In the Clubs: Greg Ginn explores jamming side of music with two new bands.

In the Clubs: Greg Ginn explores jamming side of music with two new bands.


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Greg Ginn and the Taylor Texas Corrugators are, from left, Bobby Bancalari, Greg Ginn, Steve DeLollis.




When most people think of Greg Ginn, bands like The Grateful Dead,
Disco Biscuits or Eoto aren’t necessarily the first things that come to
mind.

Which makes sense, considering that Ginn is best known for founding
the legendary southern California hardcore punk outfit Black Flag,
leading the band through the late 1970s and early ’80s. But with his
new instrumental bands, The Taylor Texas Corrugators and Jambang, the guitarist and bassist has been exploring the jazzier and more jam-oriented sides of his playing.

Greg Ginn and the Taylor Texas Corrugators, Jambang With: Robo-France 29

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Valentine’s, 17 New Scotland Ave., Albany

How Much: $10

More Info: 432-6572, www.valentinesalbany.com.

As he pointed out during a recent phone interview with the Gazette
from a tour stop in Tallahassee, Fla., those influences have been with
him all along, even going back to Black Flag (just listen to the
group’s 1985 instrumental EP “The Process of Weeding Out” or the second
half of 1984’s “Family Man”). With something around 30 instrumental
albums under his belt, Ginn said that his new projects aren’t too much
of a stretch.

Avoiding confusion

“I think most people know, and we try to present and promote it in a
way that doesn’t confuse people,” he said. “Some people might want the
nostalgia thing, ‘Oh, it’s that song I heard in the back of the car
when I was 16,’ but we don’t provide that, and I’m not interested in
that myself. ‘Oh wow, that guy’s still breathing after 80 years; I’m
glad I saw him before he had his next heart attack.’ I understand that
impulse of nostalgia and memories, but it’s not something that I’m into
myself, and I’m not excited about supplying that.”

The two Ginn-led groups have been touring the country since February
in support of The Corrugators’ “Goof-Off Experts” and Jambang’s
“Connecting,” both released last year. Both bands will share the
spotlight at Valentine’s on Tuesday night, with opener Robo-France 29.

And they’ve been touring hard — one look at the schedule reveals
only one or two nights off in the next month. New albums from both
groups are also expected for this year. It’s a work pattern that Ginn
has maintained since his days with Black Flag, and he doesn’t see any
reason to slow down.

“Oh, no, we’re trying to actually fill it out more; I’m glad it’s
filling in,” he said. “Ideally we like to play six out of seven nights,
or nine out of 10, because, why not? If there’s another place we can
play, then we try to do it.”

The tour is an ideal situation for the bands as they both feature
exactly the same members. The Corrugators, which on the albums feature
just a drummer and Ginn on guitar, bass and piano played through guitar
synthesizer, are supplemented by Jambang’s full-time drummer Steve
DeLollis and mandolin player Bobby Bancalari.

But despite this, both groups maintain distinct identities. Jambang
is what Ginn likes to call “organic/electronic” music, with Ginn on
guitar for the live performances.

“It’s heavy electronic, which is something in the ’90s I was getting
into heavily,” he said. “We use some synth loops; we use electronic
accompaniment.”

The band’s show also syncs up to video displays created by artist
Joey Keeton of Austin, Texas, near where Ginn’s record label SST is now
located. At each show, “Connecting” is played straight through with the
video, ensuring that things don’t veer too far into jamming territory.

“The songs are pretty structured,” Ginn said. “There’s a lot of improvisation within them, but that’s a more structured band.”

The Corrugators, by contrast, let loose almost completely. Taking
the stage after Jambang with Ginn on bass, the group improvises the
majority of its set, falling back on instrumental motifs worked out at
practices or other shows.

“With The Corrugators, it’s whatever we bring to the table that
night,” Ginn said. “We cover a lot of different influences, from jazz,
to classical, country, rock, whatever. I’ve always kept playing and I
always record stuff, so it just kind of grabs you.”

Harmonic advances

The different approaches of both bands, from each other and from
Ginn’s more abrasive past work, has allowed him to open up his playing
harmonically. He’s always enjoyed improvisational music, even when it
wasn’t considered viable in the ’80s hardcore scene, so musically it’s
a linear progression.

“In the very early days with Black Flag, it wasn’t — that was my
first band, so we just tried to glue something together,” he said. “At
first I didn’t necessarily play with people that were into improvising
and that stuff, but pretty soon, after a few years, that became a
prerequisite for playing with the band. We used to do a lot of jamming,
which was probably unheard of for rock bands at that time — not all
rock bands, but I guess the ones that we knew.”

“But that element of me playing has always been there; since I
started playing guitar that was a part of it. I always like to
improvise, making recordings of myself, doing one part and playing over
that, or jamming with people.”
Thu 5/14/2009 2:24 PM