Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Top Ten GREATEST Guitarists (in no particular order)

I just finished reading David Fricke's recent article on the 100 best guitarists ever. I built my own list to fill in the musical blanks. I struggled with keeping my list down to 10 (Fricke admits that his "best of" was close to the 500 mark) and you probably will see some missing names of your own. I urge you to create your own list of great guitarists and keep this thing going!!

If you didn't catch Fricke's article, here's a link here. It's a good read.

Onward to my Top Ten greatest guitarists, again, in no particular order!

Keith Levene

Keith Levene is best known for his role as John Lydon's partner in crime in Public Image Limited. Levene's steely stabs of guitar on Public Image or his shimmery waves of musical pinpricks on Poptones send icy shivers down my spine.

Blixa Bargeld

You may best know Blixa Bargeld as the true industrial prankster in the scrap-metal loving Einst├╝rzende Neubauten, but Blixa performed his then non-musician skills perfectly on The Bad Seeds recording, From Her To Eternity. His invasive meanderings sounded like a painful skull excavation courtesy of the loudest bone saw ever. Blixa has also invented his own guitar chord known simply as the Blixa Chord. Deviant!

Norman Westberg

Norman Westberg pounds tympanic membranes in the the group Swans. On the electric guitar, Westberg creates these horrid, ugly monsters that creep and moan ghastly shrieks in the night. His performances are unholy workouts delving in acid feedback showers.

Masayuki Takayanagi

Masayuki "Jojo" Takayanagi was the original gangster of noise guitar! Cutting his chops in standard jazz bands since the early 50's, Takayanagi turned his back on that scene and created his own style of playing simply called Non-Section Music. His blistering freakouts on the guitar make him one of the best. Listening to his duet with fellow madman Kaoru Abe is like hearing a pack of wolves tear apart a baby lamb.

Stefan Jaworzyn

Stefan fucked minds with the horror-show outfit, Skullflower. After leaving the band, Jaworzyn continued the mind-fuck with his free-noise duo Ascension. Stefan bends the notes on his guitar like a black magic Uri Geller. One can only wonder what sinister tools he applies on his instrument to make it scream like that!!

Bill Orcutt

Bill peeled the scab with his legendary group Harry Pussy. Bent on getting you high with noxious notes of scornful dissonance, Orcutt used just a few strings on his guitar to bad trip you. Like the humid heat of a sweltering summer day, Bill's playing seeps right in your stinking skin.

Jimmy Bower

Eyehategod's Jimmy Bower can move earth with his mighty iron-beam riffs. Utilizing the "feedback as an instrument" technique only makes his doom-boogie more potent. Just like the virulent dirtweed vapors that perpetually circles his head like a demented halo. This is some scary shit!

Sir Richard Bishop

Richard Bishop transcended the normal boundaries of sound and genre with the unclassifiable Sun City Girls. Deeply ensconced in the early hardcore punk scene, The Sun City Girls turned everyone on their heads. His recent excursions once again find him traveling sonic time zones into uncharted territories.

Daniel Ash

Daniel Ash cast long shadows in the ultimate Post-Punk band Bauhaus. Content with lurking in dark places, Ash surprisingly colored his guitar playing with scrapes, and scraps and bat loads of reverb. Check out the exorcism of Stigmata Martyr for some real creepiness of gloomy harmonics.

Rudolph Grey

Rudolph Grey has thrown down some atonal cosmic jams with some of the greats of the free jazz scene with his group, The Blue Humans.  Arthur Doyle, Beaver Harris, Charles Gayle and Rashied Ali have all felt the blue-noise heat emitting from Grey's stringed beast. Emerging from the No Wave scene, Grey and company, worked hard at merging the art-noise and "out" jazz worlds. The combination worked and this relationship influenced countless noise heads to work with fellow free jazz freaks. 

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