For some unexplained reason this week’s BayImproviser Calendar never made it to my Inbox. Actually, there probably is a reason, which is that the phrase “software quality” becomes more and more of an oxymoron as it comes to receive less and less attention as part of coding training. As this site has often observed, the world of increasing tolerance to increasing degradation of technology envisaged by E. M. Forster in “The Machine Stops” has become very much with us; but, like Forster’s characters, we are too dependent on the services being provided to notice. In other words both the service providers and those intended to benefit from those services end up suffering in equal measure.
However, while there may not have been a Bleeding Edge summary for this week, it is still important to note the next adventurous concert scheduled at The Lab. This will be a visit from Susan Alcorn, whose performances on pedal steel guitar are worthy of the “virtuoso” adjective. Like many who play the instrument, Alcorn built up her chops in Texas as a member of a variety of country and western bands. However, her approach to the instrument gradually began to expand through an impressive variety of influences. On the classical side she took a great interest in Olivier Messiaen, Edgard Varèse, and Krzysztof Penderecki, while also looking into the avant-garde activities of Pauline Oliveros. As an improviser she paralleled those interests by following the free jazz pursuits of John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman. She then added a variety of world music sources to her knapsack, including Indian ragas, South American songs, and Indonesian gamelan. For her visit to The Lab she will be joined by local saxophonist and composer Phillip Greenlief, who should be well known to those seeking out “bleeding edge” activities in San Francisco.
The performance by Alcorn and Greenlief will begin at 8:30 p.m. this Saturday, April 29. The Lab is located in the Mission at 2948 16th Street. The venue is on the south side of the street, a short walk east of the corner of Mission Street. This location is particularly good for those using public transportation, since that corner provides bus stops for both north-south and east-west travel as well as a BART station. General admission will be $15, and members of The Lab will be admitted at no charge. Doors will open at 8 p.m.; and, because demand tends to be high, advance registration is highly recommended. Members can register through their login Web page, while others can use the guest registration Web page.