The Burlington raises the bar | Bleader

The Burlington raises the bar


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John Elliott
  • John Elliott
The Burlington Bar in Logan Square may have a small live room, but it's been booking an interesting mix of stuff, including plenty of experimental music. Much of the credit goes to Matt Kimmel, who says he's responsible for about 70 percent of the club's calendar—including tonight's show by Rhyton, the April 9 show by 200 Years (the duo of Ben Chasny from Six Organs of Admittance and Elisa Ambrogio from Magik Markers), and the April 13 set by Steve Hauschildt of Emeralds. Along with Daniel Smith, Kimmel organizes Neon Marshmallow, and they've expanded from producing the ambitious festival in Chicago to presenting a New York version too, as well as individual concerts throughout the year. The pair is "slowly putting together" the next local installment of the fest.

Tomorrow night the Burlington hosts another impressive bill, headlined by Cleveland's Imaginary Softwoods, a solo project of another Emeralds member, John Elliott (whose other musical aliases include Mist and Inner Spaced). The evening's openers are Portland-based Rene Hell (aka Jeff Witscher) and two Chicago acts, Chemtrails and Chelsey Hoff. The most recent Imaginary Softwoods release, The Path of Spectrolite (Amethyst Sunset), doesn't sound all that different from Emeralds, with lush, pulsing synthesizers shaping a mix of ambient drone, kosmische, and 70s progressive rock, but Elliott assembles the electronic parts (and the subtle, abstract vocals) with the care and logic of a composer. Compared with his earlier recordings in this guise, which were more austere, harsher, and more monochromatic, The Path of Spectrolite is an explosion of color and dynamics: an unrelenting winter transforming into the brilliance of spring. You can check out a track from the album below.

Imaginary Softwoods, "Eye Color"

Today's playlist:

Joe Harriott Quintet, Swings High (Cadillac)
T. Rex, Futuristic Dragon (Rhino)
Sonny Simmons, Staying on the Watch (ESP-Disk)
Trio Mocotó, Trio Mocotó (RGE/Som Livre)
Lee "Scratch" Perry & the Upsetters, The Upsetter Shop, Volume 2: 1969 to 1973 (Heartbeat)