Weasel (Walter) Nation

On the daringly avant label ugEXPLODE

Whether people are citing his tendencies toward being a manic and sensitive improviser, "secretly rock and roll all the way" (as Admiral Grey puts it), or a consistent damner of music and the business, the shared sentiment is "Weasel just puts out music he likes." Which is why he demurs when he's asked about the overblown topic of "Women in Experimental Music."

"I never implicitly thought of ugEX as a pro-female label, but I guess it is in a way. I am certainly interested in nonwhite-male perspectives in experimental music. I think it's crucial," Walter said in response to an e-mail I sent proposing this article's original, loosely based, concept: "ugEXPLODE's iconoclastic female-musician movement."

Walter's bandmate in QUOK, Oakland's avant-jazz virtuoso Ava Mendoza, had a slightly more humorous take: "It sounds like we had picket signs or something—Let us on the brutal, weird music label. We're equal!

Cellular Chaos in action
Justina Villanueva
Cellular Chaos in action

"My sense is that the new influx of women on ugEXPLODE isn't because of an idealistic shift or anything on Weasel's part. It's just a continuation of what he'd already been up to. Women!"

Cellular Chaos play Zebulon on August 16.

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