Tuneless caterwauling at Guitar Center: The Album!
Guitar Center is in the news again, and this time it’s NOT for the sorry state of their financials!
For the last couple of years, beleaguered tab book retailer Guitar Center has been known for their internal mismanagement, financial woes, and constant attempts to rebrand their failing empire. That’s a shame because we’ve stopped thinking about the soul of Guitar Center. We’ve forgotten about the music, the one thing that makes Guitar Center what it is: a big box store that is constantly filled with a swirling cacophony of maddening aural bullshit.
Fortunately, an artist named Noah Wall thought of a brilliant way to package the ambiance of a Saturday afternoon at your local corporate gear dealership. Drifting from department to department he discretely recorded the free-form chaos that floats across the soundscape. In the meandering practice sessions and abortive riff attempts, he found order:
This is my third and last day recording here. Some cliques gather in the acoustic guitar room and the occasional couple show off for one another but this place is mostly loners. Trying out a guitar or amp or whatever, they probably didn’t come here to jam with others. But the din has an ensemble effect and the unintentional group is abiding some unspoken rules. There’s a general respect in terms of volume, and sometimes strangers play in the same key and seemingly with one other. On two different days, two different people on two different instruments in two different rooms play the same Jackson 5 song.
Through the field recordings on this album, Live at Guitar Center, you can hear an array of sounds and emotions at work in the modern world of amateur musicianship. From the hesitant pangs of “Hot Cross Buns” on keyboard, the ever-present blooz riff, to a young woman quietly and meaningfully mumbling along to Green Day‘s “Good Riddance”, Live at Guitar Center should cause all musicians to feel the full spectrum of emotions inherent in amateur artistry. Also, this soundtrack is constantly punctuated by a persistent ringing telephone that is giving me horrific flashbacks to my days working retail.
Noah is pretty proud of Live at Guitar Center. Check out some of the reviews he proudly displays on his site:
Listen to Live at Guitar Center below and give him a like on Facebook. What do you think? Is this a brilliant work of art in the medium of noise or an encapsulation of hell on Earth?