This year marked the fifth Savage Weekend, a two day noise festival hosted annually at the Nightlight in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Curated by Ryan Martin (AKA Ry Mar AKA Secret Boyfriend AKA the dude who does Hot Releases), Savage Weekend always offers a fun spirited and diverse plethora of projects. Whether you want harsh noise, hard techno or performance based weirdness, there is always a little something for everyone. Ry Mar has threatened that Savage Weekend 2014 may be the last, which would be a shame and a loss. No other noise fest of it’s kind offers such great vibes, good biscuits or general savagery. It has been a great delight to attend the past four years and watch some projects grow, watch some projects begin to bud.

I would not have started to play solo if it were not for Ry Mar’s encouragement. Three years ago, he asked me to play Savage Weekend. I told him I would DJ, as I did not have a project at the time. He told me there were no DJs, that he wanted me to play and that it didn’t matter that I didn’t have a project. My multimedia project The Waitress was born. I still carry the crumbled up dollar that I chased around on a stick while being dominated live in a waitress costume in my synth bag for good luck.

I recently resurrected an old project with Ciarra Black, Appetite. Before preparing for Savage Weekend 2014 we had only played one show three years ago- a Secret Boyfriend/ Lack show that I set up in Philly as my going away party before moving to New York. I am not so sure I would have if it were not for the push of performing at the fest this year. While trying to write new material for The Waitress, everything seemed to come up flat. I decided it was time to hang up the apron and explore new territory. I am grateful for the push every year. I really hope that this was not the last Savage Weekend, as every year has been as fun as it was inspiring but if it was- I will always have a lot of love for Ry Mar and for the fest and for everyone who participated in any capacity. These pictures are not even representative of all the awe inspiring things that I heard and saw, just the things I managed to get a decent snap of. Hope to see many of you next year.


Party Tom chewing on his own toenails.
Charmaine’s Names.
Bloodied broken glass, the aftermath of SECTS.
Rick Weaver and his ketchup hair gel/ cool guy style.
Four friends reunited to wreck havoc on a small town.
Rotting severed deer head.
Hand of a Hunnie Bunny.
Profligate in the light of day.
Miguel Alvariño + Nick Klein.
Not sure who I am sitting on or who some of these people are but group shot #1.
V Manuscript.


Licking the boot while listening to Jimmy Buffett.
The crowd during Pvre Matrix.
Sagan Youth Boys blasted me off into outer space.
New Yorkers in paradise.
This girl Aurora that I met for two seconds who looked so damn good I snapped this candidly and was then told that she hates having her photo taken? Think I am getting the death stare but it was worth it.
Eating some fucking crab chips at a gas station, somewhere.
My cupcake.
Flex 1000.
Emily of VVQART.
T Func.
Tinnitus Stimulus crowd surfing.
Tinnitus Stimulus after getting a golden shower.
Our kooky NYC crew + Alene. Group shot #2.



Mark Iosifescu is admittedly restless. Since he began recording Insaniac in a Living Hell, his first full-length record as Farewell My Concubine, he has moved three times, applied to graduate school, studied Chinese, studied German, and fled whenever possible while writing songs about cars and movement. This spring, he’ll be on the move once again as he tours with Father Finger.

That feeling of intransigence makes sense when considering his compelling synth music. It’s mesmerizing and delicately layered, varying from haunted pop songs, strictly choral tracks and aching ballads that could have worked on the Twin Peaks soundtrack. We met up at a bar after a snowstorm left him stranded in New York when he should’ve been in Los Angeles. We settled into a few beers before being interrupted persistently by an announcer inviting us to play bar trivia. We almost left, but fuck it, we stayed, joining the game and spending the rest of the evening trapped in a trivia K-hole.

NOISEY: So this is the first full length that you have released since your band Angels in America?
Mark Iosifescu: Yeah, the only [Farewell My Concubine] release before this was a split with Horsebladder, which was a tour tape that we put out in October of 2012. Insaniac In a Living Hell is pretty much everything that I have been working on since.

I saw that you mention that the record was recorded in three separate locations in the liner notes. Where are these places?
Those are houses. One is in Western Massachusetts, where I lived when I started the project. The others are in LA and Providence.

