When: Fri., Sept. 20, 10 p.m. 2013
It’s freakish what one guitarist can do with a cosmic amount of wherewithal and a carefully chosen lineup of looping pedals and other effects. Dustin Wong (formerly of hypercolorful Baltimore art-rock weirdos Ponytail) has just released another solo record, Meditation of Ecstatic Energy (Thrill Jockey), once again showing off his left-brain prowess at stacking guitar loops—one on top of another till they’re an enveloping mass, all swirling and jigging together—and slicing through the calculated pileup with piercing, high-pitched solos that chiptune bands probably wish they could replicate. The opening track, “The Big She,” departs from Wong’s usual fluttery kineticism—it’s more sinister and noisy, almost electro—but by the time midalbum cut “Speeding Feathers Staring” comes around, with its insanely quick-picked melodic riffs knotting together, Wong has settled into his familiar sound, which occasionally makes it hard to see the groove for the forest. If you think one man and his pedals won’t translate live . . . wrong. Watching Wong hop from one effect to the next while working at his fretboard like Pollock over a canvas is more mesmerizing than watching most rock bands strut around onstage. —Kevin Warwick Cave opens.