Noise music is here to stay — thanks in part to PHXSUX’s Scott Mitting

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PHXSUX and its music is noisy

If you’ve ever been to Crescent Ballroom, you’ve probably noticed a small house no more than 100 steps away from the venue. What you probably didn’t know is that it’s a venue, too — The Pueblo. One of the most recent events it’s hosted was Night of Neuralgia, a noise show, organized by Scott Mitting of PHXSUX.

Now, when you walk into a noise show, you can’t really be sure as to what you’re going to hear, or feel or see — whether it be an assault on your ears and eyes with strobe lights flashing on your face or a calming blend of sounds washing through a room full of seated concert goers. But, while speaking with the folks at PHXSUX, one thing is for certain:

“You are guaranteed to see talented artists pushing boundaries with their experimentation from a wide variety of styles and textures and moods,” Mitting says. “They probably sheepishly [ask] ‘is this cool to do?’ to which the answer [is] an enthusiastic ‘fuck yes!'”

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Scott Mitting with 20ft Neon Jesus; photo credit: Frank C. Photography

Mitting jumped into promoting noise music after seeing first-hand during the Indie 500 at The Trunk Space that Phoenix did indeed have noise acts pushing boundaries.

“Igloo Martian played a 45-second set that was extremely harsh circuit bending noise with a sort of performance art that involved pouring pancake batter over himself and rolling around in the dirt out back,” he said.

The Trunk Space is well known for supporting experimental music and is no stranger to noise music. But where else can you go to see similar shows? It turns out one of the most important parts of finding a good noise music venue is something that might not even cross your mind.

“The single most important aspect of a target venue is to have the ability to escape,” Mitting reveals. “This just won’t work at a ‘no re-admissions allowed’ sort of situation. It’s impossible to know what sorts of performance will trigger people, and they must be able to flee without leaving for the night. So far the noise shows have been at private locations rather than venues.”

PHXSUX hosts an ongoing show series called Night of Neuralgia, which features a huge mix of music styles. Rock, drone, power noise, synth wave, techno or any combination of styles can be heard throughout the night.

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Go as deatH; photo credit: Scott Mitting

“The key thing is to push boundaries to a point where initially it makes the uninitiated uncomfortable, but leaving them a life line where they can connect to something familiar,” Mitting says.

According to Mitting, you may have to push through a bit of initial awkwardness, but having done so can so can lead you to some wonderful moments, and even some new friends along the way — only furthering the expansion of the music scene here in Phoenix.

The PHXSUX community simultaneously pokes fun at our city and strives to give the city a push forward. When compared to cities like L.A. and N.Y.C., Phoenix can come off a little behind in terms of music, but one thing we can’t use as an excuse is our ability to innovate. The music scene here is still growing in a way that gives those who want to experiment with their craft more of a chance — and less competition from those who might squash their desire to try something new.

Zheleznyy at Night of Neuralgia

Zheleznyy; photo credit: Scott Mitting

“Innovation will be our mark,” Mitting adds. “We will be the city Los Angeles and Brooklyn take ‘their’ new ideas from and polish up and make too commercial. I honestly believe we can make those two cities aspire to catch up to Phoenix. We will never compete on production, we don’t have the cash, but we can and should on innovation.”

For those who might be sitting in your room, working on some new music you want heard but aren’t quite sure what the next steps should be, send a message to PHXSUX, join the noise groups on Facebook like Arizona Noise Artists, Ltd,,and, most importantly, make sure you check out some local noise music shows. There’s no better way to get involved than to meet the people making the music and organizing the events.

For more from PHXSUX, check out their facebook page.

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