Guitar Moderne Festival XXV

It looks like things are opening up. But if you are like me—not quite ready to hang out around hundreds or thousands of people who may or may not have been vaccinated—you might prefer to stick with the Guitar Moderne virtual festival. Watch some newly available videos by legends Terje Rypdal and Bill Frisell, as well as great performances by A-team modern guitarists Mike Baggetta, Marc Ribot, and Eliot Sharp in the comfort of your disease-free home.

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The Tim Motzer Interview

For over two decades of world touring, nine solo soundscape albums, and collaborations including over 100 albums of credits, Tim Motzer  has been known for his distinctive textural acoustic-electro guitar voice utilizing looping, bowing, electronics, and prepared techniques. He has collaborated with numerous musical luminaries including David Sylvian, Burnt Friedman,  poet Ursula Rucker, King Britt, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Vernon Reid, David Torn, Markus Reuter, J.A. Dino Deane, and Pat Mastelotto, among others. Since 2016, Tim has toured the world playing prestigious venues and jazz festivals with Bandit65, an improvising trio he co-leads with guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel and drummer Gintas Janusonis.

Tim has brought his projects together under his own 1k Recordings imprint. We talk about that and much of the above as well.

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Happy Birthday Adrian Belew

Today is the birthday of Adrian Belew who, for years, has managed to make complex music (Zappa, King Crimson, his own) seem easy and fun. Here are some great sounding, relatively recent, beautifully shot videos of his latest band. The man keeps growing and evolving, while magically making digital guitar sounds that are warm and human.

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Pedal Book Mania

If anyone were to be into pedals it would be the modern guitarist. Granted there are a few who play only acoustic, and even fewer who exclusively play plugged straight into the amplifier, but the majority of modern guitarists are to some extent looking to find new sounds in the electric realm and pedals help them go there. The firmament of modern guitar heaven is filled with gods who use a plethora of stompboxes in their quest for sonic freshness. Adrian Belew, Nels Cline, Eivind Aarset, Stian Westerhus, David Torn, Nick Reinhardt, and others employ effect pedals as an essential part of their artistry.

For them, and guitarists of all stripes, this year has seen the release of, not one, but two books (actually three) devoted to these playable, collectable, fetish-encouraging devices.

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The Mike Baggetta Interview

Mike Baggetta joins a rarified cohort of guitarists—Bill Frisell, Nels Cline, Eivind Aarset, and David Torn—where serious technical ability meets a mastery of sonics.  His band mssv with bassist Mike Watt (Minutemen, fIREHOSE, The Stooges) and drummer Stephen Hodges (Mavis Staples, Tom Waits, David Lynch) has a new album out, so it seemed a good time to catch up. We talk about the difference between the first studio record, Wall of Flowers, and this one, and go deep into Baggetta’s bag of sonic tricks (check out the photos of his pedal setup).

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