Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Handful of Scree

Bill Orcutt is getting some play these days, and good for him.  The ex-Harry Pussy guitarist is shredding on an acoustic guitar (shredding not here referring to the idiomatic Yngwie Malmsteen shred), and blowing it up with a Derek Baileyesque breakdown of the blues.  His latest is How the Thing Sings, recorded live in SF.  It is available on Spotify.

Yeah, those are Stevie Ray Vaughn picks on the cover.  I think they are apropos.  However, I have no sense of irony left.  It has gone the way of my hearing.

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An pal from the Bloomington days, Eric Weddle, runs a really swell record label known as Family Vineyard.  Every so often, when I want to get something cool in the mail, I put in an order, and Eric usually throws in a few nice little extras.  The last order started with Loren Connors's Red Mars.  Connors also deconstructs blues, but comes at it from a very different angle: as radical as Orcutt, but much (much!) quieter on average, Connors's guitar gestures seem to spread almost subliminally over space.  There isn't any pyrotechnics here (though Connors won't avoid aggressive atonality, if he thinks it's called for), and you find yourself discovering all kinds of interesting space . . . you sit and listen, waiting for something to happen, only to discover down the line that a unified piece has developed almost without your noticing  it.  I highly recommend Connors; but, like Orcutt, he is definitely an acquired taste, even if the approaches are almost opposite.

Give it a try . . . let it sneak up on you.  Also available on Spotify.

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Also in the package was a wonderful, free blowing record from saxophonist Akira Sakata and guitarist Jim O'Rourke.  The rhythm section on this one consists of Darin Gray and Chris Corsano (at this point, I'm the only noise guy in the world who hasn't recorded with Corsano), a.k.a Chikamorachi.  It's a free blowout of high caliber, and if that sounds like a good deal to you, then you should check it out.  It is, indeed, on Spotify.

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I also ponied up for O-Type's Lugubrious.  O-Type is an MX-80 spin off centered around the ambient bent of bassist Dale Sophia, and features Bruce Anderson (another shredder, whose idiom is somewhat closer to Yngwie Malmsteen, but still a fair distance away) and a handful of other MX-80 fellow travelers.  

I've been a part of a couple experimental music festivals this summer and fall, and I've had to sit through an unbearable amount of horrible ambient music . . . which is extra painful, since it is a music that I am becoming more interested in.  I've run across some good stuff - Tim Hecker, Black To Comm - and some bad stuff, which I will not dwell on, since I've met them and they seem like perfectly nice people.  If you were to search for O-Type's Lugubrious, you will find a Pitchfork review which encapsulates much of what I find wrong about ambient music.  Problem is, I don't think it applies to this record: drifty and aimless at parts, it nonetheless has some nice texture, and some parts that smack you right in the forehead.  Lugubrious is not the first ambient record I would recommend, but if you like this stuff, give it a listen.

Indeed, nothing on Spotify (or anywhere else that I can find), so enjoy this YouTube video instead.

1 comment:

shadow of shathragot said...

This video reminds me of some of the art projects I saw at a Cal Arts exhibit.