So you lived in all three places while working on the project? Do you tend to be a little restless?
Yeah, and because the release comprises such a long period of time, each part of the release is very evocativeof a certain place and time for me. It helps me to think about it. In order for the release to be meaningful, I had to acknowledge where the release came from. Where and how it all happened is tied up inpersonal shit, for sure.

Is this your first time having a solo project?
I did one tape that was similarly almost a compilation of several years of work. It was under the name Laura Workaholic, which I worked on from 2009- 2011. It was just a little tape that was really different from the band I was doing [Angels In America] so it was important to differentiate it. I felt like the book closed on that project, and Farewell My Concubine was the next thing.

Has it been difficult to move away from Angels in America or has the movement towards working alone been pretty fluid? I feel like singing in your own voice and doing everything yourself is so incredibly revealing, especially if you are used to being able to “hide” behind collaboration. Esra Padgett’s voice and presence was such an integral part of Angels In America. How are you feeling about everything being you?
It’s insanely hard. I am not entirely sold on the benefits. Angels In America is completely organic in terms of its style and how it all works. Farewell My Concubine has come together in a really different way. I had to use different muscles. It felt unnatural. It was really hard and full of uncertainly.

It is nice to offset your own perspective with another person who you really trust. Without that, I felt a little bit lost, but I felt like I had to do it. It was an important exercise for me and the results are whatever they are and I am happy to have a document of it.

On the one hand this project is about expressing something that only pertains to me and only works in context if I am working on it alone, but putting that into practice is difficult. I really like playing in bands.

So Farewell My Concubine is the name of a popular Chinese film-—I assume there is a relationship between the project’s name and this film? 
I have actually never seen the movie.

That is so insane… I felt so bad like I was going to be a horrible interviewer because I tried to watch the movie before we met and did not have a chance.
I mean, I have watched part of it and it seemed really good but I have never seen the whole thing. The same thing actually happened with Angels in America, people always wanted to know what we thought about the play and the movie and everything.

I feel ambivalent about naming my stuff after something else, especially if I don’t have a relationship to it. But I also think that it has a built in evocative quality- even if it just makes you think of a movie that you think that you have heard of… For people that harbor significance to Farewell My Concubine, maybe they can draw from that. For me, it was just something that was in the air. More importantly to me, it was a Chinese Opera before it was a movie. I had and continue to have an interest and fascination with Chinese Opera and it’s tropes. I am fascinated by Chinese music. In my own ill educated way, I am trying to figure it out without drawing from that tradition in particular.

There was an Angels in America song called “A Dream in the Girl’s Room” which was a Chinese opera video that we used to watch together on YouTube. It is so personal that it’s laughable if you want to assign lofty significance to the title but to me, it is as real as anything else. I don’t want it to seem like I am making a huge statement about an acclaimed and probably beautiful movie. That is the shitty side of calling yourself after something you have never seen. But when I try to think of a band name I just gravitate towards things like that.

Almost seems like you are drawing on the idea of the collective unconscious. In any case, I think it is also natural for any artist to have a contentious relationship with whatever they have named a project no matter how they came to it’s final name. Taking something that sounds good to you could be better than trying really hard to name yourself something that you strongly identify with only to find that it loses it’s meaning or isn’t quite right.
I can’t think about in a year, still trying to figure out some name for something that fits its contents perfectly. But at the same time, I feel stupid when people want to talk about the film. But at this point, though, I think that watching the movie would fuck up my whole relationship that I have had with the name of my project.

I think there is an inherent value in a network of names and words that are floating in a cultural cloud that we have access to. I took Chinese for a while last year too. I don’t want to blindly draw from culture that I don’t understand, it’s important to have context. Well, this is complicated and contradictory. Could have talked myself out of naming my project Farewell My Concubine, but I didn’t.

You mentioned that you attended school in Massachusetts, earlier.
I went to Hampshire.

What did you study?
Creative Writing. I am applying to go back to school to get an MFA in creative writing. It is so twisted. I have no idea what is going to happen. I am waiting to hear back.

