CITY Rochester's Alternative Newsweekly

Noisy Old Men

Canada's Nihilist Spasm Band should be lauded for its sheer perseverance. Actively running a free-form, "noise" ensemble that plays solely homemade instruments for over 30 years is no small feat. The members of NSB--an odd-ball assortment of family physicians, visual artists, and retirees--maintain an endearing sense of humor about their highly innovative work. Among their invented wares: a succession of violin-like instruments played with a bow called Pratt-a-various, a three-and-a-half string bass, electric kazoos rigged to digital delays, and modified electric guitars. Despite being a hit in Japan (where noise tends to go over quite well) NSB rarely plays the States. Luckily, they're joining local noise makers Coffee and NOD for the Lilac Noise Fest at 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 23, at the Bug Jar.