It's a bit of a cliché, but music is everywhere. I pick out beats from the sounds of everyday life—a leaf rattling in the wind, an impact sprinkler tapping out a nice percussion, my dog steadily licking himself in my dark bedroom at 2:30 a.m. On his new album, Last Danger of Frost, psychedelic warrior Steve Kimock also finds music in odd places, but his ear seeks melody and texture more than rhythm. Known for his long career in Grateful Dead-related bands and his epic improvisational jams, the guitarist hasn't just taken a left turn here, he's ejected himself from the vehicle. He spent endless hours in his 100-year-old barn coaxing sounds out of resonator, fretless acoustic and slide guitars, and manipulating and stacking them to create sonic tapestries, employing the same device of repetition and thematic exploration as Philip Glass. Oddball tunings, weird time signatures (12/8, anyone?) and the droning rhythms give much of the material a real Eastern sound. "Surely This Day" is a little more traditional, with its finger-picked guitar shouldering some tender slide work.
Other songs veer way off into the woo-woosphere, conjuring whale cries, submarine pings or even distant sleigh bells. "Music Tells a Story, Part 4" fades up into a dissonant rumble that sounds like an approaching train pulling carloads of butterflies. Lock the door at 4:20, clamp on the headphones and let Kimock take you on a trippy ride.
Steve Kimock plays the Top Hat Wed., July 13, along with Jerry Joseph. Doors at 7 PM, show at 8. $25–$30.