I understand that you help run a small run publishing company, Pleasure Editions. Tell me a little bit about the press.
It is me and two and sometimes three other people along with other friends as helpers and contributors trying to put out as much material that covers as many little bits of interest that we have. We have a journal that comes out every year but we are trying to put out every six months. It’s called ‘Pleasure’ and it contains articles, art and comics.

It’s a good opportunity to corral people who we know and are inspired by to contribute. I am working on the next journal right now. I also have a fiction thing that I write that is a long, serialized novel. That has a much more direct connection to the music that I make. I have drawn so many lyrics from that writing. I also like to use concepts that I have arrived at through music in my writing. They are both totally different and I need to switch off one creative zone to activate the other one but surprising connections always emerge and I think that my writing is better because of the music and my music is better because of the writing.

What is the serialized novel called?
Ill Tomb Era. It is an insanely lofty thing to attempt, but I have been writing it since high school in one way or another. I have put out four chapters as little pamphlets and I intend to keep going. It is a major part of my life creatively.

Is the album supposed to come off as a story in any way?
I want the album to come across as an experience. I want to approach this project in a long form way and so I think it naturally adopts the tendencies of other mediums, like writing. It is linear and relies on how it flows through time. So much of it was listening to the album on headphones walking around but the biggest thing was listening to the album in my car.

I guess this ties back to location. I love driving. I only learned how to drive like two years ago; I have only been doing it for a little while. Listening to music in the car is important. There is a song on Insaniac in a Living Hell called “Secretly Ride” and it is… about being in a car, for sure. And a lot of the music is tied to being in a car. I listened to everything in the car, countless times.

I miss driving so much if only for the feeling of driving alone at night on the highway listening to music. I still sort of feel like it is the best way to listen to music.
I always thought driving was really stupid, maybe because no one I knew drove when I was growing up in New York. Bit by bit, by being in peoples cars and listening to music… You realize that the best part of being in a car is listening to whatever you want in this private space that isn’t private.

It’s really private and serene but also inherently intense because there is also the sense of danger. Being in a car just feels bizarre and unnatural and whenever I used to drive I felt like it was something I had no business doing, even though I had a license. It’s really heavy to me. I am terrified of cars, probably because I grew up in New York also.
It’s so sick. My friend made fun of me once for saying that driving is the ultimate ride. Gliding across the surface of the earth. I was being sincere. It is the extreme of human experience, it is so dangerous…

Being at the mercy of other humans, as well. Not just yourself.
Of course. I barely trust myself. I crashed within a week of having my car. A good, big crash. I don’t think driving is practical if you want to live for a while. It is a rough concept and probably a bad idea but it is so vital. My car is under six feet of snow in Providence right now and it makes me sad. I wish I could drive around New York right now. Everyone is a monster, it is amazing. Any insane thing can happen, and you are so helpless. It is beautiful to let go of control.

It is nice that it has become such a banal experience. Going 80 miles an hour in a giant piece of metal. At this point though, I have written so many songs about car related shit.  Writing a chapter about cars right now for my fiction project. It just feels so right because it is such a mainstay in my day to day life and I think about it so often.

Tell me about your decision to cover “Jetzt Will Ich Ein Guter Junge Sein” by Hermann Kopp. I am a big fan of Galakthorro. Haus Arafna is one of my favorite band of all time. You seem really able to pull off the German, too.
Oh, no. I’m glad that it seems that way. There are a lot of fuck ups for sure. Someone along the line, someone gave me a comp of Hermann Kopp soundtracks mixed with some sort of best of, called Mondo Carnale…I had an idea for a while to try and cover all of Mondo Carnale. I recorded the cover and was exploring new gear bit by bit. Learning how to sequence and program. I know how to do it just enough…

It is a spot on cover, especially if you were just learning how to do that stuff!
That was the first time that everything worked and it felt right. I also studied German in school, I tried to learn it. I know what the song means, but I had to have my friend help me with the lyrics. Singing it was a nightmare because my accent sucks.

