Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Cloud Factory showcases experimental music at unconventional venues

Posted By on Wed, May 31, 2017 at 1:00 AM

click to enlarge MICHAEL WATSON
  • Michael Watson

DIY venues took a hit last year, nationally and locally, but in the aftermath of the loss of local venues like the Flux Capacitor and Mountain Fold Books, our community got creative.

Local artist collective Cloud Factory was one DIY venture to rise from the ashes, spearheaded by Mitchell Macura, keyboardist of local indie rockers Eros and The Eschaton; Han Sayles of Peach Press and the former Mountain Fold Books; and (disclosure) our own Indy reporter Nat Stein.

This collective has committed to keeping the DIY spirit alive, proving that art and music can happen anywhere by hosting shows at Funky Little Theater Company, The Zodiac Venue & Bar and Voodoo Leatherworks, among others.

Macura says: "This was our best response to [the closing of the Flux Capacitor]. By being not necessarily untraceable, but just invisible."

While Cloud Factory has faced challenges related to finding legal venues for pop-up events — and perhaps harder to come by, venues willing to host events without monetary compensation — they want to create something that might last. "We're trying to keep a community alive," Macura says, "and, maybe, to build a community so a model like this could be sustainable."

For now, that means bringing in cool, experimental music and art that gets folks in the door, and presenting this music wherever they can. Sunday's show by Karen Meat, an Iowa-based indie-pop/rock artist, will be held in one of their more creative locations thus far — a bowling alley.

Macura describes Karen Meat's music as "part of this weird vein of avant-garde indie-rock. The lyricism and themes behind the songs are not taken super seriously ... reflecting these instances of existential crises in society and making a joke out of them."

With a set of mournful vocals and a '60s-era sway, Karen Meat does everything indie-pop does best — blending the old with the new. Her aesthetic style reads almost '80s-inspired, glittery and disheveled, so she should fit right in under the Peak Bowl blacklights.

Also performing: Dana T, a Karen Meat collaborator and member of the national DIY community who calls his genre "Avant-Everything"; Kevin Greenspoon from California, providing electronic visual projections and sound; and local favorite experimental indie-rock musician Charioteer.

What's more, before the show folks are encouraged to fit in a few games of bowling — a much more exciting date night than dinner and a movie, and certainly more memorable.

Sunday, June 4, bowl at 5 p.m., show at 7 p.m., Peak Bowl, 2861 N. Prospect St., $7 suggested donation,

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