When Jason Wade, Minnesota's regional curator for the International Noise Conference (INC), contacted the Turf Club about hosting the event, the venue had but one concern: "They wanted to make sure it wasn't going to be a big clusterfuck," Wade said.

And with nearly 30 acts stampeding the Turf's stage, can you really blame them? The potential for clustery copulation may sound high, but the INC has been parading counterculture madness since 2004, and Tuesday will be local noise-heads first crack at the organized chaos.

Noise, as a genre, is ripe with ambiguity. A "noise" performer might manipulate tonal feedback, lash a microphone with a chain, or roll around humping sheet metal -- it's all fair game. Wade, who views the genre more as a blanket term for the unconventional, agrees.

"It could be anything from a very talented veteran of, say, saxophone, playing improvisational, avant-garde pieces, or it could be some little kid throwing a microphone at people," he said.

Dan Parkinson of local grindcore band Dead Grandma says he's seen 12 drunk guys beating on pots -- dubious art, he contends -- and acts whose sole aim is to blow eardrums out of skulls with sheer decibels, all under the guise of noise.

The Twin Cities stop of the International Noise Conference will see noise icon and INC founder Rat Bastard lead his celebrated collective the Laundry Room Squelchers; Wade's maniac absurdist group Cock E.S.P., and all your favorites like Senator Butthole Johnson, Rape Door and, of course, Big Jesus and the Homeless Bastards. It's not all strictly noise, as Wade assembled a bill that includes punk, hardcore, experimental, burlesque and even stand-up comedy.

All the acts must abide by INC's strict rules. Among them: All performances must be 15 minutes or less; no droning, no laptops and no mixing boards. The first rule is obvious, as there are 29 acts to careen through, but the last three are in place to subvert boredom and encourage stage antics. "You can sit at home and listen to that shit," said Bastard, who prefers manic stage antics, of the nixed geeky elements.

Rat Bastard, born Frank Falestra, has been a cornerstone of the Miami punk scene for more than 30 years, and two years ago he decided to take his festival on the road. "It's like a party, a noise party," Bastard said of his tour, on which he'll see 400 acts in 30 days.

The INC, which bgan solely as a Miami venture, began touring last year to provide access for those who couldn't make the pilgrimage south. In just its second year, the fest has covered the U.S., swung through Europe and plans to hit Russia, Japan and Australia, Rat Bastard said. So can Rat Bastard, patriarch of INC and harbinger of its rules, define its style?

"If you call it anything but noise it starts looking like a highbrow scene," he said. "This is more of a punk-rock attitude."