I made my way to Bushwick this past sunny Sunday, the final day of Armory Week, to check out the 2nd annual SITE Fest : a weekend-long festival of performance-based art spread out across nearly 30 venues. Most of the events involved theater, dance, or what most people refer to as "performance art" though music was also heavy on the agenda. Goodbye Blue Monday was home of the first annual ionSound Music Festival: a lofty title for what was essentially a day/night folk music session. Split between two stages (one an unheated backyard stage fashioned with a lit-up Peace Sign), everyone got a 1/2 hour to play whatever they wanted (provided it was acoustic.) Adrienne Anemone sang with a shrieking, Valkyrie-like soprano, backed by a cellist. Like, Mountains (reduced to their lead singer, Rachel) was hushed and powerful, with dense, intelligent lyrics. Boo Hoo (from Frankfurt, Germany) sang quirky songs filled with equal parts hope and despair. And, Susan Hwang played accordion while singing about evolution and zombies.After the sun went down, art historian Andrea Liu used her home on Jefferson Ave to host a completely unique outdoor performance by noise experimentalists Loud Objects, soprano Jen Walshe, and - most fascinatingly - performance team Torino:Margolis, who used a electronic muscle stimulator to activate the muscles in Torino's neck. I could have done without the preceding lecture - which was long on semiotics and other psychobabble - but the outdoor performance was well worth the wait. I still can't believe the neighbors didn't complain. The evening ended up down the street at the SITE Fest closing party, located in yet another house down the street. Alongside homebrewed beer and cocktails served out of the residents' kitchen, Radio Wonderland offered up his sonic mastery of the airwaves using MaxMSP to manipulate live radio samples into a danceable beat, while in the basement Exaltron did the same with live trumpet and guitars.
Bushwick may still be a bit rough around the edges, but there is a definite scene happening out there that you owe it to yourself to check out, before all the condos come. (More pics on the Fan Page.)