It does not come across that way, at least to someone who doesn’t know German. I was wondering if you lived in Germany as a kid or something.
I tried really hard. Once I heard that song, it was stuck in my head. It hit on something really fundamental. Musically it contains things that I wanted to explore stylistically. I wanted to play with genre, look at synth pop and synth music in a way that I was never able to before.

I thought that you may have been aligning yourself a little with the German noise scene, but it seems that you are attracted to Hermann Kopp sort of separately. What are some other bands and labels that you admire right now? The easiest hard question.
So easy and so impossible. I don’t feel particularly connected to that much, besides my friends.

Providence seems like a really good place to be making music right now… So many great experimental projects are based there and it seems like people are moving there all of the time.
That is just it. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by genius artists. I go to shows and look around the room and feel intoxicated. I don’t have a wide view of things. I go through long stretches where I don’t even listen to that much music and I feel kind of dumb about it. My friends are always showing me things that are perfect that I needed that I didn’t know that I needed. I guess I don’t have a good way to sniff it out.

I go to shows but as great as Providence is, it is also a little but insular and I see a lot of amazing artists but I see more or less the same group of people play over and over with a few exceptions, which is a little stultifying. Despite how much I love Providence, it can feel draining, so I just relay on happenstance when it comes to finding new music.

Mostly I just get into it through people showing me anything. I like pop music. I like VVAQRT. Ryan (Secret Boyfriend/ Hot Releases) gave me their first LP when we met and I was lazy about listening at first but then I saw them play at Savage Weekend and realized that I was a fool and that they are the best band on earth.

I feel the same way—love them and can’t wait to hear their new album when it is ready! One last question though, before we succumb to this trivia game: Now that you have finished your first record and are about to go on tour with Father Finger…. Are you excited and what are you working towards next?
I am insanely excited, and I heard her new record. It’s incredible; It’s crazy. It’s going to be good. I am also just excited to go on the road again, which I have not done in a year and a half.

Other than that, I am about to finish up recording this Angels in America radio play… It is a sequel to one that we already did. It is so stupid, but it is unbelievably sick. It’s called XILF: stikklemuzick. It is an extension of an accident that has become an alternate way of expression for us. Then we are going to do a music record. A normal music record, in the spring.

That is so awesome! I didn’t realize you guys were still active, I love you guys.
Yeah. We play shows insanely rarely because we live in such different zones. So I am not sure how it is going to work, but it will. I have another Farewell My Concubine tape that I am trying to finish before my tour with Father Finger in March, but it might be too soon.


Profligate is Noah Anthony’s Philadelphia based solo project. He makes beat driven electronic music that may have some roots in early techno but certainly can not be described as ‘minimal’. His music is ethereal and layered, calculated and unexpected.  I had a chance to chat with Noah before his impressive performance at Wierd record’s weekly party at Home Sweet Home. I learned everything from how to correctly pronounce the project’s name (whoops) to his plans to robo trip with Lazy Magnet.


You played sort of similar music under the moniker Night Burger for a while. What inspired the name change, especially when Profligate doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue?

[Noah laughs at me]

I had to question myself before I pronounced it…

Yeah. It’s pronounced prof-la-git. GIT. Not Gate. I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal, haha. For Night Burger, I had never really played solo before and I really wanted to explore that zone. And it was really just a pile of garbage equipment strung together so it was a challenge trying to come up with these really minimal compositions with the most bullshit gear I could get. That fucking organ that I always used was something that the band Pedestrian Deposit found on the street when they were staying at our spot. We didn’t even see if it worked. We used it as a table for the grill for the entire summer before we even checked it out. Total garbage gear. I dunno, I’m mainly just interested in writing songs, so sure enough after a year or so of playing weird minimal dubbed out garbage, some vocals and straightforward tunes started to emerge from the Burger rig and that was when I sort of knew it was time to switch it up. Also all my gear died on me.

Guess that meant it was a time for a whole new sound.

Yeah, none of that shit works anymore. So, it was a clear indication that it was time to rethink some things. Social Junk had split up a while back also, and that was at one point my main vehicle for songwriting, so I needed another outlet. There is a solid line between the two projects in my view but the mood is sort of still the same, just more vocalized. “Videotape” was sort of where it started, with a heavy beat and a synth line. Actually, I played a lot of the songs from the Profligate records as Night Burger but they were always kind of fucked up and never sounded right.

