I, Cowboy

Max Holliman, better known as the Intergalactic Cowboy, first became involved with music at the age of 15. Back then, he says, "music was an outlet for the teenage angst that I was feeling."

Soon he joined the Nobz, one of Atlanta's first punk bands. "There was a lot of excitement in the air during that period," he recalls, "Because there was now a new youth movement which was replacing the hippie movement." That noisy period lasted four years, from the tumultuous bicentennial year of 1976 until 1980.

Later inspired by the astounding instrumental techniques of Robert Fripp, Holliman says he had an "insight" about a new musical direction in 1994. "This new style would combine the technology of electronic music with the crudeness of country music," he says. "Sort of a combination of the cold, technical, precision of electronic music and the crude, raw passion of country music." The spacey Western sound needed a persona, and thus, the Intergalactic Cowboy was born.

On stage, Holliman creates intriguing loops of sound, using his Ovation Legend guitar and a Digitech PDS 1002 effects unit. He builds landscapes of tranquil, almost numbing stacks of interlocking melodies then sings minimalist, New Agey lyrics over them, to push the whole thing into deep space. His unusual techno-country musings have been preserved on seven CDs over the last decade. At Mr. C's, the Cowboy will revisit his past with a steel-eyed gaze into the future — and on to other dimensions. Beam me up, Cowboy.The Intergalactic Cowboy performs at 10 p.m., Dec. 4 at Mr. C's. Also on the bill: Zach Carr (11 p.m.) and Lindsay Rakers (midnight). This show is part of "The Saturday Night Songwriter Series hosted by Kahle Davis."