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How I Quit Crack - Black Lodge - 8/24/12

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How I Quit Crack, Deflowered Electric Flesh Bride, Habu Habu Black Lodge Friday, August 24

Black Lodge is tucked in a corner of Deep Ellum that seems annexed from the rest of the area, and perhaps that's what made Friday's show at the tiny gallery space feel extradimensional. The space has been dormant for the last few months, so this combination art exhibit and noise show was sort of a end-of-summer celebration, even as the sweat dripping down our backs told us otherwise.

I'd seen the night's headliner, How I Quit Crack, several times in Austin, at equally off the radar venues, and always with a different set piece. Ernestina Forbis makes the visual part of her act the focus - she's always bathed in blacklight, and usually has other shrine-like objects around her. The music is more of a mantra: Slow, repetitive, cracked beats, over which Forbis either chants or howls. In the overheated confines of the Lodge, she carefully applied day-glo makeup over her eyebrows, down her nose. She pulled her arms through a cone-shaped yarn work, her way of channeling the music, at least for the night.

There was a brief intermission, then she returned for a second set, which was christened by the lighting of a blunt. I looked around the room at one point, her heavy beats punctuating each face, and saw many people's eyes were closed.

Earlier in the night, Deflowered Electric Flesh Bride, aka Aaron Gonzalez wrapped from the torso up in gauze, emoted in a similar tone over harsher beats. Guitarist Gregg Prickett jammed some excoriating solo guitar as Habu Habu, dressed in what looked to be an elaborate bug costume. It was one of those nights where the turnout was eclectic, the music was formless and we all left wrung out, ears ringing.

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