The other day you posted “Not a Noise guy. Not a techno guy either.” What were you speaking to?

Just a basic statement of intent. No labels. No politics. No bullshit. I just don’t get why people make such a stink about using a drum machine. Please spare me your labels and politics. I just don’t care about it. Social Junk wasn’t a noise band and Profligate isn’t a techno band. The first instrument I ever bought was an Alesis drum machine back in 1997 anyways, so like I said who cares.

Profligate live at Wierd

Sometimes I find myself wondering what the next big “wave” in music may be. Could you argue that anything important is happening right now in music with your Not Not Fun label mates like Father Finger and Maria Minerva? There almost seems to be a push toward “outsider-esque” electronic music… 

I’m not really up on Maria Minerva’s music honestly so I can’t really say if there’s any connection there but Father Finger is really great. I guess there has been a “push” for a while now and it’s nice to see killer underground acts getting some much deserved recognition.

I was going to ask how your tour went with Father Finger last summer. I don’t know either of you especially well but it is my impression that you have pretty opposite personalities…

Yeah, we’re pretty similar in a lot of ways also though. We sort of acted like divas a bit, mainly at ourselves. She is fun and kind of wild but also has a real professional attitude toward music which I dig. She taught me how to wrap a cable correctly, HA. We had a great time. What can I say? We did a lot of drugs.

Did she get you into any trouble?

I wouldn’t say we got into any trouble. We didn’t get caught. It was a sick tour, I have to say. I can’t elaborate. Sorry.

Some buddies of yours released Come Follow Me joking that it was a “shared burden” between More Records and Hot Releases. Thought that was funny. Do you feel support from the noise community? What is it like living in Philly these days and making music… 

That’s just a little Plotkin humor. Do I feel support from the noise community? Umm…

You might not be a “noise guy” but I feel like you might “fall into that crowd”.  And a lot of people who follow noise music are seemingly the majority of your following. I am not sure if that is true…

I’m not sure either, but I’m down with it. To me, it makes more sense to refer to it as the underground community, rather than ‘noise community.’ I mean yeah, I have gone to most of the INC’s [International Noise Conference in Miami] but… It’s different. It’s all these maniacs losing their shit and just doing their own thing. It’s about total freedom. People doing whatever they want to do. I’ve never really felt like a part of the noise scene but I’ve definitely been inspired by the general attitude behind it.

What about Philly? I lived there for a while but by the time I moved back to New York I was feeling so lonely.

It is a quiet time for Philly. I’m mainly just trying to help my friends who come through with cool shows. I don’t feel like I am very active right now or really able to be. There are some sweet new venues though. Heaven’s Gate is one. It rules. There’s some new blood, and that helps.

Do you think that the people who are doing Heaven’s Gate have the power to rejuvenate the citiy’ scene?

Anything is possible, it is a new year, baby.

2013 is the year of Philadelphia. 

But not for me.

Shifting a bit, it seems like you have adopted a pretty uniform saturated, distorted VHS aesthetic. Your latest record is called Videotape. Additionally, your girlfriend is a visual artist and has done some artwork/video work for you. How much of this was collaboration? Or were you giving her a lot of direction? Do you plan on continuing to work with her for album art and music videos? She makes really cool videos…

Yeah, she just got into it recently. For Videotape the artwork was her idea. She just sent me a weird cell phone picture at one point that I thought would make a great cover. We tried to recreate that cell phone picture by filming in our apartment and then grabbing stills from it. The original source footage was then used in the music video for the song.

Come Follow Me was made in the same style. Filming, processing and taking stills. I gave her some vague idea of what I wanted and she made it happen by just tossing some fabric up in the air to 2 seconds. I think it’s really fitting for the record. It was exactly how I wanted it to look. It just clicked.

The original picture text that inspired the "Videotape" album art.
The original picture text that inspired the “Videotape” album art.
The final artwork for "Videotape".
The final artwork for “Videotape”.

