What's the guitar equivalent of a cock ring? | Bleader

What's the guitar equivalent of a cock ring?

by

1 comment

At the Empty Bottle last night, right after Rhys Chatham had finished the evening's first-of-two version of Guitar Trio, Bill Meyer asked me what I thought was the “guitar equivalent of a cock ring, that keeps you hard for hours.” I said I figured it was a capo. Chatham would no doubt be able to hold forth about his ideas on the subject for 45 minutes. (He is, after all, responsible for the funniest musician interview I’ve ever read—a masterpiece of minimalist compositional theory and erotic oversharing.)

It really was that kind of night. Chatham was playing two versions of his Guitar Trio piece with eight other guitarists (all dudes), plus Josh Abrams on bass and John McEntire on drums. The first version started out a bit tentative (as Guitar Trio should--it fakes you out) but over an exquisite slow-build rise of dancing overtones turned into something that generated a sort of metaphysical mosh pit down in front. Any given player’s part in the piece is extremely simple—it’s not at all a matter of virtuosity, it’s a matter of endurance and meditation, and its rewards are vast if you let yourself succumb. Repetitive? Oh yes, just like sex is if you’re appraising it objectively--and if you’re appraising it objectively, something’s gone very wrong. I don’t think I’ve ever used the words “primal,” “orgiastic,” and “members of Tortoise” in the same piece, but I guess this is my opportunity.

It was really Chatham himself that sold it, though, with his crowd-pleasing showmanship. Would Philip Glass cringe? Probably: that’s the man’s genius. Charges of “vulgarizing” the avant-garde roll right off the back of the Serious Minimalist Composer most likely to be caught on cell-phone-cam playing air guitar to “You Shook Me All Night Long.”

That said, this bit from between the first version and the second version may be some of the worst stage banter ever:  “This piece is in just intonation so tuning may take a while . . . ”

 

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

 

Add a comment