STLJN Saturday Video Showcase: The Musical Worlds of Eugene Chadbourne


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This week, we've got some video clips featuring Eugene Chadbourne, the guitarist, banjo player, composer, improviser and occasional inventor who's coming to St. Louis on Thursday, June 4 to perform two free shows at the Schlafly St. Louis Brewery and Tap Room downtown.

Chadbourne is difficult to categorize, as his music contains elements of psychedelic rock, free jazz, punk, folk, noise, and country as well as influences from various cultures outside the Unites States. The specific mix of ingredients may differ from project to project - and Chadbourne is an especially prolific recording artist, with dozens of albums as a solo artist and with various collaborators to his credit - but it's all informed by his surreal sense of humor and penchant for the unexpected.

While it's impossible to document the myriad aspects of Chadbourne's musical personality with a handful of short videos, today's clips should provide at least a taste of what one of his shows can be like. First up is a video that features him in a solo performance, playing an original song called “Your USA and My Face" last December at Salvage Vanguard Theatre in Austin, TX.

Next we have a clip of Chadbourne and former Mothers of Invention drummer, the late Jimmy Carl Black, offering a rather knotty re-interpretation of Captain Beefheart's “Dropout Boogie" in a 2008 show in Shinjuku, Japan.

In the third slot is an excerpt from a gig at the 2008 Copenhagen Jazz Festival that featured Chadbourne alongside saxophonist (and St. Louis expat) Luther Thomas and the Danish rhythm section of bassist Niels Davidsen and drummer Kresten Osgood. (This clip is just the first of nine segments of similar length from that show that are posted online; to see the rest, check out Thomas' YouTube page.)

Last but not least, in the fourth position there's a short film about Chadbourne titled “Where's The Stage," which is purported to be “The ONLY documentary on the legendary Eugene Chadbourne. See the RAKE see the DRUM SET OF DOOM - see the RAVING STREET PERSON! Filmed on location at the Chadbourne mansion in Greensboro,North Carolina."

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
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