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The short, happy life of The Lodge: Kruger show introduces Slater to noise music

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tyler Kruger, left, performs noise music at The Lodge in Slater Saturday, Dec. 5, during a jam session following his initial performance while a young man screams into the neck of Kruger's guitar, a move Kruger utilized earlier in his show without a microphone nearby.
(Geoff Rands/Democrat-News)
Tyler Kruger began his performance Saturday, Dec. 5, at The Lodge in Slater by telling those present that his music was loud and abrasive, warning, "If you have a history of epilepsy or heart conditions, you probably shouldn't listen."

His first song, "Logarithms of a Dead Man's Heart," quickly showed the reason for that caveat. Armed with a guitar and a loop pedal, Kruger built a slow rhythmic guitar base of just one chord followed by one of two notes.

When the loop pedal freed his fingers, they began to move rapidly along the neck of his guitar, which resulted in a chaotic sound that only after careful observation could be seen to be tightly orchestrated. Kruger showed his commitment to getting a variety of noises from his arsenal when he raised the guitar neck to his mouth and began to scream, his voice transmitted to the speakers through his guitar's pickups.

His second song was a bit different; a slower, more melodic piece that included lyrics.

Kruger's third and final song took chaotic noise much further than "Logarithm" had, and this time, the noise had no easily noticeable rhythms to keep listeners grounded.

"Anybody else want to help me make noise?" he asked the audience after he completed his third piece. "I'm not even joking."

Three audience members then joined him onstage, picking up a guitar, drumsticks and a microphone. The haphazard quartet jammed for a short while before Kruger left the stage, opening it for the next performers, Marshall's Hero Complex.

Kruger, who hails from O'Fallon and recently moved to Columbia to attend University of Missouri, has been playing music for about eight years, but only moved to playing noise music two years ago. This was his first public performance of noise music, he said.

"There's no interest or scene for it back in St. Louis, so I had these songs that I could do nothing with, pretty much," he said. "I found out about (The Lodge): it was just starting out, he said that he accepted any acts."

His interest in noise music started during his sophomore year in high school, said Kruger.

"I was in this place where everything I listened to sounded the same," he said. "I'd go listen to a band like Dave Matthews Band and then I'd listen to Black Sabbath and I'd be like, I wouldn't hear any change. It was just all the same."

During that time, a friend introduced Kruger to a band known euphemistically as BHS that Kruger only described as "awesome."

"They're not a real noise rock band --they have elements of noise -- but it just kind of took off from there, once I identified what it was about the band that I liked so much," he said.

Kruger considers noise music to be a good style of music to perform solo.

"It's perfect because you can do it by yourself and you don't look stupid because you look stupid anyway doing it," he said with a smile.

But just because he can do it alone isn't stopping Kruger from looking for additional band mates for future performances.

"I'm looking to get a drummer, because I have actual riffs, but they're too structured to just play as a noise song, and they just sound boring if there isn't a drum behind them," he said.

Kruger was scheduled to return to The Lodge Monday, Jan. 4, at 7 p.m. to perform noise music again.

Contact Geoff Rands at marshallreporter@socket.net

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