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Red Room Sat.: Tom Carter / Shawn McMillen / Steve Gunn / Ian Nagoski

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  • Red Room
    Saturday, June 6th @ The Red Room $6 // 8:30 doors // 9:00 show This Saturday, the Red Room is pleased to present a trio of traveling guitarists: Tom Carter,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 4, 2009
      Saturday, June 6th @ The Red Room
      $6 // 8:30 doors // 9:00 show

      This Saturday, the Red Room is pleased to present a trio of traveling guitarists: Tom Carter, Shawn McMillen, & Steve Gunn. Expect lush psych-drones and disintegration from these chaps! Opening up, Ian Nagoski presents a second and concluding set of recordings from 78rpm discs augmented with historical details.

      Tom Carter (guitar)
      Shawn McMillen (guitar)
      Steve Gunn (guitar)
      Ian Nagoski (78's, PART II)


      Tom Carter, Shawn McMillen, and Steve Gunn are touring together performing solo guitar sets.

      Born barely south of the Mason-Dixon line, and just in time for the Summer of Love, Tom Carter led a decidedly non-hippy existence being shuffled around various farm and mining towns in Maryland and Ohio by his newspaperman father, before finally making his way to Texas in 1985, just in time to watch all the good hardcore bands die. Already obsessed with American pre-punk and British post-punk, Carter dove into the lysergically spiked musical waters of Texas with both feet, augmenting rudimentary guitar skills with unreliable instruments, cranky analog electronics, and disintegrating practice amps. Over the ensuing decades, he managed to forge his evolving ideas of complete tonal immersion (and the quest for the perfect fuzz tone) into a layered sonic toolkit of rough beauty and unrefined proficiency.

      Best known for his work with acclaimed psych-drone iconoclasts Charalambides, which he co-founded with Christina Carter in 1991, he has branched out into other collaborations since 2001, playing and recording with long-term projects Zaika (with Marcia Bassett) and Badgerlore (with Rob Fisk, Ben Chasny, Liz Harris, and Peter Swanson), as well as in frequent collaborations with Bay Area sound artist Robert Horton. Other fellow travelers have included Christian Kiefer, Tetuzi Akiyama, Shawn David McMillen, Thurston Moore, Dredd Foole, Loren Connors, Pip Proud, Inca Ore, Jandek, Bardo Pond, and Matt Valentine, among many others. Most recently, Carter has focused on his solo performances and recordings, touring constantly from 2007-2008, and finally settling in New York City in early 2009. His solo work covers a vast territory, but latter-day sightings show him to be concentrating on looped guitar drones of immensely-stacked grit and beauty, with heaps of psychedelic melodic content missing from the repertoires of many noise and drone bands. Carter has released dozens of recordings in every available format for many different labels, including kranky, Eclipse, and 3-Lobed. His most recent solo releases are available on Important, Blackest Rainbow, and his own Wholly Other imprint, which he has operated since 1995.

      Guitarist and composer Shawn David McMillen is a native of the East Texas town of Lake Jackson, known as "The Cancer Capitol of America" due to its large concentration of chemical plants. Quintanna, where the Brazos River meets the Gulf Coast beach, formerly was home to the Karankawa Indians, whose legacy is commemorated in Shawn's song "Quintanna's Head Dress." Shawn's stepfather, a member of the Christian rock band Waves of Joy, introduced him to garage bands and deep-sea fishing. Shawn lived in many different households until he left home at 16 for Houston and a glamorous lifestyle of playing in punk rock bands while sleeping in parks, vans, and the homes of friends. In the early Nineties, Shawn met Tom and Christina Carter Charalambides (now considered early pioneers of the present avant-folk movement) as well as Heather Leigh Murray. Heather and Shawn moved to Galveston, where she attended Texas A&M/Galveston while "working at an animal clinic, recording music constantly, and having cataclysmic experiences on acid together at the beach."

      Shawn and Heather recorded together as Ash Castles on the Ghost Coast, releasing one CD on Charalambides' Wholly Other imprint and playing one show with Palace Brothers. Circa 1999, the pair moved to Austin where they played with Rick Reed in Abrasion Ensemble and later formed Iron Kite. Recorded mostly at night, Catfish is acoustic-based only because Shawn had no electric guitar at the time. Other instruments include autoharp, Roland keyboard, Indian goat bell, Indonesian gongs, bowed electric bass, African kalimba (thumb piano), and shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute). Cited influences at the time include American Indian lore, music from the Middle East and India, Phil Yost, Robbie Basho, and Malachi. Catfish was released in 2005 as limited vinyl issue on the Emperor Jones label. ( The CD contains 20 extra minutes of music) Afterwards, McMillen released various recordings with The Friday Group (with Tom Carter); currently, he plays in Warmer Milks.

      Steve Gunn walked the streets of Philadelphia growing up, and for a while now has called Brooklyn home.

      He's perhaps best known for the major role he plays in the group GHQ, and for his brief stint as a pickup bass-slinger for the Magik Markers. His recent solo work is a mix of improvisational and blues-based acoustics. He is also working with an electric rock band that is trying to sound like a cross between Void and Quickilver Messenger Service. Steve's most recent releases are Sundowner, a CD on Digitalis; a split LP with Shawn David McMillen, and a forthcoming solo LP on 3 Lobed Recordings.

      Ian Nagoski plays six masterpieces of Hindustani vocal music recorded ca. 1925-1949 from 78 rpm discs and provides biographical, along with biographical and historical background.


      at The Red Room
      c/o. Normals Books and Records
      425 E. 31st Street


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