When: Thu., Sept. 24, 9 p.m. 2009
Over the course of three years of gigging, both as a duo and with various drummers, DAVID DANIELL & DOUGLAS McCOMBS have transformed a familiar American electric-guitar style—the stark, dramatic desert-highway twang that connects Duane Eddy, Tom Verlaine, and Daniell and McCombs’s own groups San Agustin and Brokeback—with open minds and suitcases full of signal- processing pedals. On their debut album, Sycamore (Thrill Jockey), they use digital editing to turn segments of nearly eight hours of performances—recorded without overdubs in beautifully resonant loft spaces—into instrumental suites that feel almost hyperreal, their artificial juxtapositions and cuts often functioning like sudden close-ups in a movie. But in concert, where the two of them generally predetermine only the key they’ll start in, it’s all about the spontaneous flow from one hallucinatory atmosphere to the next. For this record-release party, they’re trying something different; instead of one drummer, they’ll have three to choose from. Frank Rosaly, Steven Hess, and John Herndon all appear on Sycamore, and tonight they’ll share two drum kits—sometimes no drummers will play, but at other times one or both kits will be occupied.
Acoustic guitarist JACK ROSE abandoned onstage improvisation when he went on hiatus from Pelt, but his aesthetic exploration remains perceptible in his studio recordings—specifically in the way he revisits certain tunes from album to album, like John Coltrane coming back to “My Favorite Things.” Rose’s iterations of “Cross the North Fork,” which he first played six years ago on Raag Manifestos (as “Crossing the Great Waters”) and rerecorded last year for The Black Dirt Sessions (Three Lobed), show him moving from overt displays of Hindustani-inspired technique and a kind of stretched-taut nervous energy toward less exotic-sounding but even more elaborate melodic shapes and a profound serenity that nonetheless ripples with intensity. And while his initial solo version of “Kensington Blues” sounds like a magisterial homage to John Fahey, the string-band take on his latest LP, Jack Rose & the Black Twig Pickers (Klang/VHF), is more about the pleasures of hanging out with your buddies. Rose’s recent albums—including a Thrill Jockey release that’s due in 2010—feature contributions from other musicians, but tonight he’ll play solo. Daniell and McCombs headline; Rose opens. —Bill Meyer