Chicago Scene: May 17-31

This is a weekly overview live performances in the Chicago area.  Contact us if you’d like your shows listed.

Saturday, May 17th 2014

8:00PM at Graham Foundation (Madlener House), 4 W Burton Pl
Nate Wooley

9:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($10)
Ingrid Laubrock, Tom Rainey
Ingrid Laubrock, Tom Rainey, Tomeka Reid, Katherine Young

Sunday, May 18th 2014

9-12midnight @the Redline Tap 7006 N Glenwood Ave, Chicago, IL 60626/ (773) 274-5463
Jimmy Bennington Colour and Sound with Fred Jackson (AACM), saxophones and Mike Harmon, bass

10:00PM at the Hungry Brain, 2319 W Belmont, 773.709.1401 (wheelchair-accessible)
Keefe Jackson, Ben Boye, Ståle Liavik Solberg
Matt Schneider, Albert Wildeman, Ståle Liavik Solberg

Monday, May 19th 2014

7:30PM at Myopic Books, 1564 N Milwaukee, 773.862.4882
Carol Genetti, Katie Young, Albert Wildeman, Eric Leonardson

9:00PM at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W Belmont, 773.281.4444 (wheelchair-accessible)
Extraordinary Popular Delusions : Jim Baker, Mars Williams, Brian Sandstrom, Steve Hunt

Tuesday, May 20th 2014

9:30PM at The Whistler, 2421 N Milwaukee (wheelchair-accessible)
Stirrup : Fred Lonberg-Holm, Nick Macri, Charles Rumback, special guest Ståle Liavik Solberg

Wednesday, May 21st 2014

8:00PM at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W Belmont, 773.281.4444 (wheelchair-accessible)
Splice Series
Peter Maunu, Albert Wildeman, Katherine Young

9:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western (Free)
The Beautiful Noise – A Sun Ra Tribute
King Britt

10:00PM at the Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia, 773.227.4433 ($12)
Fred Lonberg-Holm’s Lightbox Orchestra, All Drummers Edition
Mikel Avery, Tim Daisy, Glenn Kotche, Ståle Liavik Solberg, John Niekrasz, Marc Riordan, Frank Rosaly, Charles Rumback, Michael Zerang, Fred Lonberg-Holm

Thursday, May 22nd 2014

9:00PM at Elastic, 2830 N Milwaukee, 2nd Fl, 773.772.3616
Le Sony’r Ra : The Music Of Sun Ra
Mars Williams, Keefe Jackson, Josh Berman, Paul Giallorenzo, Jason Roebke, Mikel Avery

Friday, May 23, 2014

9-11pm @the Bop Shop 1460 Monroe Ave, Rochester, NY 14618/ (585) 271-3354/
with Jimmy Bennington, drums Fred Jackson (AACM), saxophones Jerome Croswell (AACM), trumpet Ed Schuller, bass
-jimmy celebrating 25 years years in music/ CIMPoL will be on hand to record-

Saturday, May 24th 2014

8:00PM at Experimental Sound Studio, 5925 N Ravenswood, 773.769.1069 ($10-$8)
Fonema Consort — music by Pablo Santiago Chin, Mauricio Pauly, Alejandro Cardona

Sunday, May 25th 2014

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($20-$10)
Proximity : Raphaël Cendo
Ensemble Dal Niente

Monday, May 26th 2014

9:00PM at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W Belmont, 773.281.4444 (wheelchair-accessible)
Extraordinary Popular Delusions : Jim Baker, Mars Williams, Brian Sandstrom, Steve Hunt

Tuesday, May 27th 2014

9:30PM at The Whistler, 2421 N Milwaukee (wheelchair-accessible)
Stirrup : Fred Lonberg-Holm, Nick Macri, Charles Rumback, special guest Russ Johnson

Thursday, May 29th 2014

6:30PM at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, Millennium Park, 201 E Randolph (Free) (wheelchair-accessible)
Loops and Variations
Hauschka with Q Ensemble

Friday, May 30th 2014

9:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($8)
Dave Rempis, Joshua Abrams, Avreeayl Ra

Saturday, May 31st 2014

7:00PM at the Rhythm Room, 1715 Maple Ave, Evanston IL, 847.491.9723
Jimmy Bennington, Matt Gold, Aaron Zachary

For more information, such as show times and directions, as well as upcoming performances, see:

Monsieur Délire Reviews

From Monsieur Délire:

KOJI ASANO / Tokyo Sunrise (Solstice)
BLACK TO COMM / Providence
EXCEPTER / The Stand
EXPERIMENTAL AUDIO RESEARCH / All Things Being Equal (Dekorder)
LEAN LEFT / Live at Area Sismica (Unsounds)
FRANÇOIS TUSQUES / L’étang change (mais les poissons sont toujours là) (Improvising Beings)
SKADEDYR / Kongekrabbe (Hubro)
ZEA / The Swimming City (Makkum Records)
THEE SILVER MT. ZION MEMORIAL ORCHESTRA / Hang On To Each Other (Constellation)
GIUSEPPI LOGAN / …and they were cool (Improvising Beings)
SPACE MONKEY / The Karman Line (Hubro)

AMN Reviews: FIMAV 2014 Day 1

Marshall Allen
Marshall Allen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Irwin Block

VICTORIAVILLE, QUE. – The first of 20 concerts at the annual Festival International de Musique Actuelle de Victoriaville rolled out in this quaint town and the good news is that eclectic, experimental and daring remain operative keywords.

For its 30th edition, hundreds of fans gathered here from across North America, and in the first three presentations, heard a cross-section of innovative music that rank Victo as a major showcase for groups that break rules and cross boundaries.

The opener featured the multi-faceted singer Meredith Monk and her unique, wordless chants and vocalizing delivered with artful waves of the hand. With Monk, movement and music are one.

Her voice is silvery smooth and her melodies combine the wide-open spaces of classic Americana with tunes that recall the native voices of the U.S. southwest. She clicks, she hums, she ululates. Halfway, she invited mezzo-soprano Katie Geissinger for several duets and call-and-response exchanges.

A MacArthur “Genius” Award winner, Monk also accompanied herself on piano and Jew’s harp, somehow, managing simultaneously to hum and harmonize with the instrument.

It was her first gig here, a warm initiation to musical openness, suitably performed at the Mont Arthabaska mountaintop hall, one of two festival venues.

Size and volume were the follow-up when the Montreal-based Ratchet Orchestra presented a tribute to the legendary Sun Ra, whose 100th birthday is May 22, featuring saxophonist Marshall Allen, who now leads the Sun Ra Arkestra. Allen turns 90 May 25 and was to leave North America for an extensive tour in Europe, Japan and the U.S.

The first part of the concert, performed in the Coliseum, was built around the charts of big-toned bassist Nicolas Caloia, the orchestra’s leader and composer. Allen leaped on stage to join its 18 members, along with Sun Ra flutist Danny Ray Thompson.

The music reflected the Quebec improvised scene, with a sometimes overly serious almost academic reliance on structure. There were bright moments, especially with bass and baritone saxophones and bassoon injecting depth and profundity to the overall sound, and some wild excursions from guitars and strings.

Things loosened up with Allen’s sliding sax phrasing, as he took over directing the musicians and called for individual and group contributions from various sections as they played themes from a 1950s Sun Ra composition. According to Caloia, it has never before performed. The end result was thrilling for musicians and audience alike.

Ace electric guitarist Ava Mendoza, based in Brooklyn, N.Y., followed up at midnight leading her avant-rock power trio, with bassist Tim Dahl and drummer Nick Podgurski.

It was a high-energy outing, maybe overly so as the intensity overpowered Mendoza’s superior guitar chops. She is skilled at manipulating special-effect pedals and displays virtuosity in her fret-board runs, but the power sound tended to overwhelm her melodic side.

Mendoza studied with avant guitar master Fred Frith in Oakland before settling in on the U.S. East Coast. One fan described her style as “Fred meets grunge.”

It was a varied and bold first night.

Ken Vandermark’s New Audiographic Label

Ken Vandermark
Cover of Ken Vandermark

From the Chicago Reader:

A few days ago reedist, bandleader, and composer Ken Vandermark announced the formation of his own record label, Audiographic. The move follows on the heels of similar projects by two of his collaborators: drummer Tim Daisy’s Relay Recordings and saxophonist Dave Rempis’s Aerophonic Records. The new imprint will release new recordings in editions of 500, on LP and/or CD, as with the first two releases (out yesterday), both by Vandermark’s latest large band, Audio One—Vandermark, Daisy, Rempis, vibist Jason Adasiewicz, trombonist Jeb Bishop, cornetist Josh Berman, bassist Nick Macri, saxophonist Nick Mazzarella, violist Jen Paulson, and reedist Mars Williams. Releases will also be available as high-quality digital downloads, which will be included for free with the purchase of a physical format.

