Adventures in Modern Music | Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Adventures in Modern Music


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The London-based avant-garde monthly the Wire, which has increased steadily in gloss and sales over the years while remaining committed to very unglossy music, recognizes how much Chicago has given it in terms of material. It's hosted a three- or four-day blowout at the Empty Bottle every year since 2003; this fall's it's the magazine's 25th-anniversary bash. One of the things I particularly like about this festival is the way sonic flavors are juggled on the bill so that no matter what act drew you in you'll probably have to stand through some artist you wouldn't have otherwise thought to check out--though sometimes this backfires, like last year, when quiet Jana Hunter took the stage in the wake of Rhys Chatham's Essentialist. This year big names include Pere Ubu, Damon & Naomi, Deerhunter, and Qui, the Ipecac-signed return of Jesus Lizard front man David Yow. Still, the band I'm most buzzed about is closing night's Boris, a droning, surging, plunging Japanese density machine who apply pedal and e-bow like electrodes to the genitals of music. Their collaborators are a who's who of noise at its most exquisite: Merzbow, Keiji Haino, Sunn 0))). The dreamy, Fahey-esque guitar duo of Jack Rose (of Pelt fame) and Glenn Jones (Cul de Sac), playing Thursday, should provide balance. a Wed 9/26-Sun 9/30, Empty Bottle.

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