It looks like M.I.A. is spending Thanksgiving in Chicago this week--not that it will mean much to a Sri Lankan who's spent most of her life in England. She plays tomorrow at House of Blues and she has a sold-out gig Friday at the Vic. When a couple of her collaborators spun here a few months ago, I waxed enthusiastic over her second album, Kala (Interscope), and many listens later my level of enjoyment hasn’t waned. It seems like a lock to end up in my top ten albums of the year. Her musical culture clashes only seem to take on greater resonance, both in the metaphoric sense and the beat-colliding one. I wish I were going to be in town to see if her stage persona has gotten any closer to the charisma and confidence she exudes on record.
Next week begins a lengthy celebration of the ten-year anniversary of the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet—the group being feted plays just once, at the MCA on December 1, but a deluge of super spin-off groups and ad hoc assemblages will be making noise at venues like the Hungry Brain, the Hideout, and Elastic for over a week. A superb exhibition of Brötzmann's visual art runs through December 1 at Corbett vs. Dempsey, but last week a complementary show of his work in metal and wood, made between 1963 and 2004, opened in the Education Lobby of the museum. It runs through December 2.
Four Mints, Gently Down Your Stream (Asterisk)
Anthony Braxton, Quartet (Dortmund) 1976 (Hatology)
Bob & Gene, If This World Were Mine . . . (Daptone)
Anthony Brown, Family (Asian Improv)
João Donato, O Piano de João Donato (Deckdisc)