When: Sun., Sept. 20, 8:30 p.m. 2015
Arto Lindsay arguably invented the rude noise generator that many refer to as skronk guitar. He was a nonmusician when he formed the singular no-wave trio DNA in 1978, and he brilliantly compensated for his lack of training by using the guitar like a paint brush, splattering acidic and metallic noise across terse, rumbling rhythmic landscapes with Zen-like beauty and precision. When he started making Brazilian-influenced pop records in the late 80s they felt almost as provocative as his work with DNA—though because he grew up in Brazil as the son of missionaries, the transition was actually strangely natural. The first disc of last year’s Encyclopedia of Arto (Northern Spy) nicely encapsulates his efforts between 1996 and 2004, when he made sophisticated, gorgeous recordings that meld bossa nova and samba with flashes of R&B; on them Lindsay finds as much poetry in silence as in a short bleat of noise. The second disc of Encyclopedia encapsulates later portions of same era, featuring Lindsay live at a Brooklyn club in 2012, where he complements his originals with covers of Prince, Al Green, Chico Buarque, and Daniela Mercury. Here, in place of the first disc’s delicate, imaginative arrangements he’s accompanied only by his guitar—which can sound as skronky as it did during his DNA days. The combo is striking: Lindsay’s warm, calm, sensual vocals are prodded, assaulted, and eviscerated by guitar noise that alternates between harrowing sallies of grime and precise rhythmic sophistication. It’s “ugly beauty,” to quote Thelonious Monk. He’ll perform solo for his first Chicago performance in a decade.
Price: $20, $15 in advance