Stories from the experimental underground in San Diego

Meyer Hirsch is an exceptional influence on my sense of what it means to dive into the experimental field and attempt "to swim".  The experimental milieu,  as other experimenters have experienced, is a "terror" (but an interesting if not fun one).  Hirsch has a knack for turning the entire experience of choosing a gig location, setting up, rehearsing, into an experimental adventure... to wit: 

Hirsch scheduled a gig for us, 'yea, I have it all set up' he explains.  I show up at this small bar in town.  Me, able Ashes, and Hirsch set up and settle into a chaotic blend of textures: 
Hirsch: Hair raising - Electric hair trimmer waved above the guitar pickups (think incredible bee swarms of sound) 
Abel: Surgeon of sound - Acoustic guitar (very exacting and precise riff novelties) 
Randy: The Game player - Electric guit, Zoom G92tt guitar effects pedal ( a wonderland of sound) 

all 3 engaged in this raw-edged-morphing sound cloud...the bar was hopping... we weren't stopping. 
the first piece trailed off... back into the spatial box it roared from --- 

I saw bar patron mouths... ahhh ing, as in, "ah, what the f@#k was that!"  expeirmental indeed. 

Proud of our ephemeral creation, I looked at my team, ready for another go.   Spock, Kirk, and Scotty had nothing on us.  Beaming up, beaming down, any way that would have us.  That 's the way it is in the expeimental field Hirsch invites you to.  If you can hang, you wil find the edge, and sometimes, the terrible space beyond... 

We tapped it and served it up in every way for the 15 souls in this hole... what happened next is San Diego experimental underground legend: 

We are interrupted by a bar worker who announces that the next "act"  is blah blah.    Blah Blah gets up and launches into....... a love song!  I stare quizically at Hirsch with my, 'I thought this was our experimental music night' look, then at what I thought were a group of like-minded Hirschites watching Blah Blah blah blah'ing badly about love and approving, then back at Hirsch. 

Turns out that it was actually an open mic niht, love songs, bad luck tales and all.   Experimental indeed!!!!

1 comment