The corner of the kitchen ceiling in "the Octagon" appears to be held together with decomposing, 20-year-old masking tape. "When we moved in, the house was infested with spiders," Tiffany tells me. "Go in the bathroom; you'll probably see some on the ceiling." This is an old house, with a backyard fire pit surprisingly secluded by giant evergreens, and it's teeming with metal kids lugging around cases of cheap beer. There are fliers all over the walls promoting Space Losers, a depraved online puppet show created by housemate Jeremy and his neighbors at the Chuck Norris House. Both houses are home to members of several popular local bands, and tonight three of them (Red Rapture, Ubik, and Barefoot Barnacle) are performing in the Octagon's cramped basement.

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I make my way to the front for Barefoot Barnacle and find that all four members are actually playing without shoes. The band ask the audience, "What makes an egg roll?" The answer is a hilarious, aggro cover of Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It." Their set is a barrage of instrumental tech and thrash metal, mixed with Dillinger Escape Plan jazz breakdowns and "Planet Caravan" space-outs. In 30 minutes the band rip out 300 riffs; all of them rule. Invariably, a pipe gets passed around, and in a sense of true performer/audience camaraderie, it is held and lit for the band as they shred. Their closing words are simply, "Go get drunk." Sure enough, that's exactly what everyone does. recommended

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