South Florida Legend Bill Orcutt Performs in Little Haiti
Little Haiti has always been home to South Florida's underground music culture. So it makes sense, post-Art Basel, that legendary guitarist and composer Bill Orcutt will perform live to close out the last weekend of the year.
"Orcutt's music never sounds the same way twice. It is a constant underlying, painful drone making audible the suffering of humanity," artist and longtime fan Kevin Arrow says. "When it is successful, it sounds like an industrial blender combined with a vacuum cleaner, a rainbow, and a beehive in a lovely way."
Orcutt is best known for his visceral, free-improvisation noise-rock outfit Harry Pussy, which he founded in 1992 with his then-wife, drummer/percussionist Adris Hoyos.
Harry Pussy's short lifespan was influential to the noise movement. Orcutt was also an early member of punk-rock band the Trash Monkeys, which was part of South Florida's unique punk-rock scene of the time -- allowing for a distinctive sound, humor, and sense of community brought on by geographic isolation and artistic ingenuity. With Harry Pussy, Orcutt toured alongside the likes of Sonic Youth and Sebadoh while gaining notoriety in South Florida for the often violent and hyper-sexual subjects of the band's composition.
In 1997, after the group disbanded and his relationship with Hoyos ended, Orcutt relocated to San Francisco and quietly abandoned live music to dabble in filmmaking. But proving that a genius like his can't be kept silent for long, he returned to live music with 2009's A New Way to Pay Old Debts on his Palilalia Records imprint, and it's been nothing but one creative, abrasive, and confusing-to-passersby trip since. In fact, in fall 2012, Orcutt turned up to perform in a downtown Miami lobby -- yes, a lobby. The faces of partiers stumbling out of Space, the 24-hour EDM nightclub nearby, when hearing Orcutt for the first time were priceless. He might be a writer's dream when it comes to combining adjectives in new and unusual ways to define his sound, but perhaps an apt description is that it manages a dichotomy between the beautiful and the violent.
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Indicating that this Sunday's show at Churchill's will be extremely memorable was Gramps' proprietor and scheduled performer Adam Gersten's recent Facebook call for musicians: "I need four saxophonists for my performance on December 28th. Please message me. It will be one 15 minute piece. Paid gig requiring one rehearsal." With Frank "Rat Bastard" Falestra, Demetrius Brown, Needle, Gersten, Wastelands, and Pariuh sharing the bill with Orcutt, the last weekend of the year in Little Haiti will be one for the books.
Bill Orcutt. With Rat Bastard & Demetrius Brown, Needle, Adam Gersten, Wastelands, and Pariuh. 10 p.m. Sunday, December 28, at Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami. No cover. Call 303-757-1807, or visit churchillspub.com.
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