Open Melody at UCI Last Night

Open Melody Festival
Nov. 20 and 21, 2010

The two-day Open Melody festival hosted by Acrobatics Everyday at UCI had something for everyone–everyone interested in underground genres, that is. From in-your-face, ear-bursting bands like XBXRX and Upsilon Acrux to the dark, soothing siren sounds of Alak and Mountshout to the electronic-based trance-enducers Fabulous Diamonds, Open Melody offered a everything from the exotic and the extraordinary.

The event, named after a Lucky Dragon song, was Acrobatics Everyday's second arts and music festival. On Friday and Saturday it occupied two rooms in a cultural center at UCI. The audience ping-ponged from one room upstairs to one room downstairs after each 30 minute set to see the next band, with five minutes in between each set. The crowd got evicted both nights due to a midnight curfew violation, but, of course, the show must go on. Emperor X and Zs both played outside on a patio at midnight in the brisk night after being kicked out of the venue.
It is an unfair request to pick a “best of” of the event because each act was so diverse and most held artistic merit in their own right. Instead, here are some of the acts that represented the variety of music in an outstanding way. 

The LA-based band featuring four drummers and a healthy dose of megaphone bring a whole new meaning to the term drum circle in both visual and audio terms.  They set up their sets in the center of the room in a circular fashion, facing each other. From the first drum hit to the last, Foot Village violently grabbed the audiences by their ears and didn't let go. They played with incredible speed and precision, topped with male/female dueling screeches and shouts. Grace Lee, a UCI alum, convulsed on the floor in the audience, and stuck her head through the legs of one female audience member, singing and moaning the whole time. With performances like this and the ferocity of the music, Foot Village chews up a traditional drum corps and spits them out.

Arrington Di Dionyso- The Old Time Relijun singer played an interesting bit of performance art Friday. He began his set by throat singing while photographs and drawings were projected over his body and onto white backdrops. He played with a variety of experimental instrumental combonations and handmade instruments. For example, he throat sang into a homemade kazoo of sorts (made of a round tube and what looked like a piece of balloon). Later, he put the kazoo up to his drum and sang into both instruments. The one man band's set was a truly unique, slightly puzzling set.

Captain Ahab- Their particular brand of humor of the Los Angeles dance duo was a joke I laughed at for five minutes at most. After the fifteenth repetition of the lyric “Everybody gonna get fucked tonight, fucked in the club, fucked in the club,” paired with their signature “ravesploitation” beats played at an overwhelming volume, I had to step outside. The beats themselves weren't that bad, but everything else in the set was too much to endure for a full thirty minutes. They projected pictures of a chicken dinner being enjoyed and bottles of piss on the screen behind them. Whatever works, I guess.

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