing through the saxophones of Jim Sauter and Don Dietrich, and the guitar of Donald Miller. Since 1979, they have assaulted the psyche of styrofoam heads everywhere with unapologizing sonorities. Dropping microphones–which are plugged into a wide array of guitar effects pedals leading into huge amps–down inside their saxes, an ultra-dense noise field is maintained as innumerable shards of high and low-pitched infinity cut through you at any given second. Spoutin’ puddles of spit into long, clear, soft plastic tubes fastened into their mouthpieces, the giant wooly mammoth-fighting-Godzilla-in-a-shipyard sound completely envelopes you more snugly than grandma’s knitted mittens ever could. It’s noise as warmth. Sound as pure emotion. An undefinable, ever-shifting area of existence, or something. The cloud is addled further as Donald Miller scratches, saws and taps away on his guitar with bows, files, metal dishes, etc. Simply put, Borbetomagus is way more loud, piercing, brutal and overwhelming, than any kind of live band I’ve ever witnessed. Ever. Jabberjaw and Glaxa Studios are coffee shop / performance spaces. The former is just a small, open room with a lot of rock bands coming through, while the latter is more of a theatre type set-up with diverse presentations. About 30 people attended each night.
Note: This article originally appeared in Lou Zine (Lou’s Records newsletter) June 1996.