4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Zsa Zsa Gabor

Sound description

Chicago Transit Authority on crack, or explosions from the Die Hard movies set to music.

RIYL

GG Allin, Weird Al, Ian Drury and the Blockheads

Inception

San Diego , 2002

Influences

Riververb, Nels Cline, Sun City Girls, Boris
Sponsored

“I haven’t gotten any heat from the Gabor estate yet,” says one-man band Zsa Zsa Gabor, who doubts anyone will mistake him for the cop-slapping Hungarian actress whose name he co-opted. “What I do is perform with prerecorded found sounds and a synthesizer running through effect pedals that I manipulate to create harsh noise. I also use samples and, although I don't have lyrics, each track has its own story. It's sort of like scary movie soundtrack music.”

Lopez/Gabor has been playing noise music since the mid-nineties. “It was Merzbow who really opened my mind and ears to this style of music. His Relapse release Venerealogy was sort of my gateway drug. It literally was the most extreme music I have ever heard, as Relapse had advertised.”

“Noise is the ultimate release. I’ve said things musically in lyrical verse and structured chords but always felt trapped in certain points of my musical travels. Noise music freed that notion and allowed me to say things both sonically and visually that straight music could not. My music is also physical and noise music allows me to flex my muscles via feedback.”

He says getting gigs is so hard that “Sometimes I have to lie and say I’m indie rock.”

Gabor (real name Samuel Lopez) recalls going over poorly at O’Connell’s. “I sensed bad vibes in the joint the minute I walked in…I played about 15 minutes before the owner madly stumbled over to me, spittle flying from his mouth, hands over ears, screaming ‘Enough, it's over! Turn it off!’ I can't believe I made it that far. There was this inebriated-looking gentleman standing next to my equipment the whole time I was playing and I seriously thought he was going to take a swing at me. Right after the owner unplugged me, another intoxicated patron lamented that he couldn't believe he turned the Rolling Stones off the jukebox for me.”

Guitarist/drummer Lopez wrote and sometimes performs (with his vocalist/bassist wife Mandy Galarza) a self-described “sludge opera” called The Blind Dead. “Esteban [Flores] sings. It’s got six acts. We recorded it, but we don’t know what we’ll do with it.”

“I call it a Sludge Opera because the music is thick and lugubrious,” says Lopez of the elaborate sci-fi production. “The opera part comes in because there are different acts. It’s a journey through the inner circles of hell.

“The story involves a violent death clan that massacres a whole village, leaving their victims eyeless as a calling card,” explains Gabor. “In hell, there’s a battle between the eyeless dead and the black gods. The gods, bent on destruction, allow the blind dead to return to the world seeking revenge. The final act is the blind dead, thirsty for blood, taking revenge.”

The Blind Dead: A Sludge Opera was first staged July 11, 2009, at the Ché Café. The five-person operation featured Lopez playing the part of the death clan, his wife Mandy Galarza singing the lament and casting the revenge hex, Michael Zimmerman playing the blood organ, Art Ulloa on drums and percussion, and singer Esteban Flores closed the show as the Blind Dead Chorus.

“We actually got together through the noise scene,” says Flores, a guitarist-composer who as of late 2010 lives in Chula Vista and works at Sears.

Lopez, at the time a mortgage lender by day, breaks it down: “There’s stoner doom, stoner rock, doom, sludge, and then noise.” What makes it doom? “It can be a musical thing or it can be an aesthetic thing. Traditionally, doom bands would use down-tuned guitars, like, anything lower than D,” or a full step below standard E tuning.

“You get down to B and A [tuning],” says Flores, “and that’s doom right there. In sludge, we don’t care about tuning.” They both laugh.

“How does it feel to play doom guitar? Pretty bad-ass,” says Flores. “If you tune to open C and play [a power chord], it sounds so awesome and it’s so simple to do. It sounds so much better than, like, an augmented E chord.”

Does one even need to know how to play guitar in the traditional sense, then, to make passable doom/sludge/noise rock?

Lopez says yes, that an understanding of timing is crucial. “Chords are very important, too,” Flores says. “But they don’t have to be standard chords. They can be...just...whatever.”

Sponsored

Upcoming Local Shows

No shows scheduled

Post a show View show history
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close