Deerhoof, unlikely partners of Chicago's Ensemble Dal Niente, bring it solo to Lincoln Hall tonight | Bleader

Deerhoof, unlikely partners of Chicago's Ensemble Dal Niente, bring it solo to Lincoln Hall tonight


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Last summer Chicago's Ensemble Dal Niente and the great Bay Area rock band Deerhoof played a beguiling double bill in Millennium Park as part of the city's "Loops & Variations" series. The music played by Dal Niente and Deerhoof is about as different as you could get, but a strong arrangement of the latter's song "Eaguru Guru" by Chicago composer Marcos Balter, performed by the former, tied the event together beautifully, and even more excitingly, has launched further collaborations between these unlikely partners.

In February both groups performed together at New York's Merkin Concert Hall as part of the annual Ecstatic Music Festival, and their interactions were far more involved and serious. Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier created a dazzling suite of songs by his band called Deerhoof Chamber Variations that Dal Niente performed, radically reconfiguring the music while retaining its quirky melodic shapes. The evening concluded with a new piece by Balter called "Meltdown Upshot," composed for Deerhoof and Dal Niente performing together. Over the weekend the two groups reconvened and performed the program again at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Since the whole project started in Chicago, I'm really hoping this more involved iteration will presented here sometime in the future. Lucky for us, the New York radio station WQXR recorded that Merkin Concert Hall event and has been making it available as streaming audio—I wasn't there, but the audio proves it was a remarkable performance by all parties. You can listen below.

If that's not enough, Deerhoof returns to Chicago tonight for a concert at Lincoln Hall. The quartet recently released a digital-only EP called We Do Parties (Polyvinyl), built around a great song from last year's Breakup Song. You can check out the video for the title track below.

Correction: A change was made to made to clarify Saunier as the creator of Deerhoof Chamber Variations, not Balter.

Today's playlist:

Bernard Parmegiani, JazzEx (Fractal)
Martial Solal Newdecaband, Exposition Sans Tableau (Nocturne)
Jessica Kuhn, Giacinto Scelsi: Triologia/Frangis Ali-Sade: Ask Havasi (Thorofon)
Killer Mike, R.A.P. Music (Adult Swim)
Sidsel Endresen, So I Write (ECM)

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