Rosalind Hall and Michael Prior in Melbourne

From Melbourne’s AVANTWHATEVER:

Rosalind Hall (Saxophone – Album Launch)
Michael Prior (Guitar & Drums)

The Alderman
134 Lygon St
Sunday May 25

Rosalind Hall will be launching her album ‘Carriage of the Voice’, using multiple speakers and feedback along with her saxophone and body to perform material from the record that was developed during a residency in Castlemaine last year. Michael Prior will be, well, playing guitar and drums, at the same time.

Rosalind Hall

The beguiling, chameleonic saxophone has possessed Rosalind Hall for most of her life. As she has grown, she has made it her mission to extricate the horn from her trainings, to unearth the inner vibrations of the saxophone body and to elicit from it the sonic microcosms of her mind. She has made reeds from different materials and found extensions and vibrating objects for the bell that alter and extend the playing techniques to create unpredictabilities that necessitate playing and responding in the moment. Improvisation is the guiding force behind her music, experimentation and redefinition a driving goal and collaboration with people and spaces a transcendental joy.

Michael Prior

Michael Prior’s practice is located between the sonic, sculptural and performative. His work employs strategies of fabrication, organisation and mechanisation to explore musical structures in material forms. Aleatoric method is applied to a physical manifold (objects, the body in space, sound generators) to create self-developing compositions and social exchanges. MP has exhibited installation works at PICA (2009), MONA FOMA (2010, 2013) and the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (2007-8). Since 2001 he has performed in Helsinki, London, Edinburgh, Berli

This Weekend in Philadelphia

Cover of 灰野敬二

From Philly’s Ars Nova Workshop:

Saturday, May 17, 8pm
with Mats Gustafsson, saxophones + electronics; Per-Åke Holmlander, tuba; Kjell Nordeson, vibraphone; dieb13, turntables + electronics; and Eric Carlsson, drums
American Swedish Historical Museum, 1900 Pattison Avenue
$25 General Admission

The Golden Age of Swedish Jazz occurred in the mid-1950´s and was represented by very distinct and personal voices (such as Lars Gullin and Jan Johansson) that were taking inspiration from American West Coast Jazz as well as traditional Swedish Folk Music. Groundbreaking Swedish saxophonist-composer Mats Gustaffson – who has collaborated with everyone from Sonic Youth to Merzbow to Neneh Cherry – will lead this US debut of Swedish Azz, an all-Swedish ensemble that explores the intersection of these histories at the American Swedish Historical Museum, the oldest Swedish museum in the United States, built to commemorate the 1638 settlement of the New Sweden colony formed along the Delaware River.


Sunday, May 18, 8pm
Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Avenue
$15 General Admission

Ars Nova Workshop is excited to present solo sets by three pioneers of experimental music, Japan’s Keiji Haino, Australia’s Oren Ambarchi, and Philadelphia’s James Plotkin.

An influential figure in the development of experimental music in Japan, Keiji Haino’s work spans free improvisation, rock, noise, psychedelia, minimalism and drone. Working mostly with guitar and vocals, his performances are intensely cathartic sonic events. Born in 1952 in Chiba, Japan, he has released over twenty solo studio albums and collaborated with countless other musicians and composers, including Tony Conrad, Peter Brotzmann, Toru Takemitsu, and Faust, and has performed in ensembles like Fushitsusha and Nazoranai (with Stephen O’Malley and Oren Ambarchi). Haino’s career as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist began 43 years ago when he dropped out of high school. Since then, his musical influences have ranged from early blues music to the Japanese concept of “Ma,” or the silent spaces in music, and his radical approach resulting in his music being banned from Japan’s national broadcaster from 1973 to 2013.


Monday, May 19, 8pm
with Stephen O’Malley, guitar; and Steve Noble, drums
St. Francis de Sales Auditorium, 4625 Springfield Avenue
$15 General Admission

St. Francis was born to wealth, enjoyed it, and then renounced worldly goods and privilege in order to be closer to God. He was the first recorded stigmatic in Christian history. The St. Francis Duo – featuring pioneering British jazz drummer Steve Noble (Derek Bailey, Peter Brötzmann, Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith) and experimental guitarist-composer Stephen O’Malley, best know for his work in Sunn0))) and Khanate – will perform at St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church, a West Philadelphia icon built in the Byzantine Revival style. Tonight is their North American debut.