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Reading, writing, arithmetic, and OOBS backyard shows... all essential factors for a complete “Back 2 Skool” experience. OOBS held the first annual “Back 2 School, Time 2 Learn Fest!” on September 5, 1998. This celebration of education included live performances from The OOBS Drum Duo, Andrew Yaros,soundsystemscheckOK, AM Carrier Current, and a special guest appearance by everyone’s favorite Chartiers Valley High School employee, Mr. Shortt!
Andrew Yaros (member of The Hyperactive Ensemble) was scheduled to perform first with a solo acoustic guitar/vocals set. Due to excessive work in the lab, Mr. Yaros was forced to show up late, so the drummers from soundsystemscheckOK and AM Carrier Current decided to form a band called The OOBS Drum Duo. Their “performance” tied the crowd over until the actual opening artist could make it to the show.
Upon his arriving, Andrew arranged the equipment and began his set in a matter of minutes. He performed a very clean, melodic 30 minutes worth of acoustic guitar pop. On a few of the numbers, Rob Crane (of the Hyperactive Ensemble and the AM Carrier Current live unit) sat in on drums. The crowd enjoyed the clever and catchy musical stylings of Andrew Yaros while feasting on homemade brownies from Mrs. Saporito. The crowd was ready to rock and roll at this point, so it was time for soundsystemscheckOK.
SoundsystemscheckOK (a.k.a. The Systems) were the next performers at “Back 2 School, Time 2 Learn Fest!" The “End of the Skool Year Blowout” was the first show by The Systems that included roboyouth-of-tomorrow-drummer, Jim Planetarium, but they had not practiced a single time before that show. For this Back2Skool Show, though, the soundsystemscheckOK had transformed into a full time two man operation, and therefore, this was the first “real” show by The Systems with both certifiedBack2Skool systems members. Their six song performance was, in a way, the debut of a new soundsystemscheckOK, and it proved to be a successful one. They amazed the crowd with a healthy dose of noise rock. The vocal subdivision of The Systems was not fully developed at this stage of progress, so all songs performed were instrumental. Richard Saporito(founder/leader of soundsystemscheckOK) jokingly explained to the crowd that anyone who wished to provide vocals could utilize the microphone. After some motivation from crowd members, Brian Reiff, Fan of the Year, accepted the challenge of vocal duties. Reiff somewhat ruined a portion of The Systems’ set, and he made himself look like a complete moron! Nice job Reiff!
Next up was the newly formed AM Carrier Current. AM Carrier Current is a noise project in the ever expanding world of Gregg Gillis. It was originated as a solo noise effort by Gregg, but he drafted Rob Crane (who also drums with Gregg in The Hyperactive Ensemble) to provide percussion and “non-beats.” Originally planned as a one song piece, AM Carrier Current broke their performance up into a few separate improvisational compositions. Microphones, running through foot pedals and amplifiers controlled by Gregg, were placed strategically around Rob’s drum set to provide electronic impulse sounds. The drum sounds were not as Gregg had planned, but it sounded fair with some effort. As anticipated, AM Carrier Current’s noise was not able to hold the attention span of the crowd, but it really didn’t affect the musicians as they put forth a stellar show. Rob had some difficulties grasping the concept of “impulse drumming,” but his workings behind the kit improved as the show progressed. Gregg even demonstrated his abilities on the drums as he provided some spasmodic percussion accompanied with Rob’s piano playing. Overall, AM Carrier Current achieved a somewhat “free jazz” style of composition, as opposed to Gregg’s other power-electronics noise works in The Joysticks.
The conclusion of this showcase was most entertaining, though, for numerous interest developing events occurred. 1.) Jim Planetariums' friends initiated a destructive array of numerous brands and models of illegal fireworks. Richard even found himself getting involved as the youngsters dared him to throw a lit bomb-esque firework at a neighbor's household. 2.) Towards the conclusion of AM Carrier Current's set the 5.0's made their appearance. It was pretty much full of idle threats and "Turn it down"s, which only made the OOBS artists take it more to the extreme. AM Carrier Current extended their noise for a while longer as Richard, Jim, and Mr. Shortt set up to play 3.) Mr. Shortt's high school band's song, "Rat Patrol."  The cover went pretty well considering neither Jim nor Richard had ever heard or played the song before. This performance also signaled the cop's second appearance! This time yielded a warning for a citation. Richard's mother, Richard's mother's friends, and Richard's grandmother had come out to see what was going on by this point and they were more angered by the cops than the noise. The issuing of a citation was not on their agenda for the night, though, so after "Rat Patrol" the show met it's conclusion. The pigs shut us down, but not before we cleaned their clocks with massive amounts of noise and rock!

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