Joey Pizza Slice

Pizza Slice rewinds the tape, hits play, listens to a few moments of the beat, then presses record again. The beat disappears and he plays a keyboard part. Then the high-pitched whir of rewinding tape fills the air, and he hits play. You can hear the drums again, as well as the keyboard part. Then he’ll add a bass line. He keeps doing this — recording, playing, rewinding, singing, rewinding — until he’s declares that he’s finished.

It’s hard to know what he’s finished, exactly, as the only thing the crowd — or Pizza Slice himself — has heard is a few seconds of music at a time while he assembled the song. But when he plays the tape, more often than not, a wild, demented pop tune blares out. Afterward, he tosses the tape into the crowd.

“He’s pretty much making music in a blind way,” says Toby Aronson, a Burlington-based experimental musician and co-owner of cassette-tape label NNA Tapes. NNA recently released a boxed set of Burlington music that included some of Pizza Slice’s songs.

“He’s amazingly good at this rare technique,” Aronson continues. “It’s not that no one else is doing this, but I’ve never heard of anyone making militantly eraser-head-less pop music. It’s totally wacked out and awesome.”