In the early aughts, Steve Lowenthal copiloted crucial music-and-art zine Swingset. The New York mainstay remains a scene figurehead, but these days, his chief obsession is late steel-string-guitar patriarch John Fahey, whose spirit guides Lowenthal’s latest vehicles in both prose (a new biography, Dance of Death: The Life of John Fahey) and plastic (the acoustic LP label VDSQ).
In Dance of Death, Lowenthal dissects the life of the fingerpicking icon. That passion is mirrored in VDSQ (Vin Du Select Qualitite), where the unfettered influence of Fahey hovers brightly over each meticulously crafted and numbered release. Thurston Moore and other underground all-stars have already recorded for the five-year-old imprint; tonight’s showcase celebrates both Dance of Death and VDSQ’s flurry of new and upcoming records, including one by Bill Orcutt, the Harry Pussy noise titan turned avant-folkie, who will be on hand to pluck his strings into shards of twisted grassroots glory. Fahey’s ghost will surely rise during a set by Glenn Jones, who collaborated with the picker and has a VDSQ single forthcoming. Mark McGuire, formerly of retro drone mavens Emeralds, and ascending strummers Matthew Mullane and Anthony Pasquarosa round out the adventurous bill.—Brad Cohan