Offset Needle Radius Winter 2009 Tour Diary

A booking frenzy landed Offset Needle Radius a few performance dates around New England. First was a trip to Manchester, to the Underground M.A.P. Project.

My first time in Man Chest Hair, an hour west of Kittery. Eli and I went early and made a few stops at the Electronics Surplus store, Lebanese grocery, thrift store, etc. With snow banks encroaching on the pavement, the streets seemed impossibly narrow in the giant Jonas, the Offset Needle Van. The streets were freezing with a howling wind blowing right down the main downtown. That night at the event, we met Marc and Dei of Birdorgan, the hosts of the evening’s event. As it turned out, only a few people turned out for the show, the majority of whom were two of Eli and my friends from Portsmouth. That being the case, it was decided Offset Needle Radius and Birdorgan would collaborate on one set, keeping things relatively short. Offset Needle Radius performed on prepared guitar, LR55, micro cassette recorder, and effects.

By the end of the performance, I was sick, fucked up, head cold. We packed up, loaded out, and went across the street to the Red Arrow Diner for hot liquids with our Portsmouth friends. The Red Arrow is supposedly legendary and probably deserves the attention. Tiny, old, 24-hour diner like they used to be when I was in high school. Bathroom through the kitchen. Plastic labels on the booths where famous politicians and actors once sat.

Next weekend found Offset Needle Radius driving up to Portland for an event at Strange Maine. Parking deemed legal was non existent. All roads are one way leading away from Strange Maine. It’s really bizarre. Remember all urban planning in New England was designed by herds of cows 500 years ago. Kit Demos began the night with some upright bass and sax duo improv jazzy styles, followed by Pine State Mind Control, presenting fog machine, over head projector, noise, and propaganda. Offset Needle Radius performed third, playing upright prepared guitar primarily, with tiny motor, rubber bands, and electronics. Rounding up the night were two sets of arms in opposing cardboard boxes on either side of a table of whatnot, the collaborative efforts of Id M Theft Able. In all, a small fun show and I made it home before the freeway tolls went up at midnight.

This last Saturday found us headed for Lowell, Massachusetts for a performance at The 119 Gallery. Another cold night in Downtown Lowell with angry drivers honking, many family units meandering at the conclusion of Lowell’s Transgender Ice Queen Festival. Cold, still a bit sick, wandering the streets, Eli and I found Life Alive restaurant , which was perfect in a posi attitude organic hippy vibe sort of way. It seemed like the ideal pre-performance meal.

The 119 Gallery is a nice space, about 550 sq’ with angular walls. I think there are two 90 deg. wall intersections. Trachypithecus (Trakeypithicus, phonetically spelled), began the evening with many contact mics, water jug, trash can lid, lap top, etc. A young college student, Johnathan is off to an interesting start in the world of improvised sound. Next Offset Needle Radius played a 700c bicycle wheel. A new development in the Offset Needle Sound arsenal, the performance went off with out too much drag, save for the final moments in the life of aforementioned microcassette recorder. Fun while it lasted. Marc Bisson improvised a set of sound on vintage Japanese toy keyboard, 2 SK1’s , guitar, and stuff, great set. Concluding the night Marc played a damaged blues with friend and 119 Gallery booking person Mike (?). I apologize if I have forgotten now…

Moments after departing the gallery, it was the blue lights in the rear view mirror, as the Lowell Police pulled over Jonas making our get away out of town. Seems we ran a red light whilst trying to navigate the paved cow paths of greasy Lowell, Massachusetts. That’s a $150 ticket in those parts. Time to sell some more body organs.

Next week will be a return to Man Chest Hair for the final shebang burn down the house event at 119 Gallery as it prepares to close doors forever.

That’s the news, stay tuned….JB/Offset Needle Radius