A quick glimpse at the Sick Llama catalog
should make most musicians question their own work ethic. Over the past decade or so, the Detroit-based noise artist more formally known as Heath Moerland has put out dozens upon dozens of cassettes, CD-Rs, LPs, split cassettes, seven-inches, double CD-Rs, and cassette box sets (including last year’s five-tape Parent Lines
); most have been released in superlimited editions by his own label, Fag Tapes
. (Expect to see some hard-to-find goods at the merch table tonight.) In his improvised-sounding music Moerland deals primarily in live tape manipulation, and because he often uses four or five machines at once, he stays busy at their controls even when the output is relatively tranquil. His passages of celestial 2001
-like hissing and faint rhythmic pulsing only sound lulling, though: they’re charged with the harrowing, almost crippling tension that comes from knowing he might bust through that superficially calm flow at any moment with sudden abrasive skronks, metallic blowouts, and nagging, repetitive thumping. And because Moerland’s pieces sometimes last 15 minutes or more, the wait can be agonizingly long. This show is about as anti-Valentine’s Day as it gets. —Kevin Warwick Tarpit and Stagnant Fluids open.