AMN Reviews: SUSS – Ghost Box (2018; Bandcamp)

Ambient country music? I know, right? But somehow SUSS lives up to that label and manages to exceed initial expectations of what such a genre might entail. Consisting of Bob Holmes, Gary Leib, Pat Irwin, Jonathan Gregg, and William Garrett, these accomplished and acclaimed city-dwelling musicians set forth to construct a cinematic sound world that evokes the American West, at least as depicted in the popular media.

The seven short tracks of Ghost Box feature long warm drones, twanging six-string and steel guitar themes, long-held, distorted notes, whistling, harmonica, and subtle bass lines. Percussion is minimal and singing is absent, while the tempo is deliberate and contemplative. SUSS alludes to their music answering the question of what a collaboration between Brian Eno and Ennio Morricone would sound like. That is an apt way of contextualizing this release – a postmodern take on country-western that is tongue-in-cheek and serious at the same time.

Thus, while Ghost Box is not a truly avant-garde release, it is weird, interesting, and strangely compelling. Furthermore, it is one of those rare releases for which I can honestly say that I’ve never heard anything quite like it before.

In a time where the rural / urban divide in the United States is a point of frequent debate, it is refreshing for a bunch of New Yorkers to provide their take on a genre not usually associated with skyscrapers and latte-sipping. But any cultural significance aside, the music is just darn good and stands on its own.

Frequency Festival in Chicago February 20-25

Hamid Drake at Moers Festival 2006, Germany

Source: Frequency Festival.

FREQUENCY FESTIVAL
THE FESTIVAL OF CHICAGO’S NEW MUSIC SERIES

FEBRUARY 20-25, 2018
Presented by Constellation

MARTIN ARNOLD WITH JOSHUA ABRAMS AND FRIENDS
Tuesday, February 20, 6 PM
Museum of Contemporary Art
Free with museum admission (and Tuesdays are free for Illinois residents.)

HAMID DRAKE / BEYOND THIS POINT
Wednesday, February 21, 8:30 PM
Constellation

QUATOUR BOZZINI
Thursday, February 22, 6PM
Fullerton Hall, Art Institute of Chicago

WET INK ENSEMBLE
Friday, February 23, 8:30 PM
Constellation

INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY ENSEMBLE
Saturday, February 24, 8:30 PM
Constellation

JULIUS EASTMAN PORTRAIT CONCERT curated by Seth Parker Woods
Sunday, February 25, 2 PM
Preston Bradley Hall, Chicago Cultural Center

MARIEL ROBERTS with Eric Wubbels / HALEY FOHR
Sunday, February 25, 8:30 PM
Constellation

San Francisco Scene: January 13-19, 2018

Albert Ayler

Source: Bay Improviser.

Saturday, January 13

Sat 1/13 5:00 PM Minnesota St Projects, SF Arts Ed Gallery [1275 Minnesota St, 2nd floor SF, CA]
Join us for the premiere of Summer, Winter, Spring – a time lapse performance-film observing the seasons of San Francisco’s UN Plaza / Civic Center through a combined film, performance and live music score created using 2 years of time-lapse performances in UN Plaza. Summer,Winter, Spring opens Jan 13th, 2018 with an opening reception from 5p-8p at the Minnesota St Projects, SF Arts Ed Gallery (1275 Minnesota St, 2nd floor), an artist talk / discussion Jan 20th from 2p-4p and live performances Fri Jan. 26th and Sat Jan. 27th at 8pm.

Sat 1/13 7:30 PM The Red Poppy Art House [2698 Folsom St @23rd St SF]
Bye Bye Bartok – classic themes by great symphonic and chamber composers reimagined
Darren Johnston – trumpet
Matt Renzi – woodwinds
Adam Shulman – piano
Eric Vogler – bass

Sat 1/13 9:30 PM Studio Grand [3234 Grand Ave, Oakland]
In Too Deep: Bleie + Chamberlain + visuals by Chelley Sherman & Jesse Austin
In Too Deep is a monthly series (every Second Saturday) curated by electronic music duo KYN (Josh Casey & Yari Bundy) in association with Studio Grand. Incorporating Bay Area experimental traditions and the sounds of Berlin’s underground dance scene, In Too Deep seeks to create a space for those left wanting more from the current sound of commercialized electronic music, and to present an audiovisual landscape incorporating rhythm, noise, and atmosphere. Expect live electronic music that moves you physically and spiritually. In an effort to create a truly immersive experience, each performance will be accompanied by live visuals from some of our favorite local artists.

