SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

News: Data and records obtained by the Current show that between January 1, 2013, and early October of this year the San Antonio... By Alexa Garcia-Ditta and Elaine Wolff 10/22/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Alamo Ice House Brings Hill Country to Downtown

Alamo Ice House Brings Hill Country to Downtown

Food & Drink: There was a special kind of draw at Alamo Ice House on a recent Tuesday evening. A handful of weeks after opening its... By Jessica Elizarraras 10/22/2014
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

Food & Drink: Cheesy Jane’s. Multiple locations, If the name is any indicator, this San Antonio staple doesn’t mess around when it comes to... By Tommie Ethington 10/22/2014

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email


Guitarist Chris Schlarb Recharges Santería-style with ‘Making the Saint’

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo

Chris Schlarb

The mental process of writing and recording an album is sort of like trying to finish a long, elaborate project while cruising the internet. Brief spouts of clarity and ambition are interrupted by long, seemingly helpful or relaxing asides where black holes of time go bye-bye into each new tab or musical toy.

With each deviation, the initial goal seems further away and the path there gets harder to remember.

For Making the Saint, Chris Schlarb’s third solo album, the Long Beach guitarist wanted to avoid these creative disruptions, making instead what he calls a small record—a short collection of songs generated in a swift fluid creative process.

Listening to the album opener and title cut, Schlarb’s idea of the small record resonates perfectly. The tune begins with a droning chord; the sound sweeping in and out of focus like summer cicadas. Shortly after, Schlarb begins with a gorgeous guitar solo that lasts about 19 minutes. Though it’s half the album’s total length, “Making the Saint” is a reflective piece that breezes past without glancing at the clock. “There was a feeling of ‘don’t complicate, don’t do a bunch of overdubs, don’t make the process laborious,’” Schlarb told the Current over the phone. “Record it, mix it, finish it.” 

“It just felt like the right thing, the right time to make a record where I’m the only credit on it,” Schlarb continued. “It forced [me] to tackle some of the things that I’d normally feel more comfortable asking [of] someone else.” To write and record Making the Saint, Schlarb and his wife booked a cabin in California’s San Bernardino Mountains, arriving without any prepared material for a make-or-break creative challenge. “I put myself in positions all the time where failure is a very real possibility, or embarrassment. It makes me work harder. Fear is a great motivator.”

Out on Sufjan Stevens’ Asthmatic Kitty label, Making the Saint is a sharp left from Schlarb’s previous output. As half of duo I Heart Lung, Schlarb and drummer Tom Steck produce NPR-lauded, genre-bending jazz. With his Psychic Temple band, with which Schlarb released his first two solo records, the guitarist produces spacy and ambitious orchestral pop.

But it was that very Psychic Temple recording and touring that led Schlarb to cut back for Making the Saint. “When you’re planning a tour with a bunch of other guys you have to make all these corporate decisions, paying them, arranging for transportation,” said Schlarb. “It really takes you away from the creative aspect of why you want to play music.”

To recharge his creative passion, Schlarb’s been taking it solo on tour as well, performing his meditative guitar pieces without backing. The name of Making the Saint refers to that process, an analog Schlarb attached to in the Afro-Caribbean religion of Santería.

“To become a saint, a priest in Santería spends a year dressed in all white garments with no physical contact with any other person,” Schlarb explained. “After that year’s up, the idea’s that they’re purified, they’re sanctified. There’s a few terms for it: making the saint, Asiento or ascending the throne. To me, it’s very similar [to] what you do going away, finding yourself as a person and making a solo album. It felt like it was a very honest and powerful symbol to carry all the way through from concept to execution.” 

Chris Schlarb feat. Justin Boyd

8pm Thurs, July 10
Sala Diaz
517 Stieren
(210) 749-1282

Recently in Music
  • The Otherworldly Appeal of Pure X’s ‘Angel’ Before we treat the music of Pure X’s third LP Angel, let’s take a moment to appreciate the airbrushed brilliance of its album art. On a... | 10/22/2014
  • The Infinite Blues of Woodstock Alums Canned Heat Thirty-two bands played the original Woodstock back in 1969. Of those 32, two are still at it today. And if you discount Santana on the grounds that he’s really more a guy than a band at this point, well, that just leaves Canned Heat. Half a century is a | 10/22/2014
  • Step Off: How Kacey Musgraves won Nashville Though she was born in 1988 and released her first recordings at the age of 14, Texas native Kacey Musgraves has always... | 10/22/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus