12 O'Clock Track: Bitchin Bajas, "Water 4"

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<em>Water Wrackets</em> by Bitchin Bajas
  • Water Wrackets by Bitchin Bajas
One of my favorite things about the Chicago music scene is that nobody seems to be able to sit still. It seems like almost everyone, no matter how busy or popular their band is, has one or two other musical projects going on as well. Cave is a perfect example. Last year they released, in my ever-so-humble opinion, the best local record of the year and toured behind it relentlessly, and their members were still productive with impressive side projects: bassist Dan Browning, for instance, plays with thrash revivalists Zath (along with members of Cacaw and Ga'an, who are seriously in like seven other bands too), and today's 12 O'Clock Track is from Bitchin Bajas, the solo project of Cave guitarist and organist Cooper Crain.

Crain records and releases Bitchin Bajas material faster than I can keep up with it. He's put out small runs of LPs, 45s, and tapes on labels including Captcha, Important, and Permanent Records. "Water 4" comes from his score for the 1975 film Water Wrackets. It's a dreamy, blissful synth piece—atmospheric, sweeping, and beautiful, like Eno or Tangerine Dream. You can catch Crain live twice in the next couple weeks. He's playing Sat 3/3 at the Burlington and Sat 3/10 at the Empty Bottle (both shows are with power-noise trio Bad Drugs). He usually performs as Bitchin Bajas while sitting on the floor or hiding behind the sound booth. Who needs a stage?

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