Cincinnati experimental music fest No Response announces Kim Gordon’s Body/Head and more for 2018

Sonic Youth icon’s duo project joins artists like Keiji Haino and To Live and Shave in L.A. for the two-day event this summer.

Apr 15, 2018 at 11:42 pm

click to enlarge Kim Gordon and Bill Nace - Photo: Annabel Mehran
Photo: Annabel Mehran
Kim Gordon and Bill Nace

The annual No Response Festival is returning in June and once again will feature some big names and influential artists from the experimental music world.

Last year, the event (founded by longtime experimental arts promoters Jon Lorenz and John Rich) brought to Cincinnati influential creators like Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV) and Japanese Noise pioneers Hijōkaidan. For this year’s festival at Over-the-Rhine’s Woodward Theater, Kim Gordon and Bill Nace’s Body/Head (Gordon’s primary musical outlet since the dissolution of Sonic Youth in 2011) will headline opening night on June 21.

Sonic Youth’s vast influence on Modern Rock needs no hyperbole; Alternative and Indie Rock wouldn’t have evolved the same way it did without the band. Coming out of the NYC No Wave arts scene in the early ’80s, the group was a direct inspiration for most acts involved in the late ’80s/early ’90s Alternative Rock “revolution,” including  Pearl Jam, Pavement, Beck and Nirvana, among many other artists from various music scenes and eras (even Neil Young was a devotee). Gordon and her former bandmates’ music was wildly adventurous and innovative, itself influenced by esoteric avant-

garde sound-makers and experimentalists who often defied and defined genres. Sonic Youth added extra insurance that the legacies of everyone from John Cage and Sun Ra to The Velvet Underground, The Fall and Minor Threat would continue to pump through the bloodstream of contemporary and future music.

Gordon and Nace are readying a new Body/Head album for release on Matador Records in July. Gordon is also reportedly working on her first solo album.

Joining Body/Head at No Response on June 21 is Ikue Mori, drummer for early No Wave group DNA who went on to do innovative work with drum machines, electronics and samples, along the way collaborating with artists like John Zorn, Mike Patton, Kim Gordon and many others. L.A. duo Joe & Joe and Circuit des Yeux’s Haley Fohr round out the June 21 lineup.

On June 22, No Response is headlined by Keiji Haino, the longtime Japanese sound sculptor noted for his inventive work in Drone, Noise and other boundless styles. Joining Haino on the Friday night of the fest is avant-garde collective To Live and Shave in L.A., Noise/Industrial artist Robert Turman and composer and multimedia collagist Olivia Block.

No Response will also feature a screening of music videos Jud Yalkut made for Dayton, Ohio's ’80s musical radicals Dementia Precox on the evening of June 22 at Mini Mircocinema (1329 Main St., Over-the-Rhine). The free, 5 p.m. event will also feature “Johnny Vortex presents D street: avenue of fear,” a performance art/visual art/music collaboration from 1985 created by Kate Gallion, Jason Tannen and local Electronic music experimentalist John Bender, who has been performing more regularly since his 2016 No Response appearance, which was his first performance in 30 years.

For No Response 2018 tickets and more info, click here.

Last week, No Response announced a separate event featuring the pioneering Faust, which formed in Germany in 1971 and is cited as one of the prime innovators of “Krautrock,” alongside the likes of Neu! and Can. The band performs July 12 at Woodward Theater with Bender opening. (Get more info here.)