“A few years ago, there was talk in certain music publications about the death of the guitar,” says Sam Lopez, curator of the San Diego Experimental Guitar Show. “Notions were made that this archaic instrument was no longer a relevant tool for creating music. As a guitarist, I took offense to this statement. Since I curated noise shows and had friends who played a similar style of noise guitar, I decided to fight back this inanity with a sonic extravaganza that would prove that the guitar was still a force to be reckoned with.”
Lopez curated the first Experimental Guitar show in response.
“I got all of my noisy guitar friends together and we played and we had a blast! But, something very interesting happened; other people liked it and had a blast, too. These were people who may not have necessarily already been involved with the noise or experimental music scene. They had found the performances fresh and unique and a true alternative to what they were used to hearing or seeing.”
Now in its third incarnation, the January 21 Experimental Guitar Show at Soda Bar will feature performances from Jon Calzo (aka DJ Tenshun, Skrapez), Aaron Legrow (Dead Animal Mod, California Bleeding), Bill Wesley (Vaginals, Array Orchestra), Bill Orcutt (Harry Pussy), Sam Lopez (Zsa Zsa Gabor), Rob Crow (Pinback, etc.), and the League of Assholes featuring Marcelo Radulovich (Nicey Nice World), Randy Chiurazzi, Frank Melendez (Riververb), and Bobby Bray (Innerds, the Locust).
“Frank, Marcello, and Bobby are like a three-headed sonic super genius that I get to work with,” says Chiurazzi. “The idea is to do sonic alchemy. We want to vary textures and dynamics from piece to piece as we build to the wall of sound.”
“When most people learn [guitar], they learn the rules of music theory,” says Legrow. “You can’t play certain notes because they don’t sound right over certain chords. So, music becomes stagnant and fucking boring.... Experimental music is important because it brings the art form away from advertisements, cliques, endorsements, and the record industry and makes it exactly what it is: art. It’s more like listening to a painting or a sculpture than listening to regular music.”
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