Saturday, May 28, 2011

Flavorpill on 6/4

Martial Canterel w/ Population and Anatomy of Habit

Editor Pick
When: Saturday June 4 (10pm)
Where: Viaduct Theater, 3111 N. Western Ave., 773.296.6024
Price: $10
Martial Canterel is the solo moniker of Xeno & Oaklander's Sean McBride, the Wierd Records flagship artist who stands at the forefront of the coldwave/minimal synth movement. Canterel possesses a note-perfect grasp of the analog/step-sequencer aesthetic of his '80s forefathers — bands whose DIY über-obscurity made Mute and Factory Records post-punks look like stadium headliners. On the recent catalog survey Retrospective and, in particular, this year's excellent You Today, Canterel also mirrors the old era's knack for darning a kind of melancholic, even humanistic romance from so much elemental severity. Try the fleet-footed, OMD-esque melodicism of "You Today" or "Occupy These Terms."
  Stephen Gossett, Flavorpill

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Fun show last night at The Abbey Pub.  I walked in just as Rabid Rabbit were building a drone into their first song.  Something sounded different and it was confirmed by ace soundman Matt that the venue had recently beefed up the sub bass in their sound system, which has always been loud but sometimes sounds a bit harsh.  Not last night.  Rabid Rabbit sounded fantastic and it was really nice to see them at back-to-back shows.  As a point of difference, last night, Dave Rempis sounded great, sitting in with them on one song.  Earthen Grave were up next and they have more in common with the earlier phase of bassist Ron Holzner's (also of friends My Cold Dead Hand) former band, Trouble.  Out of the gate, they had a Pentagram/Black Sabbath sort of thing happening.  Recommended for classic doom style fans.  Their singer can really belt it out.  At times he has a higher register melodic thing happening and he can also do a less blues/swagger Danzig-esque thing.  Indian was on next and over that enhanced PA (not to mention the battalion of Emperors) they compressed my ear canals within moments.  Pure raw nihilism.  Total destruction.  And "Banality," a song that I often hear through the ceiling at the practice space and that may just be the harshest song of 2011, was totally crushing as their set closer.  Unsane was up last and it had been ages since I last saw them.  You know what to expect with them... heavy noise-rock meets post-hardcore meets metal riffs... with Vinny Signorelli's (also ex-Swans) driving beats propelling the whole ship forward.  Great night!

Reader on 5/30

Neil Young may have named his latest album Le Noise, but it's neither as French nor as noisy as Richard Pinhas's recent work. The Paris-born guitarist has been merging rock and electronics since the early 70s, when he founded the group Heldon, and he's run the gamut from bone-crunching, mathy prog to sublimely drifting pieces for looped guitar and sampled speech from philosopher Gilles Deleuze or sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick. He's spent much of his career playing with family (his son Duncan, who will play electronics tonight) and old buddies from Heldon and Magma, but since 2007 he's also recorded with Michigan freak-scuzz combo Wolf Eyes and the dean of Japanese noise, Merzbow. On the new Rhizome (Cuneiform), a live Pinhas-Merzbow duo album, the guitarist's swooping phrases and snaky leads take on a gritty bite that helps them cut through the squelchy gargles and implacable beats emanating from his partner's laptop. But on "Hysteria," the half-hour centerpiece of last year's double CD Metal/Crystal (Cuneiform), Pinhas melts down his instrumental voice till it's inseparable from the roiling maelstrom of blasts and blips from Merzbow and Wolf Eyes—the intimacy of their violent dance is all the more impressive given that the component tracks were recorded independently on three different continents. Though Pinhas just turned 60, an age by which a musician has usually let you know what to expect from him, his field of play has never been more wide open. Opening are Magas, who's debuting new material for analog synth and Roland TR-808 drum machine; Scum Ra, aka Plastic Crimewave of the Reader's Secret History of Chicago Music with Kathleen Baird of Spires That in the Sunset Rise; and Mark Solotroff of Bloodyminded and Anatomy of Habit. —Bill Meyer 8:30 PM, Abbey Pub, $12, $10 in advance.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tonight at The Abbey Pub

Those of you in Chicago -- don't forget that Rabid Rabbit, Indian, Earthen Grave and Unsane are playing tonight at The Abbey Pub.  Doors are at 8:00 and showtime is 8:30.  Rabid Rabbit sounded so good on Saturday at Cobra Lounge. Indian are on a roll, like a battalion of tanks rolling through your city.  Earthen Grave feature Ron Holzner from our friends in My Cold Dead Hand (and he was in, oh yeah, Trouble).  Doom!  And Unsane bring the record sleeve art bloodshed to life.

Time Out on Richard Pinhas

From Time Out Chicago

Radian at the Hideout; Richard Pinhas at Abbey Pub

Concert preview

Rare appearances from French and Austrian acts offer an electroacoustic primer.

By Areif Sless-Kitain

Richard Pinhas

Photo: Patrick Jelin

The term Musique concrète was coined more than half a century ago, and the genre’s spawned exponential mutations since. In Chicago, those devoted to the sound flock to hubs like Elastic and Enemy to get their fix. The latter would be a fitting home for electroacoustic pioneer Richard Pinhas, were he not such a rare breed—capable of commanding a large hall with an audio- (and, often, audience-) fragmenting sound.

Nearly four decades into a career spent shattering boundaries, the Parisian experimentalist, who once took cues from Robert Fripp, now pals around with noise-loving contemporaries like Merzbow and Wolf Eyes. Both pop up on the philosophy buff’s latest, last year’s massive Metal/Crystal, which pairs moods and minerals in titles like “Paranoia (Iridium)” and “Schizophrenia (Silver)” that live up to their names with fractured, distortion-soaked soundtracks. Chaotic swatches of feedback and fuzz collide and gnash their teeth. To the Frenchman’s ear, the white noise that makes others flip the channel is the main attraction.

Radian’s ambient racket takes root in Austria. The trio relies more on acoustic instruments and improvisation, breaking out electronic tools to slice and dice the results. On its latest for Thrill Jockey, Chimeric, abstract and industrial tones trade off, occupying the same supple atmosphere. Stateside appearances from both of these acts are as unpredictable as their music, making this pair of shows a rare primer for the uninitiated.

Radian, Hideout; Sat 28
Richard Pinhas, Abbey Pub; Mon 30

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Status - 5/24

- Just back from a tasty stop at Frietkoten in the French Market and heading out to Anatomy of practice after a quick espresso.  Lots of work to do in preparation for debuting a new set at our June 4 show.  As a reminder:

- I had a great The Fortieth Day session with Isidro last night. We started the night by cheating on Kuma's and having burgers closer by at Cobra Lounge.  We were there too early for the Nachtmystium DJ action, and the Ms. Nachtmystium bartender action, unfortunately.  We tried some different things at the space last plan was to start "all in" and then slowly pull back, injecting some dynamics along the way. I am looking forward to reviewing the recording...but today was too busy.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Poster for 5/30 show

Poster for May 30, 2011 show

Saturday Night Doomsday Doom

As the apocalypse had failed to occur, it was a pleasure to see/hear Rabid Rabbit play a heavy, loud and clear set of doom last night at Cobra Lounge.  I am really enjoying the newer songs on which Dan and Arman join Andrea on vocals.  Those who missed it should try to catch them this coming Wednesday at The Abbey Pub with Indian, Earthen Grave, and Unsane.  I made it home just in time to see a fleet of Chicago Police Department squad cards, SUVs and paddy wagons swarm my block and alley, with at least 25 officers with flashlights methodically going through all of the yards and overgrown vacant lots, looking very carefully for someone...