Local noise artist and Catholic Tapes honcho Brett Naucke figured that an event combining two of things he loves—chili and synthesizers—would be such a hit that he was already planning a follow-up to last year’s First Annual Synthesizer Chili Cook-Off before it started. “I’d like to book one before this even happens,” he told me at the time, “because I know it’s going to work, and I know it’s going to be fun.” True to his word, Naucke is bringing the music-slash-food competition to the Empty Bottle this Sunday with coconspirator Beau Wanzer (Mutant Beat Dance, Streetwalker).
The ground rules for the Second Annual Synthesizer Chili Cook-Off remain the same; every musician will make a unique chili and perform a “sonic interpretation” of that culinary creation, and the audience will vote on the winning chef-slash-musician. Last year’s champion, Oakeater’s Jeremiah Fisher, will battle Rolan Vega, Jeff Host, and Anthony Janas. Naucke and Wanzer initially hoped to draw some out-of-town talent to this year’s cook-off, but opted for a lineup of locals who don’t normally perform together—or in fact play out all that often, period. Plus, their skills fit the bill. “All of them are great cooks and were big fans of the fest last year, so it kind of seemed like a shoe-in,” Naucke says.