Depending on your viewpoint, the act of shredding is "technically and rhythmically hammering out amazing and lightning-fast solos on a guitar."
Another definition, also courtesy of urbandictionary.com: "To play distorted electric lead guitar in a manner which is, at once, so extremely cogent and rapid that listener experiences the sensation that the production of the sound should be impossible or nearly impossible."
One more: "A guitar playing style or technique that was abandoned in the late 1980s."
Truth is, shredding hasn't been totally abandoned at all, and is the focus of a new series of afternoon concerts at a small stage in North Surrey. "Shred Saturdays" starts this weekend (March 3) at Binghi's Café, the former Fireside space near Gateway Skytrain (13593 King George Blvd.), and will continue there on the first Saturday of every month - April 7, May 5 and June 2, from 2 to 5 p.m.
Jackie Novik, mother of a young guitarist named Michael James, came up with the idea for the series after futile attempts to find gigs for the teen's band, Mortal Soil.
There aren't many opportunities for young bands to play live in Surrey, Novik said. At open-mic gatherings held at coffee houses, sometimes there's just not enough room on stage for a full band and, in many cases, metal and hard rock is shunned, she added.
"I want to bring those kids out of basements and bedrooms to give them a chance to play in front of an audience," said Novik, who lives in North Surrey.
At the all-ages Shred Saturdays shows, performers must be 18 or under. The events will be a place for an open mic/jam, a shred contest and performances by Mortal Soil (finalists at last year's PNE Star Showdown contest) and guests. For the $5 entry fee, names go into a draw for concert tickets (Mastadon and Opeth, May 1), with proceeds going to Re-Tool Jamaica (to assist trade school grads there).
If 30 young shredders are in the house Saturday, Novik would be thrilled - and not just guitarists are welcome to shred.
"There are amazing guitar players scattered throughout the Lower Mainland, (and) making them aware of Shred Saturdays at Binghi's Café is going to be difficult," said Novik.
A special guest Saturday will be Sebastian Chamney, winner of a "shred-off" contest at the Vancouver Guitar Show last fall. Series sponsors are needed, and Novik welcomes participants to contact her via email, email@example.com.
GUITAR FEST AT KWANTLEN
Meanwhile, the date of Saturday, Feb. 25 has been picked (get it?) for this year's Fraser Valley Acoustic Guitar Festival, at the Langley campus of Kwantlen Poly-U. Four acclaimed guitarists will be on stage for the 7: 30 p.m. gig, including Don Alder, Daniel Bolshoy, Celso Machado and David Sinclair - more reason to cheer for the 15-year festival, a featured event of the school's guitar program. For fest info, visit kwantlen.ca/guitar.
TILLER'S FOLLY AT BLUE FROG
Long-established folk/roots band Tiller's Folly is back with Go the Road, an allacoustic album that adds to the eight they've already recorded. A pair of concerts March 29-30 at White Rock's Blue Frog studio/hall will see the band film and record a new DVD of songs with the help of videographer Gene Greenwood and studio engineer Ron Cote.
For show info and tickets, call 604-542-3055 or visit bluefrogstudios.ca/newshows.