Octopi

Hardcore Improvisatory Death-Jazz. Fun to play, but do people actually get anything out of it?

Don't get me wrong, I love playing with the McKinneys. It's the greatest musical outlet that has ever come my way. I can play anything I want with little regard to technical proficiency, and the handful of people that heard it have told me it sounds good.

Now I know that bands who perform (and care anything about how good they sound) are overly critical of any given performance of their material, regardless of whether they missed a note here, didn't hold a note long enough, or went outside the tonal center in an improvised passage. Even so, the sound we have isn't exactly polished. I suppose this issue doesn't keep people from enjoying what we play.

So the Octopi had their first performance outside of the safety net that is the OU school of music last night. The difference between these two situations is that, before, the school of music defended our avant-craziness with claims that this is music at its most cerebral and yet primal roots. The university can excuse anything with a little bit of philosophical quibbling. Outside this world are people who listen to nothing but nü-metal and emo-rock and anything that doesn't progress I-IV-V is dismissed loudly with a boisterous “YOU SUCK!!!”

I expected this response last night. It was one in the morning, and most of the people who hadn't left the Vista had been drinking since 5. There was an especially inebriated fellow in presence who loudly declared himself an A-hole every 12 minutes or so. Maybe I didn't hear from him during our set because he had passed out in a booth somewhere in the back.

But no one yelled anything but encouraging things like “ROCK ON!” and “OCTOPI RULE!!” Alright, for the most part, the only folks that stayed around were Cold Fusion groupies who were thus obligated to enjoy the chaotic musings of death guitar, holocaust bass and sax insanity, but I'm still left wondering if the music we make has a wide enough audience to be profitable.

Examples will be brought up like Mike Patton's many side projects like Mr. Bungle and Tomahawk. This brings me joy. I would like nothing more than to produce albums upon albums of chaotic destructo-jazz-noise. I guess any band has its audience.

I mean, if new age and ska both have legions of fans, why shouldn't a quartet of composers start a wave of philosophical improv rock jazz craziness?

And since there fails to be a genre that properly pigeonholes the music, we should have a name to match. Like the Solar Arktopians featuring greater than Trey.

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