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In the late 90s TV Pow frequently performed their minimal, gestural sound art with nothing but laptops--I nearly forgot that Michael Hartman and Brent Gutzeit, who founded the band while living in Japan in 1995, started out playing real drums and electric bass. But the trio's brand-new album, TV Pow Presents Michael Hartman, Todd A. Carter, and Brent Gutzeit as TV Pow (Southport), makes it unequivocally clear that they see the computer as just one tool among many. It's their most beautiful and focused effort, with five lengthy, quiet pieces that dissolve between evocative field recordings and multitracked layers of minimalist, abstract group improvisation on acoustic piano, guitar, and drums, which are played with brushes or soft mallets instead of sticks; there are even some vocals. It's nowhere near as heavily edited as many of their earlier discs, and laptop noise is present only as an undercurrent. "The International Brigade," for example, combines Satie-esque piano miniatures, serene and distant-sounding street recordings, muffled electronic hums and flutters, and the gentle rustling and chiming of what might be a string of bells held very close to a microphone. On much of the album they sound like a less glacial AMM--though none of them can play piano or percussion like John Tilbury and Eddie Prevost, they've got keen ears for the tiniest of details and a strong collective instinct for organizing sounds on the fly. For this program, entitled "Celebrating 11 Years of Good Decisions," the group will use laptops and live acoustic and electric instrumentation with a four-channel surround-sound system and two independent subwoofers, which will handle output from the band as well as from what Carter calls "real-time/life sound sources from the immediate and surrounding environments"--that is, mikes outside on the sidewalk. Sat 2/18, 9 PM, 6Odum, 2116 W. Chicago, 773-227-3617, $10. All ages.

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