Chicago Scene: July 14-20, 2018

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

Saturday, July 14th, 2018

7:00PM at Silent Funny, 4106-08 W. Chicago Avenue
The Machine is Neither…
Sympathy for Astronauts

Sunday, July 15th 2018

9:00PM at the Hungry Brain, 2319 W Belmont (wheelchair-accessible)
Dave Rempis, Tim Daisy — CD release

Monday, July 16th 2018

7:30PM at Experimental Sound Studio, 5925 N Ravenswood, 773.769.1069
J@K@L : Fred Lonberg-Holm, Keefe Jackson, Julian Kirshner — Solos and Trio

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

Thursday, July 19th 2018

6:00PM at the Art Institute of Chicago, 111 S Michigan
Jeff Parker and The New Breed

9:00PM at Elastic, 3429 W Diversey, #208, 773.772.3616 ($10)
BV, Jim Baker, Kent Kessler, Julian Kirshner

Friday, July 20th 2018

7:00PM at the Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church, 4511 N Hermitage (Donation)
Morton Feldman Solo Piano
Jonathan Hannau
Christopher Narloch

8:30PM at Constellation, 3111 N Western ($12)
Jeff Parker and The New Breed

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

AMN Reviews: Cruel Diagonals – Disambiguation (2018; Drawing Room)

Cruel Diagonals is San Francisco area vocalist and musician Megan Mitchell. In general, the term disambiguation refers to focusing in on fewer or just one meaning of a word or term. The album Disambiguation, however, is notable for its expansive approach, combining ambient, neo-folk, drone, found-object stylings, and modern composition.

Mitchell’s vocals are haunting and often wordless. The mood she provides is more important than any lyrical message. Backing this are electronics, unconventional percussion, and waves of sound. As an example, Soporific Return begins with a mid-range, eerie drone accompanied by bell-like percussion. Mitchell subtly chants in the background and well as vocalizing in the foreground. The mood changes slightly past the halfway mark, as Mitchell’s voice dominates for the rest of the track, while the drone changes texture and slips further away.

Overall, Disambiguation creates a dystopian soundscape in which dark melancholy strains combine with more hopeful evocations. This is a place were musical structure, color, and mood are more important than melody or harmony. If comparisons are your thing, think Dead Can Dance mashed up with Coil and Pauline Oliveros and you would not be too far from the mark, though Disambiguation goes far beyond the sum of those parts. A unique and compelling release.

Vijay Iyer Interview

Source: Edinburgh Festival.

This radical openness defines Iyer’s music, which dissolves boundaries between mainstream and avant-garde jazz, classical music, hip-hop, funk and electronica. He’s just at home playing compositions by jazz greats like John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk as he is reinterpreting pop hits by M.I.A. or Michael Jackson. Iyer has also written concert music, such as Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi, a 2013 collaboration with filmmaker Prhashant Bhargava. A 2013 MacArthur Fellow and Harvard Professor of Music, Iyer has undertaken a formidable range of projects since he emerged in the 1990s as a sideman to the innovative saxophonist Steve Coleman. In addition to various solo and group projects, Iyer has regularly collaborated with the saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, spoken word artist Mike Ladd, and the veteran avant-garde trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, with whom he recorded the beautiful duo suite A Cosmic Rhythm With Every Stroke.

The Squid’s Ear Reviews

Source: The Squid’s Ear.

Sista Maj – Series Of Nested Universes (Space Rock Productions)

Maria Lucchese and Gio Kaptra – 777+2 Per Aspera ad Astra (Creative Sources)

Henry Kaiser & Ed Pettersen – We Call All Times Soon (Split Rock)

Shed Metal (Daniel Kernohan / Dan Lander) – Equivalent Insecurity (Spool)