Tag Archives: Ava Mendoza

Fisted Lizard

…played a cool gig last night at the Temescal Arts Center in Oakland. The trio of myself, Morgan Guberman and Pat Spurgeon (spawn of the Ivy Room Hootenany late night jam) have now officially played two gigs. For this second one we actually had a name, Impish Lizard – quickly pointed out as already taken and then appropriately mangled by the second act’s drummer, Jacob as Fisted Lizard – which I rather like.

The first act was John Shiurba and Gino Robair (purportedly in his birthday suit) rattling out some inspired improv as always.

Fisted Lizard followed and because there have been noise complaints from a neighbor who lives in the fancy new condo across the street, we pulled back a bit on the volume but still managed some punch.

We did three pieces, the middle being the most intense with only one moment where you think, ‘shit this is going nowhere’ at the beginning, but patience prevailed, something caught and didn’t let go for a good long while. To set the vibe, we each had a sheet of paper with Thelonius Monk quotes to guide us – two different ones highlighted for each – which was kinda cool.

Up last was the duo of Ava Mendoza and Jacob Felix Heule. Ava is the coolest guitarist and one of best of this style in the Bay area. I always get to steal some tricks from her (thanks Ava!). Jacob is a monstrously powerful drummer – sort of a Ches Smith on steroids. Together they put in a torrid thirty-five minute set of continuous rock/noise improv that worried not about volume. The cops didn’t show up, so it must have been well received…