I realized that I never posted anything about my last solo show at The Empty Bottle (satisfying, tiny audience) or the collaboration with Bruce Lamont and Jason Soliday at AV-aerie (a cool night and a great experience, overall).
Friday's show at The Flowershop was one of my favorite events that I have ever set up. It was really satisfying, conceptually, to combine a range of artists that went from harsh noise to fun electro, practically dance music.
Peaking Lights started off the night by getting some electric shocks and then by combining some mad scientist equipment action with a more "pastoral synth vibe" - with an unusual strain of minimal synth, building beautiful songs and nicely bridging the gap between what Aaron Dilloway and Magas were doing. It was a pleasure to see/hear Peaking Lights play in Chicago again, so soon.
Club Spouse (AKA Henry from The Flowershop, formerly of Cleveland, Ohio) started out building up a solid, steady beat on a drum kit and then he turned to build up an increasingly dense web of electronics. This was the first surprise of the night, as his thing sort of came out of nowhere. I would like to see him on a bill with - or possible facing off against - or collaborating with - Pisspisspiss Moanmoanmoan. There was a shared sensibility at work.
Jason Soliday was up next, and let me start by saying that there were a couple of girls standing pretty close to him - and close to the speakers, too. When Jason blasted on (off?), both girls literally jumped up into the air in fright/surprise. Amazing! This was the harshest and most to-the-point set that I have ever heard from Jason. He must be prepping for the Astro shows...
I played next and I did an extended feedback build-up before calmly moving into the alternate vocal melody of "In Fives." I was told that it was "loud" and "extreme." It lasted about 18 minutes, and I got a really clear recording, enhanced by the sub-woofer action.
Magas came on shortly after me and he got the crowd moving with his beats and undeniable stage presence. It was great to see/hear some cool Arp Odyssey action going on, too. The highlight may have been "Goose In The Graveyard," just because... Totally cool to see Jim play in a non-club situation. Um... very rare...
Aaron Dilloway was up last, with an unannounced special guest: cellist Hans Buetow of Graveyards fame. I almost do not want to describe what occurred. I sort of just want to keep it in my mind. Safe to say, with modular synth and chaser-light sequencer at hand, we were treated to yet another facet of Aaron's arsenal... something that might have been heard at a progressive-minded art institution, circa 1971, maybe? I am not even sure what terms to use. "Expansive"? "Next level"? Anyway, it was a treat.
Thanks to Henry at The Flowershop, for hosting the show - and to all of the other folks there that helped throughout the night. Thanks to Jason Soliday and Eric Leonardson, for letting us use the full Enemy PA. Thanks to Aaron and Hans and Indra and Aaron, for visiting Chicago. Thanks to James Marlon Magas for taking part. Thanks to everyone who came out to support - since there were at least three other shows/events that split up the potential audience for the night --- and particularly those who actually PAID to see this event (or paid the suggested amount). I feel like I have to say that the take at the door was embarrassingly light to hand over to the out-of-towners.