See This Tomorrow: “Sound and Chaos,” Documentary on '80s NYC Downtown Music Scene, With Afterparty Featuring Film's Stars

Calling all art-rock geeks, original B-boys and MCs, fans of experimental and industrial music, and generally anyone who cares to learn more about the rich history of American music: For one night only (Tuesday night, Oct. 21), a new documentary called “Sound and Chaos” will screen at Oakland's New Parkway Theater at 7 p.m. Afterwards, musician and producer Martin Bisi (featured extensively in the film) hosts a commemorative afterparty around the corner at the Stork Club featuring Bisi performing alongside renowned improvisationalist Fred Frith, among others, as well as performances from East Bay experimental rock act Grex, Third Thursday (featuring Steve Mackay of the Stooges), and French punk band Savage Riposte.

[jump] “Sound and Chaos” tells the story of BC Studio, a legendary New York City recording and production studio founded by multi-instrumentalist and collaborator-extraordinaire Bill Laswell (if you're unfamiliar with Laswell, his discography is simply colossal, spanning every genre of music under the sun, and he has worked with musicians from all across the world: John Zorn, Jah Wobble, Mick Harris of Scorn, Atom Heart, Terre Thaemlitz, Haruomi Hosono, and the list goes on). Initially funded by Brian Eno (much of his album On Land was recorded there), the studio went on to host a who's-who of NYC musicians: Sonic Youth, Swans, John Zorn, Afrika Bambaataa, John Zorn, Boredoms, Herbie Hancock, Dresden Dolls, and many more have all worked and recorded at this studio.

This excerpt from the film provides a brief glimpse at why the studio was (and remains) important, connecting the dots between New York's early hip-hop scene and its post-punk and no-wave musicians, all of whom were coming up at around the same time. BC Studio served as a nexus point, allowing for the interchange of ideas, sounds, and motifs amongst musicians who may have been stylistically different, but were all experimental in their own way.

The afterparty ties it all together by featuring Martin Bisi, a long-time producer affiliated with BC Studio, live in concert with Fred Frith, a veteran improvisationalist and guitar player who is currently a Professor of Composition at Mills College. Joining him are the aforementioned Steve Mackay, Mark Miller, and Sheila Bosco. Grex (whom Tiny Mix Tapes describes as “drawing from indie pop, Satie, Hendrix, South African jazz, and 1960s Afro-American free music”) rounds out the bill with Third Thursday and Savage Riposte, all of whom will make for a very enlightening and avant-garde Tuesday evening experience. 

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