♫♪  Andrew Howie - Solo Guitar Loops 1

Did you guys read Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird in college? Yeah, me too. Think of it as my superhero origin story: boy meets pen, pen meets page, boy saves the universe with what comes out of pen. All thanks to Anne Lamott and Some Instructions on Writing and Life.

But that’s not the truth, is it? Does a good story even tell the truth? And who’s to say the story’s good in the first place? For all we know, Anne Lamott is the most boring supervillain in existence. Plus, my memory of college is wicked hazy, so let’s not talk about that.

Let’s talk instead about Solo Guitar Loops 1, the latest release from ex-Calamateur agitator Andrew Howie, a collection of… something… a kind of music maybe… it’s on the tip of my tongue… Anyway, you’ll probably figure it out as we go here. Andrew’s MO on this tape is to eschew the idea of perfectionism, as reflected in his mission statement for the album, which also happens to be an Anne Lamott quote: “Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people.”

So that’s pretty heavy stuff! I like to think of it another way, and so does Andrew Howie — the sketchbook ideas that make up the end product can be just as good as the end product, right? The “shitty first drafts” (also Lamott, apparently) as they were? Keep the edges rough, the result rougher, and you get closer to the heart of it. Closer to the truth. That’s what Solo Guitar Loops 1 does.

(This is my own shitty first draft, and I refuse to edit any of it. [Seriously, all-powerful TINY MIX TAPES editor, I have a very fragile psyche.]

[Just kidding, you can rewrite the whole thing if you want. (no we love, you -ed)])

Not even remotely demos, though, these tracks as improvised and compiled come across as kindred compositions to those of the early- to mid-2000s experimental post-rockers, all glistening guitar and mood. Taken together, they form a pieced-together snapshot of one person’s experience, albeit a snapshot that was ripped apart first. Maybe it was a bunch of snapshot pieces compiled in collage to form something new. Yeah, that sepia fragment and the fragment with the Polaroid border are obviously two different images.

Check out Solo Guitar Loops 1 on Autoclave Records, and stream it below.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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