Sunday, January 14

Sun 1/14 7:30 PM SIMM Series @ The Musicians Union Hall [116 9th St @ Mission SF]
7:45pm Duo Jones Feona/Staiano Moe!
Moe! Staiano – percussion Feona Jones – piano
8:30pm Peter Kuhn Quartet
Peter Kuhn – woodwinds/Chris Brown – piano/Scott Walton – bass/Kjell Nordeson – percussion

Sun 1/14 8:00 PM CNMAT [1750 Arch Street Berkeley]
CNMAT Users Group presents: Weston Olencki + Eric Wubbels

Tuesday, January 16

Tue 1/16 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
D U C K R U B B E R: Dislodgements
D U C K R U B B E R, a bi-coastal trio that focuses on exploring the interstices between instrumental performance and multimedia augmentation, presents works collaboratively made by its members as well as Ashley Fure’s “Wire and Wool” for cello and electronics.

Wednesday, January 17

Wed 1/17 7:30 PM Canessa Gallery [708 Montgomery St SF]
January’s Canessa Gallery concert will be the album release show for the new album by arc, ‘monument 36’ and will feature performances by Syrnx, PVBLIC BATH, and Kaori Suzuki.

Wed 1/17 7:45 PM Peacock Lounge [552 Haight St SF]
Experimental music night featuring…
Bruce Anderson (MX-80) & A.C. Way (Thoabath)
Cube http://mycube.bandcamp.com
Frank’s Tina Takes https://soundcloud.com/franzrolloverminutes
Christina Stanley https://soundcloud.com/christina-stanley
Peacock Lounge, 552 Haight St $5 notaflof all-ages

Wed 1/17 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Molly Gebrian & Danny Holt: Trios for Two
Violist Molly Gebrian is joined by Danny Holt, who plays piano and percussion simultaneously. The unique duo is celebrating the release of their debut CD on Innova Recordings, “Trios for Two”. Holt’s piano/percussion playing must be seen to be believed!

Thursday, January 18

Thu 1/18 7:30 PM SFJAZZ Center [201 Franklin Street (at Fell) SF CA]
Vijay Iyer, Craig Taborn, Kris Davis.
Vijay Iyer begins his four-night residency by inviting another of the jazz world’s most explorative and virtuosic pianists for this exclusive evening of duets.

Thu 1/18 8:00 PM Luggage Store Creative Music Series [1007 Market Street SF]
8pm Pino/Hertz
Mark Pino – percussion, Jack Hertz – electronics/synths
9pm Hummel
Brian Pedersen-sax Timothy Orr-drums Robert Lopez-drums Shanna Sordahl-cello Sung Kim-“cello”

Thu 1/18 8:00 PM Center for New Music [55 Taylor St SF]
Body to Noise: The Music of Amadeus Regucera, John MacCallum, and Toshio Hosokawa, feat. Stacey Pelinka, flutes

Thu 1/18 9:00 PM Octopus Literary Salon [2101 Webster St. #170 Oakland]
Grex & Two Aerials
An evening of cutting-edge Bay Area sounds and songs, featuring incendiary art rock duo Grex and indie/experimental band Two Aerials.

Friday, January 19

Fri 1/19 7:00 PM Adobe Books [3130 24th St SF]
Thomas Dimuzio – http://www.thomasdimuzio.com/
Kris Force – http://krisforce.com/home.html
Fluorescent Grey – https://fluorescent-grey.bandcamp.com/
Gradient Fade

Fri 1/19 7:30 PM San Francisco Conservatory of Music [50 Oak St. SF]
In a special guest appearance, maverick vocalist and composer Meredith Monk joins SFCMP for a performance and discussion of two of her works, Ellis Island for duo pianos and Cave Song from her film project The Book of Days. Also on the program are Zorn’s “Cobra” and Frederic Rzewski’s “Les Moutons de Panurge”, which engage the large-ensemble energies of the performers to create unheard-of possibilities. Completing the program are Pulitzer Prize finalist Don Byron’s 7 Etudes, and two works by Bay Area composers, Under the Rug by Ryan Brown, and Twist for guitar and violin by Vivian Fung.

Fri 1/19 7:30 PM SFJAZZ Center [201 Franklin Street (at Fell) SF CA]
Vijay Iyer’s longstanding trio with bassist Stephan Crump and drummer Marcus Gilmore

Fri 1/19 8:00 PM EastSide Cultural Center [2277 International Blvd Oakland]
Dohee Lee / ARA Ritual III- Waterways, Time Weaves

Fri 1/19 8:00 PM Radius Gallery [1050 River St #127 Santa Cruz]
Arrington de Dionyso and Ben Bennett channel the ecstatic moment through strikingly limited physical and musical materials. Saxophonist Arrington de Dionyso’s perpetually touring moniker THIS SAXOPHONE KILLS FASCISTS is a recombinant performance of touring and local musicians, with the aim of channeling Albert Ayler’s recognition of music as the healing force of the universe. Percussionist Ben Bennett works with a deconstructed set of drums and resonant objects intended to fit in a backpack for bicycle tours and easy transportation. In addition to his live performance practice, Bennett is known for his more than 200 four-hour livestreams of himself called “Sitting and Smiling,” which The Atlantic described as “an extreme version of engagement with the present.”

