Death balm

Pub date October 16, 2007
SectionMusicSectionMusic Features

Thurston Moore–ites still absorbing the noiseless acoustics of Trees Outside the Academy, his sophomore full-length released last month on his Ecstatic Peace imprint, may be unaware of another basement romp from the Sonic Youth guitarist, which the Los Angeles label Deathbomb Arc put out as a vinyl-only split in August. Delivered white hot and fresh to your record player at 33 rpm, Thrash Sabbatical includes three slabs of glossy vinyl designed and packaged by the artists of Not Not Fun Records in a large pizza box spray-painted in fluorescent hues of pink, orange, and yellow. The box set highlights Moore at varying degrees, ranging from the calming, breezy sensations of the acoustic instrumental "Petite Bone" to the free-noise guitar slayings of "Creemsikkle," and pairs him in three separate instances with the clattery lineup of Barrabarracuda, Men Who Can’t Love, and — gasp! — Kevin Shields?

Uh, no, not that Kevin Shields. The My Bloody Valentine leader’s name also happens to be the nom de plume of LA native Eva Aguila, a harsh-noise soloist whose crushing bursts of blackened tumult have, for the past three years, exceeded Shields’s drone-layer-and-loop blueprint at hair-raising volumes. Aguila started KS as a means to document her work and tour as a solo musician after graduating from college but has frequently collaborated with guest player Amy Vecchione under the KS moniker, and together the duo supply two powerful-sounding tracks to Thrash Sabbatical that merge roaring feedback and unrelenting chaos with shrill gadgetries. Aguila — who is also a member of Gang Wizard and just started an electronic-dance outfit called Winners — revealed over the phone that she’s into "aggressive music, even when listening to other genres," but is put off when people criticize harsh noise for being, well, just a bunch of goddamn noise.

"Lately I’ve really gotten into the idea that you can have abrasive music and still have it be beautiful," she explained. "Like, it can be kind of blissful, especially because a lot of people that are into harsh noise think that it can only be this one thing, and I strongly disagree with that. You can have different emotions from it and get other things out of it." She laughed. "I don’t know if it makes a difference that I’m a woman or something, but I’ve always been into it. It’s what gets me pumping."


With Sword Heaven and 16 Bitch Pileup

Sat/20, 9:30 p.m., $7

Hemlock Tavern

1131 Polk, SF

(415) 923-0923