Adam Matza makes music and does spoken word. And though he'd taken a break from the music scene for a while, he's returning reinvigorated with a vengeance and a focus on bringing experimental live sounds of the verbal and (in the broadest sense) instrumental sort closer to his Broward County home.
When approached to take over one evening of the Top Hat showcase at American Rock Bar and Grill in Deerfield Beach, he asked the host Russ Rogers, "Are you looking to lose your night?" He explains, "What I'm doing is not necessarily user friendly. It's challenging." Rogers was still interested, and tonight they launch a Night of Experimental Music and Spoken Word at the venue with entertainment by names you'll recognize if you dig poetry or noise or ever hung out at Churchill's Pub in Little Haiti.
Matza immediately thought of including Benjamin Shahoulian, who hosts the Miami bar's long-running poetry night on Mondays, Theatre de Underground. He'll be doing spoken word tonight. "It's almost like I'm importing a little piece of Churchill's to Deerfield Beach," Matza explains. He's interested in finding new venues for weird music.
"I think there's a really vibrant scene here for it," referring to South Florida generally. He gives credit to local music man and noise guru Rat Bastard whom he recently told, "The scene caught up with you. Everybody is either incorporating some kind of noise into what they're doing or they're doing noise." With a show like this at a place called American Rock Bar in Northern Broward, the proof is in the pudding.
See also: Churchill's Pub Sale Finalized
"Broward is mostly lacking in experimental music," Matza laments. "I love Churchill's and I'm sad it's going away in whatever form, I want something closer to home." He doesn't want the scene to die with Churchill's changing hands in a recent sale, because, at the moment, he's enjoying it so much. "I just want to keep doing it because it's a lot of fun."
One reason though that he was hesitant to take on this task was because of a bad experience at Poorhouse in Fort Lauderdale. He brought noisemakers Sharlyn Evertsz and Kenichi Ohme to play with him there, but "it didn't go over." He says he respected the owner's decision to discontinue their performance, but explains, "I really didn't want anyone else to have that experience."
Matza's got a tight, but not too packed lineup. It includes Michael Feathers, Xela Zaid, and Matza is performing spoken word with musical accompaniment by Ed Ethridge and Theopolis Wonderbread. Ed Artigas -- who recently acted and sang in Hearing Damage: The Rat Opera, a theatrical performance about the life of Rat Bastard -- will be doing his side project Zira. He'll be doing a Godzilla-themed set.
Greg Alvarez of Jellyfish Brothers was added the bill. Matza's a "big fan of them." He was invited on stage to play with Greg's brother Eddy and performer Juju Pie at Kenny Millions' weekly Creative or Die event at Churchill's. He called it, "a lot of fun. It's a different experience being a side person for someone." Ben Pachter and his girlfriend Maddie Besser, who's in town from New York, will be doing "a guitar flute thing." Matza says, "I have a good feeling about them."
He's following "the Rat approach" of 15 minute sets, which is a thing that really works with an experimental lineup. "Even if something isn't good, which I doubt will be the case, it won't last long," Matza explains.
"One of my biggest frustrations in playing improvisational music -- and it's always been this way, even when I was doing spoken word -- is finding people who can do it with a really good vision. Being a good musician doesn't mean you can improv.
"The nature of improv is sometimes it sucks, sometimes it doesn't work, but that's the risk you have to take to do it. Most of the time it does work, and great stuff happens, and it's an amazing feeling. Sometimes (both happen), all within the same performance." And at the end of this experimental night, those who remain can participate in a big ol' jam.
Art is also an important element in the evening. Gregory McLaughlin, formerly of the punk band, the Front, is also a visual artist. His recent exhibition in Fort Lauderdale was organized by the Holy Terrors' Rob Elba, and on opening night featured performances by Xela Zaid and Charlie Pickett. Matza says, "His art, you look at it, and you get sound and music from it. Looking at it, I hear music. It's so bold and interesting."
Also, American Sweatshop, a musical and film collective, are going to create live art during the show, from blank page to finished piece. Matza will be DJing between sets, "I'll be playing experimental tracks, mostly from the Krautrock period: Can, NEU!, Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Amon Duul, Eno, etc. I am really curious to see how it all goes over in Deerfield Beach." Radio personality Erin Engwall will emcee the evening. "She is one of scene's biggest supporters, and she's funny as hell," Matza says.
He's also planning an event on July 3, at Space Mountain in Miami, with Rat Bastard, Kenny Millions, Sharlyn Evertsz, and Kenichi Ohme. This Saturday night, he and Xela Zaid and Jim Wurster will be performing at a March against Monsanto after-party. Check out details on Facebook.
A Night of Experimental Music and Spoken Word. 9 p.m., Thursday, May 22, at American Rock Bar and Grill, 1600 East Hillsboro Blvd, Deerfield Beach. With Zira (Ed Artigas), Michael Feathers, Benjamin Shahoulian, Xela Zaid, Gregory McLaughlin, Theopolis Wonderbread, Ed Ethridge, Greg Alvarez, Ben Pachter, Maddie Besser and Adam Matza. Visit Adam Matza's Bandcamp and Facebook pages.