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Jack In Now 

Wednesday, Oct 10 2007
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Forget flying cars. By now, we assumed we'd be regularly jacking into William Gibson's cyberspace or Neal Stephenson's metaverse, if not the Mitchell Brothers’ World-O-Pleasure. Instead we have, what? The Nintendo Wii, Linden Bucks, Google Earth, and force-feedback game controllers. Christ. This weekend, however, you can at least pretend the tech revolution happened the way the prognosticators said it would — and you can do so in puffy headphones. Just grab your finest portable audio headset (Mac buds are fine, if you must), hold the plug in front of you, and walk to the Lab. There, jack yourself into any of the 60 waiting slots (bonus if you do it like Neo and affect a nasty ice-cream headache). You'll be transported, if not visually, then aurally, to another place — the [:] PLUG3 [:] Headphone Festival. Over the course of two days, 48 live performances will take place in various locations, and you can "virtually" attend the performances (OK, they use streaming media, but still) of dozens of bands, which dip appropriately into the electronic and experimental pools. Our local event is part of the granddaddy of all headphone festivals, Le Placard X, which has been steadily growing after Parisian Erik Minkkinen broadcast the first show from his closet in 1998. The festival is now international, migrating from city to city over the course of 97 days. It's starting to resemble, dare we say, an alternate universe, one that does not rely on killing things.
Oct. 13-14, 1 p.m., 2007

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Michael Leaverton

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