AMN Reviews: Fond of Tigers – Uninhabit (2016; Offseason Records)


This 7-piece Vancouver-based group occupies a unique point on the avant-rock spectrum. Incorporating post-rock, improv, classical, and even a bit of alternative and hard rock, they power through five idiosyncratic tracks on Uninhabit. Led by Stephen Lyons on guitar and vocals, other members include Morgan McDonald on keyboards, J.P. Carter on trumpet, Dan Gaucher and Skye Brooks on drums, Shanto Acharia on bass and Jesse Zubot on violins and electronics.

Primarily an instrumental release, Lyons’ vocals appear on two pieces, accompanying his raw guitar playing. The presence of the two drummers is not overwhelming, and can easily be missed. Overall, the keyboards have a subtle presence in comparison to the other instruments.

Heartwarmongering No. 4 begins with a tense drum / bass pattern that is joined by trumpet, violin and guitar lines. With a little improv around the edges, this intro eventually morphs in the main theme of the piece – sweeping guitars and horns over a driving rhythm, with occasional “outside” elements. Wonder What We’re Whispering For features half-whispered, half-growled vocals for the first four of its seven minutes, the remainder being a riff-driven piece with staccato violin and horns.

The eight-minute title track explores prog-rock styled instrumental themes, while Cause B begins with speed picking before transforming into free improv over a staggered rhythm. Everything Moves features alt-rock styled vocals over scratchy instrumentation. The latter half is all-out post rock with the group working together to form pounding walls of sound.

One of the curiosities of Uninhabit is how it manages to mix the familiar and the strange. At various points, you might think that you are listening to a mainstream rock album, until the composition takes an angular turn into unstructured territory. While not overly complex, the compositions herein are interesting and compelling.

Fond of Tigers could be placed in the same bucket as a group such as Bent Knee – art rock that straddles a number of styles with ease.  Regardless of categorization, this release is highly recommended.

Chicago Scene: October 16-22, 2016

Eisenhower Expressway {| cellspacing="0&q...

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

Sunday, October 16th 2016

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($10)
Splinter Reeds : Kyle Bruckmann, Bill Kalinkos, David Wegehaupt, Jeff Anderle, Dana Jessen — music by Eric Wubbels, Sam Pluta, Yannis Kyriakides, Matthew Shlomowitz, Alex Mincek

Monday, October 17th 2016

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

Thursday, October 20th 2016

9:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($10)
Kyle Bruckmann, Katie Young, Sam Pluta
Gazillion Fears : James Davis, Jim Baker, Eli Namay, Phil Sudderberg

Saturday, October 22nd 2016

8:00PM at Graham Foundation (Madlener House), 4 W Burton Pl (Free, RSVP)
Yoshi Wada, Tashi Wada

8:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616
Welcome Piano!
Jim Baker
Lara Driscoll
Paul Giallorenzo
Billie Howard
Mabel Kwan
Dan Pierson
Marc Riordan
Akenya Seymour

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

Ann Arbor Edgefest Lineup

English: Ingrid Laubrock, moers festival 2010

Source: Kerrytown Concert House, which is hosting the 20th Edgefest starting in about 10 days.

Wed 10/26 6:00pm Will McEvoy’s Third Coast Quartet
Wed 10/26 7:00pm Sylvaine Hélary’s Spring Roll
Wed 10/26 9:00pm Wadada Leo Smith & John Lindberg – Celestial Weather Midwest Duets
Thu 10/27 7:00pm TranceFormation – A Tribute to Connie Crothers
Thu 10/27 8:00pm John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet
Thu 10/27 9:00pm Ingrid Laubrock’s Serpentines
Thu 10/27 10:00pm David Torn’s Nohband + Craig Taborn at the Club Above at the Heidelberg Restaurant
Fri 10/28 6:00pm Craig Taborn, solo piano
Fri 10/28 6:30pm Conference Call Quartet
Fri 10/28 7:30pm Kris Davis Trio
Fri 10/28 8:30pm Jason Kao Hwang’s Burning Bridge Ensemble
Fri 10/28 9:30pm William Parker Quartet
Sat 10/29 12:00pm Edgefest Parade
Sat 10/29 2:00pm MoTreetown Collective & Northwoods Improvisers Trio
Sat 10/29 4:00pm Trio 3 (4 PM)
Sat 10/29 7:00pm Trio 3 (7 PM)
Sat 10/29 8:30pm John Hollenbeck, Stephen Rush & The University of Michigan Jazz Ensemble At St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
Sat 10/29 10:00pm Tad Weed’s Freedom Ensemble featuring Vinny Golia

