Rotten Piece

Rusted Shut may be the face of the Houston noise scene, but Rotten Piece is its brain. Patrons of art galleries, DIY spaces and dimly lit bars in Scarytown can claim credibly to have seen the husband-and-wife team of Shaun and Carol Kelly a dozen times without witnessing the same show twice. Or even the same equipment: The duo has been known to play everything from electronics to homemade instruments to random pieces of junk. At last year's Houston Press Music Awards, Shaun Kelly eschewed instrumentation altogether in favor of singing karaoke to old Culturcide records. It's this sense of absurdist showmanship that makes Rotten Piece fun to watch. But their real greatness lies in their ability to assemble scraps of sound into something truly musical, in a brazen defense of the argument that noise is indeed art.
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Daniel Mee