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The next few days offer dozens of shows to choose from, and as always the Reader is here to help you sort them out. Check out a few recommendations from this week's Soundboard after the jump, and please choose wisely.
New York jazz pianist Dan Tepfer drew on Glenn Gould's recordings of Bach's Goldberg Variations as one of many sources of inspiration for his recent Goldberg Variations/Variations, an album Peter Margasak describes as an "ingenious and convincing improvised adaptation that builds on the source material." The pianist's take predictably imports ideas from jazz; as Margasak notes, "Even though his versions are more oblique, fractured, and contemplative than most other radical modern versions of the variations, the great liberties he takes never obliterate Bach's handiwork."
Former Ponytail guitarist Dustin Wong works in looped guitar lines, stacking them atop one another through his pedal board till he amasses a swell of sound that envelops the room. I was at his Bottle show back in March, and he owned the night, his colorful, nearly fluorescent guitar lines seamlessly morphing from playful to prog. Blues Control, who immediately precede Wong, have benefited from a recent move to the pastoral environment of Coopersburg, Pennsylvania, and you can hear it on their recent Valley Tangents. The album's got a kind of backwoodsy Cluster aesthetic that's all about meditative noodling and rolling rhythms. Also, this show is free.
Though German reedist Peter Brötzmann has a list of collaborators that stretches far and wide, Bill Meyer points out that you'd be hard-pressed to find a mallet player credited in his discography. But that changed last year when local vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz hooked up with Brötzmann at the Vision Festival. Meyer writes, "The vibes are often used in jazz to generate hazy atmosphere, but Adasiewicz is the rare player who hits as hard as he swings." This is their first Chicago show as a duo, and
next Wednesday on Sat 9/15 they play again in a quartet with bassist Joshua Abrams and drummer Hamid Drake.
Leor Galil calls this young indie-rock group's debut album, Art History, an "airy homage to 80s pop filled with shimmering synths, reverb-touched guitars, and delicate vocal harmonies." He thinks they've got untapped potential that's overshadowed by the stylization of every detail of their sound. With any luck their "coy hooks and uplifting melodies" will survive as the band matures.