Do you think you are going to stick to this style? Or do you just like the way it looks and are not particularly dedicated to it?

Yeah, I think I will stick to what works. You’ll probably see more of that. We did something similar for the Form a Log LP that is coming out soon.

The video she made for the Form a Log video is so fucking insane.

Yeah, it’s so fucked up and creepy. I love how well it goes with the music. There’s a part where she stabs a strawberry and there’s a ‘squish’ sound that we thought was from filming, but it’s actually in the music! It’s perfect.

You included the lyrics to the record which I feel like is becoming increasingly rare. Is there any significance to that? How much do you think about your lyrics?

I definitely wanted to include them. They’re important to me. It makes me feel a little exposed also, and I’m into that. I did that for both of the records, even though on Videotape there’s only one line so it was easy. Personally I just like staring at a lyric sheet while listening to a record. I wish Russian Tsarlag LPs came with the lyrics.

Musically and otherwise do you think about where you want to be and where you want to take yourself with the project? Any frontiers you have considered exploring with the project? New approaches to song writing? Gear you’d love to obtain? Collaboration?

I like to limit myself with gear. I don’t want to go crazy. I don’t want too many options with my gear, I like to try to get the most out of what little I have. I tinker around enough as it is and have a very backward way of recording that I like to stick to, at least until I can get inside a real studio. I recently bought my first synthesizer, but I really haven’t even touched it. It’s just sitting in the corner. It’s a beast that I’m not ready to tackle yet. The most I’ve done with it is record some pan flute for Form a Log. My goal for the winter was to get it set up, but “lazy boy winter mode” is sort of hitting me hard.

There are a couple more shitty cold months ahead of you to get that done.

Yeah, there’s plenty of time, so I’m just taking it slow. I have a lot of ideas that I’m excited to try out for the new songs I’m working on. Hopefully I’ll walk away with something. The challenge of integrating rock guitar into dance music is one for example, does it ever work? I want to find out. Also, in terms of collaborating with other people, the door is open. Especially with vocalists. I have been trying to do that for a while at this point. I’ve asked different people… It never ends up happening, haha.

Who are some of these people?

I had better not name names. They know who they are. I definitely want to get more people involved. But that one song would’ve been so much better! [shaking fists] Ha Ha. Just kidding.

I thought it was really cool that you included re-mixes that your friends did of your songs with the last record. It’s also a cool way to interact with other musicians without compromising yourself/songs as a solo act.

I have some really talented friends! These songs are just sitting there. And I am just sitting here. And maybe they are just sitting there. We should just jam each others shit, come up with some new stuff. Some new old stuff. Haha. What am I saying? It is really refreshing and rewarding to play solo but I definitely love getting other people involved. Maybe even turn this into a full band at some point, it’s possible.

Besides Outmode and Toe Ring and some of the people you have worked on remixes with, who else are you really into right now?

Well, everybody knows Human Beast is the best fucking band around. Everybody knows that. So, there you go. Human Beast. The best. Moth Cock, from Ohio makes some of the strangest music I’ve ever heard. And also, Daryl from Meager Sunlight’s new solo project Samantha Vacation is really fantastic.

I’ve never seen her solo; I have only seen her with Meager Sunlight.

Really? She is out of control. So good. Honestly, I have to say that the East Coast is filled with some real freaks who are blowing my mind constantly and there’s probably a lot I’m not even aware of. It’s great to be a part of it.

Profligate live at Wierd
Profligate live at Wierd

Yeah I feel like for the first time in a long time, I want to be where I am.

Totally. I lived in Oakland very briefly and didn’t have a lot of time to dig deep into the scene which was unfortunate. I feel like I’m pretty out of touch with the West Coast in general, and hope to fix that soon. I’ll bet there is some crazy shit happening over there.

Speaking of working with others, you are about to go on a tour with Lazy Magnet and I read that Jeremy is enlisting a lot of help. What are you anticipating with this tour?

Probably a lot of cough syrup.

Music video for “Vixen”

Music video for “Videotape (excerpt)”

Music video for “Penguin Time Line” by Form a Log