The weekend's best shows include Matmos and Horse Lords, the International Contemporary Ensemble, and Kris Davis | Bleader

The weekend's best shows include Matmos and Horse Lords, the International Contemporary Ensemble, and Kris Davis


Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe


  • James Thomas Marsh
  • Matmos
Valentine's Day is over. The pink crap has been gifted, the fancy dinner has been digested. Time to get back to living the good life of only caring about yourself. First order of business: ditch your longtime significant other or the significant other you met last night who won't get out of your apartment and go to a rock (or jazz or avant-garde classical) show by yourself. Unsurprisingly, Soundboard has plenty of suggestions for this weekend.

Fri 2/15: Matmos and House Lords at the Empty Bottle

Peter Margasak writes that for The Marriage of True Minds, Matmos's first album in five years, the duo "recruited a variety of acquaintances, sequestering them one at a time with their eyes covered and their ears deadened by headphones playing white noise; meanwhile [Drew] Daniel sat in an adjacent room and attempted to mentally transmit 'the concept of the new Matmos record' to each person." If nothing else, that pretty out-there concept is probably well worth your ten bucks.

"Rooted in the mechanical, repetitive Krautrock of Neu! and Can" according to Luca Cimarusti, House Lords might seem like another band riding that trendy Kraut wave. But the fact that they're "propelled by the rhythm section from Black Eyes or late-era Fugazi" and that guitarist Owen Gardner plays a customized mutant instrument makes 'em stick out from the pack and "transcend expectations."

Sat 2/16: International Contemporary Ensemble with Carla Kihlstedt and Phyllis Chen at the MCA

Produced through the International Contemporary Ensemble's ICElab program, tonight's installment of the group's MCA residency features toy pianist Phyllis Chen and violinist and singer Carla Kihlstedt (whose interview with Peter Margasak is holding down the B Side cover this week). Margasak writes, "Carla Kihlstedt (Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Two Foot Yard) will present the Chicago premiere of At Night We Walk in Circles and Are Consumed by Fire, a nine-part song cycle with lyrics derived largely from dreams—both Kihlstedt’s own and those of contributors who submitted material on a Facebook page as she was writing."

Sun 2/17: Kris Davis Quintet at Hungry Brain

Peter Margasak praises pianist Kris Davis as "one of the most valuable players in New York’s progressive jazz and improvised-music scene." And her upcoming album Capricorn Climber only works to further validate that claim. Margasak goes on, "Davis's imaginative charts not only leave plenty of space for spontaneous expression, they also make it tricky to tell what’s composed and what isn’t. Across the collection there’s a surging, shape-shifting feel, so that the music seems to expand and contract more than leap and swing."

Add a comment