In its fourth year, the one-day noise/experimental music festival Leaky Socketswill once again be bringing the noise to Chattanooga.
Hosted by Barking Legs Theater on June 4, the event will collect musicians from around the region to challenge your expectations of what constitutes music and how it can be altered almost beyond recognition.
Created and curated by local musician Jerry Reed, this exploration of all things circuital, experimental and harsh sheds a much-needed light on the viability and relevance of this kind of artistic expression. Starting at 5 p.m. and running through midnight, Barking Legs will be home to an astonishing and sustained cacophony. And it’s one that should not be missed.
So while each artist or band will bring something unique and refreshingly devoid of artifice to the stage, there is a communal sense of creative divergence. For these musicians, the capacity to create sound is more than a hobby-it’s a calling.
Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door on the day of the festival. This is an all-ages show.
Nooga.com recently spoke to Reed about his experiences creating Leaky Sockets and his opinion of the scene. Read our conversation below.
How has Leaky Sockets changed since it was started?
When I first started doing Leaky Sockets, it was mainly a way to get many regional noise acts together for one big show. It was like that for the first couple of years. Last year, I started reaching out to people in different parts of the U.S., and they actually were down with coming here to perform. The more out-of-town (or -state) acts I can bring in, the better. Also, at the beginning, I wanted nothing but noise. That changed up pretty quickly due to there being acts here that seem to fit in noise shows, but are not noise. (Red Okra King is a perfect example.) Also, this year has been opened up a little more with acts like Jade Poppyfield and Dendera Bloodbath, which are both synth/electronic acts. Now, I describe Leaky Sockets as a “noise/experimental/etc.” fest.
Are there any criteria for which bands will perform at Leaky Sockets? Do you seek out different artists, or are they already aware of the festival?
The main rule I have when setting up Leaky Sockets is that I don’t want repeat acts. There have been a few exceptions, but very few. This year is actually the first where there are no repeats. This isn’t to say that the people playing can’t repeat (due to having different projects), but “no repeats” is the only “rule.” I do seek out different artists every year. Sometimes it’s friends of friends-sometimes I just write to acts I have no dealings with but am a fan of. Due to the South not having the biggest noise scene (compared to the rest of the U.S.), acts from out of the region have not heard much about Leaky Sockets. I feel that people in the area do, though. Once word of booking Leaky Sockets gets out, I do hear from quite a bit of regional acts, both new and old.
What has been the response to Leaky Sockets over the past three years?
So far, so good. It seems like more new faces are there every year. I really feel that if someone is a fan of sound exploration and can keep an open mind, there is something at Leaky Sockets for almost everyone.
Was there anything specific that you wanted to change going into this year’s festival?
Not a whole lot. I definitely wanted acts that haven’t performed before. I had originally planned for a bigger amount of out-of-state acts, but this year’s Leaky Sockets is the same weekend as Ende Tymes (a New York noise fest), which had already contacted those acts.
In your opinion, has the noise/experimental scene is Chattanooga gotten to a point where these artists are becoming more visible in terms of shows and releases? Or does it still feel like a niche movement?
It still seems a little niche, but not by choice. Without a venue in town wanting to deal with noise shows often, it’s kind of hard for new people to get a chance to check it out. Hopefully with Leaky Sockets, the noise scene can make itself a little bit more known.
Below is a list of artists expected to perform at Leaky Sockets this year, with sound clips where available.
Rural Rot Preservation Society
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.