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Paul Metzger, John Saint Pelvyn, Drone Orchestra

  • Communication 2645 Milwaukee Street Madison, WI, 53704 United States (map)

Two idiosyncratic stringed-instrument explorers visit from the Twin Cities. Info


Paul Metzger and John Saint Pelvyn are solo musicians from the Twin Cities who explore areas of American Primitive avant-folk in radically unorthodox ways. Metzger has been building instruments for decades, modifying banjos and guitars into mutant creations that he plays with virtuosic abilities. His self-taught playing method is an idiosyncratic blend of stringed instrument disciplines, resulting in unusual techniques, like playing his 23-string banjo with a bow. Metzger's most recent album, 2015's 1300, features two long improvisations influenced by Indian classical ragas, with Metzger accompanying himself on tablas.

John Saint Pelvyn's finger-picking abilities are evident on his newest album, 2018's A Clerical Error In Shasta County Shouldn't Have To Ruin A Saturday Night, but his guitar playing is also slathered with feedback and extensive use of his whammy bar, filling his music with creaking, warbly textures. The opening track, "Yreka, Last Call," evokes the work of American Primitive pioneers John Fahey and Henry Flynt, slowly building its melody over a constant throb of droning feedback fiddling.

Neither Metzger or Saint Pelvyn have played Madison in a few years, but previous visits have always benefited from being in small intimate venues, so Communication is a good spot to see these two unconventional musicians play. —Ian Adcock

Earlier Event: November 1
What Is Family? Film Festival (free)
Later Event: November 1
Loudon Wainwright III