Latitudes focuses on a contingent of composers, improvisers, and musicians working in underground forms of contemporary music. It was started in response to the dwindling number of venues in San Francisco presenting artists operating in the liminal space between serious avant-garde music and rock and roll. Precious few venues regularly present music that falls in between these cracks. That in mind, the hope for this series is to help fill a gap that’s glaringly obvious in San Francisco music scene—and do so with the input of the community of music makers and enthusiasts living in the Bay Area.
Other Minds’ Latitudes series continues with The Master and Enigma: Paul Metzger, a bonafide American folk outsider, performs his entrancing hymnprovisations for modified 23 string banjo. Minneapolis’ mercurial mystery man John Saint Pelvyn makes an ultra-rare Bay Area appearance performing on solo electric guitar—barely harnessed feedback, f-hole howling, mid-jam retunings and whammy bar abuse all-included.
Gabriel Mindel Saloman, known widely for his work in seminal noise band Yellow Swans, joins Latitudes to present his ongoing investigations into music of the liberated body. Composer and instrument-builder Ashley Bellouin is joined by guitarist Ben Bracken to conjure a sound equal parts spiritual, mental, and physical—minimal by design, maximal in spirit.
William Fowler Collins gave a voice to a spectacular chroma of dread with a performance of works from his most recent full-length record Field Music. “Geneva Skeen evokes Californian vistas and the corruption festering behind them with the same uneasiness as Lana Del Rey’s West Coast or Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice.” (Wire Magazine).
Arrington de Dionyso conjured utopic zones through ritual trance and the high spirits of electrified rock and roll. The iconoclastic duo DunkelpeK transmited an amalgamated soundworld through percussion and electric guitar, chopping their many influences to bits and reassembling them in a quest for new musical possibilities.
Pedal steel guitar player Chuck Johnson’s western-tinged ambient works drawl out slow and stately, like disappearing shadows on the desert floor while the sun rises overhead. Again the light changes with trumpet player and vocalist Leila Abdul-Rauf whose blurred melancholic songs obscure the day’s memories in a mesmeric haze.
On the second installment of Latitudes, Bill Orcutt performed his convulsive blues on four-string electric, while composer and former Black Spirituals guitarist, Zachary James Watkins sketched an aural map of the C4NM through walls of feedback.
All the way from Tokyo, Japan, guitarist Tetuzi Akiyama brought his motorik “infinite boogie” and graveside blues minimalism to the Center for New Music. Ecstatic music aesthete John Krausbauer opened with a trance-inducing exploration of amplified violin and stroboscopic lighting.