Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Wm. Statler.
Sound collage, performance art, exceptionally self-aware pop weirdness and a whole host of other adjectives of my own devising are popping up in my mind-brain while attempting to truly express how much Seattle's Free Music (nee Punishment) will completely surprise and wow you guys at Total Fest XIV this year. Musically, William Statler's one-man-magic-orchestra fits somewhere between the soundtrack to a Sega Dreamcast game and Brian Eno's emotional 1970's. It's a bizarre mix, sure, but the real neon icing comes into play when you see Free Music live and in person. I don't wanna give too much away; you really do have to see this.

Free Music is one of the true enigmas at the festival this year. While I did mention "performance art" and that phrase is sure to make more than a few of your eyes glaze over, you should trust me. Let's just highlight the word Performance for a minute. A few years ago, while Free Music was still known as Punishment, he played a show at the ZACC with Mega Bog and completely enraptured the room. It was one of the most amazing things I'd seen a solo performer do. There's a ton of humor in it, it's almost childlike, but the depth is there and you can tell this guy is completely serious about what he's doing. I seem to remember there was a basketball involved. "Not in my house."

Let me put it another way: Free Music is one of the most "punk" bands I've ever seen. This is the kind of punk that doesn't need a snarling beard or a half-stack. This is punk that doesn't need a band. This is punk like it really, REALLY, doesn't care what you think. It's confrontational but dressed up in a cartoon half-smile and completely one of the most unique things this festival has harbored in a good long while. CYA this summer, doods.

P.S. Don't just take my word for it: Julia Shapiro (of Total Fest alums Chastity Belt) included a song by Free Music (then known as Punishment) on a Seattle-centric mixtape she created for Hardly Art.

1 comment:

Out Rebound said...

The snacks here had a smooth taste with a bit of cheese and lime juice. To start, we got pork rinds there; they were really flavorful with a spicy kick and smooth taste. Plus, it was a large fresh bag too, LA venues are worth the price.