Pointless Orchestra goes all the way out in Tremont


This was one of the very last musical events I attended before leaving Cleveland in late October 2002.

You can read about my 2002 migration from Ohio to L.A. in these posts

Before I hit the road, I definitely had to pay my respects to Pointless Orchestra, a trailblazing hybrid group of far-out musicians who melded cross-cultural instrumentation and improvisational musical approaches. They were playing at the opening of Speak In Tongues titan Stephe DK’s latest painting exhibition at Jean Brandt’s place in Tremont.

Pointless Orchestra Tremont Cleveland Sean Carnage 2002 Stephe DK Jack Shit Aaron Koonce

Main person Mike Hovancsek was a noise-leaning musician we loved at WRUW-FM 91.1, where I was a programmer. But it was dear David Badagnani who I connected with on a personal level.

Besides Chinese music and instrumentation and improvisation, Dave was at all the cool shows during the 1990s / Y2K / early Oughties exploring Math Rock and Noise Rock and beyond. He was always curious about what we were doing at U.S. Rocker. Dave was and is a great guy who I miss chatting with at concerts.

Pointless Orchestra Tremont Cleveland Sean Carnage 2002 Stephe DK Jack Shit Aaron Koonce

I believe that Pointless Orchestra ceased sometime around this time. Not sure why. Both Mike and David have of course kept going—they’re lifers. Thank goodness! Northeast Ohio—not to mention the world of music—is so much richer thanks to their creativity and virtuosity.

Listen to Pointless Orchestra

David recently hit me back with some additional details…

I remember this show! The musician holding the Chinese gong like a violin is Mark Allender, and the person playing the waterphone is Mike Hovancsek. I still have that didgeridoo, which I made around that time from PVC I bought at the hardware store in Kent. I have no memory of using it that night, or with Pointless Orchestra in general.

One other thing I remember about that night (and we were, indeed, performing for a show of paintings) was that I had come up with a conventionally melodic, folky, chord-based piece which I was really enthused about just before the show, and the other musicians were kind enough to let me show it to them briefly before we went on, then we premiered it without rehearsal in our set. As I recall, it went pretty well, and, as was often the case, we never repeated this piece in any subsequent show. I’m not aware that there is a recording, or any video footage, from this performance. I thought there was a fourth performer in our group that evening (female / string player?), but maybe I am remembering wrong.

Pointless Orchestra’s last performance was at the AllGoSigns warehouse in December 2005.

Check out the photos below. Cameo appearances by Stephe DK and Jack Shit (aka Aaron) who preceded Stephe in Proletarian Art Threat (and was of course the lead singer in The Conservatives and Plastics).

Get more Stephe DK…

…And more Jack Shit: New Bomb Turks, The Conservatives & more destroy WRUW-FM’s Studio-A-Rama 1998

I miss all these folks. And I miss the casual Tremont art gallery scene!

David Badagnani Mike Hovancsek Pointless Orchestra Tremont Cleveland Sean Carnage 2002

Pointless Orchestra’s All photos: Sean Carnage.

David Badagnani Mike Hovancsek Pointless Orchestra Tremont Cleveland Sean Carnage 2002

Photo: Carnage.

Pointless Orchestra Tremont Cleveland Sean Carnage 2002 Stephe DK Jack Shit Aaron Koonce

Photo: Carnage.

Listen to Pointless Orchestra on Bandcamp

Read more:

Read all about my move to L.A.

Experimental folk singer Brian Straw talks new music, sobriety & Speak In Tongues

Speak In Tongues supergroup Walls Of Malm—plus Thrones, Lit-Ex & Warlocks in May 2000

“Trying to convey an acid trip with mere words”: Speak In Tongues lives again in a wild new book

Happy 30th! Here’s every Grog Shop photo from my files

RIP Pat: Here’s every Pat’s in the Flats photo from the U.S. Rocker archive

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