It is getting hard to keep up with all the terrific new releases. Modern guitar continues to make inroads in places as far-flung as Argentina, Switzerland, and Tasmania. The pandemic has resulted in works that are largely solo or remote collaborations, but no less successful than the in person collabs.
If there is one record store that epitomizes the spirit of Guitar Moderne, it is Downtown Music Gallery. When I lived in New York, I discovered a wealth of new music there and saw some great shows. Here is a video that gives some of the store’s history and shows the kind of guitarists and other instrumentalists who played there. If you are looking for recordings by your favorite artist and can’t find it at your local record store (assuming you have one), these guys will take care of you.
Elliott Sharp/Matteo Liberatore, Nels Cline/Susan Alcorn, Raoul Bjorkenheim /Anders Nilsson are among the guitarists featured in Guitar Moderne who have teamed up for a bunch of concerts to start of the summer festival year. And as a bonus a new duet concert with Stian and Sidsel, with Stian on a new guitar! Thanks to Don Mount for documenting the NYC avant scene.
Sidsel Endresen & Stian Westerhus at DOM
It pains me that I won’t be able to make it to NY for this but any fans of modern guitar living in or around the city should be be in heaven (Thanks to Downtown Music Gallery for the listings):
Fri Dec 20th: FRED FRITH/JESSICA LURIE/ALLISON MILLER at Shapeshifter 7pm
Sat Dec 21st: FRED FRITH/IKUE MORI/LOTTE ANKER/JIM BLACK at 8 & 10pm!
Sun Dec 22nd: FRED FRITH & IKUE MORI at 10pm!
Swedish-born Anders Nilsson keeps popping up on Guitar Moderne. He was part of the Derek Bailey tribute as well as the DMG party. He is also part of the Scandinavian theme that seems to be running through recent posts, joining Norwegians Terje Rypdal and Stian Westerhus in the Nordic tradition of “all genres are grist for the mill” guitar playing. His solo release, Night Guitar, ranges through quiet, lyrical meditations (“Meet Me in the Back Alley”), noise inflected atmospheres (“Breakfast Boogie Nightmare Ballad”), and Zappa meets metal fuzz fests (“Nocturne). The bio on his website delineates an interesting progression, with some wise words about the musical arts. Here he discusses some influences and processes.