Paul Metzger brings future sounds to Rogue Buddha Gallery

The sky has been crying a bit in Minneapolis. The rare temporary cool is usually followed by a rather extreme influx of heat. To add insult to discomfort, on the Northeast side, hearts have been breaking. Stabbings, shootings, and joyrides ending in tragedy all make up for a bit drastic midsummer bummer in the soul of the city. But as life must always go on, so does the music, and Friday's release performance at the Rogue Buddha Gallery in Northeast for the latest offering from ethereal sound toolmaster Paul Metzger may be what's good for the spirit more than any of the typical weekend escapist debauchery.

For a couple decades Paul Metzger has been defining and refining an approach to pure expressionism through various musical pursuits and a limitless arsenal of musical toys and self-made tinkerings, and it's kept a steady following of listeners at the edge of their chairs. With a bit of openness, patience, or seasoned ears Metzger's performances and recordings can invoke feelings as precious and comforting as a jade buddha falling into a pile of cotton candy, or as bracing as a molotov cocktail hour with the engineers of BP. It's anyone's guess, of course, depending on the man's mood or the weaponry he decides to employ.

Described as a "hobo's dream suite," his latest, The Uses of Infinity, on Chicago's Locust imprint, is a collection of improvisations on his handmade 23-string banjo that he has developed a whole unique language for since first unveiling the instrument a few years back.

Finding a middle ground between folk music and psychedelic styles not unlike '60s hallmark John Fahey, Metzger has been able to forge a union of approaches and tradition that inexplicably goes far too unmatched in the Twin Cities. For every beard and acoustic guitar on stage in this town one would hope the room for old fashioned freak-folk would be not too far behind. While he certainly wouldn't likely want to take the responsibility on his own, for those paying attention, Paul Metzger is very much the godfather of future sounds.

Paul Metzger performs Friday at Rogue Buddha Gallery in Northeast Minneapolis. 8:30pm FREE or suggested donation. ALL AGES welcome.

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