Alternative Guitar Heroes

Ooooooooh dear. This was really just meant to be a blog saying nice things about musical oddballs; unfortunately it would seem that on Tuesday, rather than saying “hey, everyone stop grumbling about Flea joining Thom Yorke’s band, he’s done some quite good stuff, here’s a video of him with A Silver Mount Zion”, what I kind of said was “hey, everyone stop grumbling about Flea joining Thom Yorke’s band, he’s done some quite good stuff, here’s a video of him with A Silver Mount Zion OH AND THE RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS ARE SHIT”.

Er, anyway one irate army of fans of technically proficient Chilis axeman John Frusciante later and the vibes had distinctly darkened. Come now, we’re all meant to be friends here. Or at the very least the hatred is supposed to be limited to complaints about the actual music being championed. So anyway, getting the spirit of things back onto track, here is a list of some of Freakscene’s most favouritest guitarists. (Er, sorry John).

Marnie Stern
The woman who made shredding acceptable to a generation of hipsters, Stern kind of comes across like Eddie Van Halen’s conflicted lovechild, a chatty Valley Girl-alike throwing out weirdy whips of finger-tapped sound.

John Olson, Wolf Eyes
The guy basically plays a block of wood with one string on it. It’s quite hard to work out which of Wolf Eyes’ many deafening emissions actually come from it – I think it’s probably the one that sounds like all my fears about insects coming into nightmarish fruition at the same time.

Yamantaka Eye, Boredoms
Listing everything weird about the Boredoms in one place would probably open up some sort of unpleasant time/space vortex-amijig. So let’s just cut straight to the chase. See that thing at the back? That’s a seven-necked guitar, is what that is.

Glenn Branca
Writes 100-part guitar symphonies. Basically responsible for Sonic Youth. Living link back to the days when New York was properly cool.

Kevin Shields, My Bloody Valentine
Alright, MBV’s perfectionist leader does play one, regular guitar, but given that he does so at such titanic amplification it tends to induce audience hallucinations, we shall let Mr Shields off. Obviously he’s a deft weaver of dreamily melodic feedback, but screw that – MBV’s shows conclude with a mounting barrage of white noise dubbed ‘the holocaust section’ that only registers a shade quieter than a jet engine.

It’s a bit like having a really loud out of body experience, only instead of light at the end of the tunnel, there’s a middle aged Irish dude, ignoring you. There is no point in including a video of said section as it’s far too loud to be recorded accurately (and is kind of pointless unless your computer had 135db speakers), so here’s ‘Only Shallow’, which is, er, well let’s be honest, it’s still far too loud, but what the hey? Oh yeah, and in the interests of being responsible and whatnot, I should add that MBV give out free earplugs at their shows and you’re advised to use ‘em, unless you fancy a dose of tinnitus.