Kaija Saariaho NY Performance Reviewed


Many of Kaija Saariaho’s orchestral pieces unfold with minute and seemingly constant shifts of subtle sounds and colorings. Dense chords murmur restlessly, as wavering melodic lines escape from sustained, quivering sonorities and spin off, sometimes disappearing into an ether. The instrumental writing is continually varied and wondrously strange.

Though it might seem counterintuitive, Ms. Saariaho’s most ruminative and mystical orchestral works are often best perceived in large, open spaces, where myriad sounds can be dispersed to create an enveloping experience for listeners. So, when Pierre Audi, the new artistic director of the Park Avenue Armory, suggested that the New York Philharmonic play a Saariaho program there, the composer embraced it.

Roulette in November

English: Zeena Parkins performing with Cosa Br...

Source: New York’s Roulette.

On November 9, Zeena Parkins performs The Captiva Pieces, a solo set of new works for acoustic harp developed for In Tow, a collaborative project with choreographer Jennifer Monson, and created at the Rauschenberg Residency on Captiva Island, Florida. The performance will be followed by Zeena’s band Green Dome (members Ryan Ross Smith and Ryan Sawyer), who will be performing movements from LACE, an ongoing project that uses pieces of lace and knitting patterns as scores.

The following week, on November 14, Roulette hosts an exemplary evening of premieres from guitarist Mick Barr and soprano Judith Berkson, offering a rare occasion to hear the artists perform each other’s pieces. The program will include Berkson premiering Barr’s piece Wethantheld (2015) for voice and organ followed by Barr premiering a new work from Berkson.

On November 15, Ron Stabinsky presents an evening of solo piano improvisations on the occasion of his debut album, Free for One. Bassist Tom Blancarte opens.

Further details available at the links below + attached.

Wednesday, November 9 @ 8pm
Zeena Parkins and Green Dome

Monday, November 14 @ 8pm
Mick Barr and Judith Berkson

Tuesday, November 15 @ 8pm
Ron Stabinsky: Free for One Album Release Celebration // Tom Blancarte Solo

Upcoming Detroit Shows

Fred Lonberg-Holm in 2002

Source: Trinosophes.

Saturday, 10/15: Battle Trance, Alex Levine Quartet, Ben Willis Bass Quartet

Battle Trance is a highly unusual quartet of all tenor saxophones. It uses the extended techniques of improvisors as the raw material of the group’s sound, which coalesces from moody or tranquil atmospheres into clear compositions . Joining them on the bill are groups from Detroit’s outstanding new generation of players- Alex Levine Quartet and Ben Willis Bass Quartet.

Sunday 10/16: Frode Gjerstad Trio Nordic avant jazz/improvised music with the prolific Frode Gjerstadt returning in a new trio configuration: Frode Gjerstadt (reeds), Jon Rune Strom (doublebass) and Chicago music great Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello). This drummer-less arrangement is sure to be great for the subtle interplay of these noted improvisors.

Saturday & Sunday 10/22 & 10/23: Phil Ranelin Quintet celebrates the 40th anniversary of Vibes From the Tribe! Come help us celebrate one the most iconic Detroit recordings of the 70’s, Phil Ranelin’s “Vibes From the Tribe,” The trombonist and founder of Tribe Records has put together a supergroup of former and current Detroit heavyweights, including Rod Williams (piano), Jaribu Shahid (double bass), Marcus Elliot (saxophones and winds) and Djallo Djakate (drums).

10/29: Conference Call
10/30: Weyes Blood, Arch Mystics, Tarpit
11/4: Tribute to Moondog for his 100th birthday with The Wretched and the Lovely (Frank Pahl, Clem Fortuna, Joel Peterson, Mary Richards, Doug Shimmin, Mike Shimmin, Doug Gourlay, Tim Homes)