• Jam Session alerts

“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.

“The first San Diego Experimental Guitar show was created 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.”

The 3rd annual San Diego Experimental Guitar Show will feature twenty-minute performances from:

Jon Calzo aka DJ Tenshun (Skrapez)

Aaron Legrow (Dead Animal Mod, California Bleeding)

Bill Wesley (Vaginals, Array Orchestra)

Bill Orcutt (legendary solo artist, Harry Pussy)

Sam Lopez (Zsa Zsa Gabor)

Rob Crow (Pinback, etc.)

and League of Assholes featuring Marcelo Radulovich (Nicey Nice World), Randy Chiurazzi, Frank Melendez (Riververb), and Bobby Bray (Innerds, The Locust)

“A major turning point for the show was having the legendary Bill Orcutt sign on to the event,” says Lopez. “Bill made a ruckus with the band Harry Pussy in the 90's. Any noise-head worth his spit will tell you that Bill Orcutt transcends minds with his playing. He dropped out of music for a while but then relocated to San Francisco. I'm actually flying him in strictly for the performance.”

“Everyone wants to be a guitarist,” says Aaron Legrow. “The problem is, when most people learn, they learn the rules of music ‘theory,’ and I put that in quotations because that's exactly what it is: theory. You can’t play certain notes because they don't sound right over certain chords and whatnot. So music becomes stagnant and fucking boring. Then the punks pick up guitars and drums again and come up with new shit, because to them these sounds are more a feeling with energy than some note with a name on a scale. Experimental music is important in general 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.”

“I will be re-creating the sounds of bombs, cars starting, and pure fucking abrasive noise,” Legrow continues. “I am all about range. From highs you almost can't hear to lows that I will be running through an 18'' or 21'' subwoofer I plan on renting - looping this stuff into a machine like cacophony that will hopefully break windows and set off car alarms.”

“Frank, Marcello, and Bobby are like a three headed sonic super genius that I get to work with,” says Randy Chiurazzi, a former member of King Crimson virtuoso guitarist Robert Fripp's League of Crafty Guitarists who has come full circle in joining forces with the League of Assholes.

“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. A player gives a short concept phrase or just a word that suggests a kind of texture, then we see where it takes us. We will probably create a short list from the longer list we come up with. We have tried, ‘build down’, ’Riververb cave bed’, ‘slomo’, ‘the gentle one’, and some others. So, it could get rambunctious!

“Bobby has designed some primo effects using a digital signal process designer called "pure data" (two players feeding off one suit into one master effect filter). Marcello is doing unheard of things to a radio, and Frank is finding the right shit at the right time. Bobby came up with the league...mantra?-‘the league of assholes never takes a shit.’”

Says Lopez: “No longer the spiky instigator, the experimental guitar show is now a welcomed and viable vehicle for artists who feel the need to push the boundaries of their musicianship.”

3rd annual San Diego Experimental Guitar Saturday, January 21 - Soda Bar - 9:00 p.m. $6.00

  • Jam Session alerts

Comments

Sign in to comment

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader

Close