Fri 1/19 8:00 PM Community Music Center [544 Capp Street SF]
Jazz in the Neighborhood presents the Ben Goldberg School performing music from the newly released CD, Ben Goldberg School, Vol. 1: The Humanities. The ensemble will be Ben Goldberg, clarinet; Kasey Knudsen, alto sax; Jeff Cressman, trombone; rob reich, piano and accordian; David Ewell, bass; and Hamir Atwal, drums. Joining them on vibraphone will be Emerging Artist Dan Neville.

The Genius and the Tragedy of Julius Eastman 

Source: The New Yorker.

Julius Eastman is the kind of American genius not enough people know about. I first heard of him from the composer Nico Muhly; for years, Eastman had been a known-ish quantity in music circles, but even there he was something of a mystery, owing in part to the fact that he died under unhappy circumstances. Born in New York City in 1940, and raised in Ithaca, he had a younger brother, Gerry, who ended up playing guitar for Count Basie. As a student, Eastman earned his degree in piano and composition at the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music, in Philadelphia. But Eastman’s gifts were not limited to paper. He had a remarkable voice—deep, soulful, nuanced—that attracted attention.

Downtown Music Gallery Newsletters

English: Cosey Fanni Tutti performing with Thr...

Source: Downtown Music Gallery.

Peter Blegvad Quintet! Sylvie Couvoisier Trio: Drew Gress & Kenny Wollesen! ZNR: Hector Zazou & Joseph Racaille! New Jazz Fest Balver Hohle: Brotzmann & Bennink, John Surman Trio Albert Mangelsdorff, Willem Breuker Kollektief, Eddie Prevost! Florian Egli Weird Beard!

Ernest Dawkins’ New Horizons Ensemble Vijay Iyer! New from Not Two & Listen! Foundation: DKV Trio: Drake/Kessler/Vandermark! Frode Gjerstad/Willam Parker/Hamid Drake! Trevor Watts & Strings! Joe Morris! Agusti Fernandez! Samo Salamon / Szilard Mezei / Achille Succi!

Plus Archival Music from Herbie Hancock! U Roy! A Tribute to Roswell Rudd! A Relative Pitch Sale! And Loads of Vinyl from: Duck Baker Plays Thelonious Monk! Sun Ra Arkestra! David Behrman! Lasse Marhaug/Jon Wesseltoft! John Coltrane! Billie Holiday! B.B. King! Four from Heldon! Cosey Fanni Tutti! Tropicalia and Even More!

***************

THE DMG 27TH ANNIVERSARY SERIES OF SONIC CELEBRATIONS Continue with:

Sunday, January 14th:
6pm: XANDER NAYLOR – Solo Electric Guitar
7pm: VIV CORRINGHAM and NYKOILA HAYN- Vocals and Guitar

Rare Saturday, January 20th Event:
6pm: DAMON SMITH and MICHAEL VATCHER – Contrabass & Drums
7pm: TOMCHESS – Oud, Ney, Morsing / ESAT EKINCIOGLU – Acoustic Bass

Sunday, January 21st:
6pm: ZODIAC SAX QUARTET: CHARLES WATERS / CLAIRE DALY /
LEE ODOM / RAS MOSHE BURNETT – Saxes
7pm: GUILLERMO GREGORIO / NICK JOZWIAK / TODD CAPP – Clarinet / Cello / Drums

Sunday January 28th:
6pm: MICHAEL VATCHER & JACK WRIGHT – Drums and Sax
7pm: MICHAEL FOSTER / BEN GERSTEIN / SEAN ALI / FLIN VAN HEMMEN – While We Still Have Bodies – Sax / Trombone / Acoustic Bass / Percussion

Sunday, February 4th 2018:
6pm: ZERO POINT: DANIEL CARTER / DERIC DICKENS / MICHAEL BATES / MARIUS DUBOULE
7pm: BEYOND TRIO: CHERYL PYLE / CLAIRE de BRUNNER / DANIEL CARTER

DMG is located at 13 Monroe St. (between Catherine & Market Sts) in a basement below a small gallery. Take the F train to East Broadway or the 6 train to Canal or the B or D to Grand, or the M-15 bus to Madison & Catherine. Come on Down, the Sunday Music Series is Always Free & the Vibes are Always Cosy