Faust, Bobby Conn | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Faust, Bobby Conn Recommended Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Critics' Picks

When: Wed., Oct. 7, 9:30 p.m. 2009

Faust’s first incarnation was more like a commune than a band. Living together in a German farmhouse, between 1971 and ’75 they produced a body of work that challenged almost every convention in pop music. They stitched together elements of rock, classical, jazz, and prerock popular song, indulging in brazen studio trickery and dadaist humor, and they attracted enough attention with their releases—their first album was on clear vinyl in a transparent sleeve, and they sold their most radical effort, a sprawling LP-length collage called The Faust Tapes, for 49 pence, the price of a single—to become notorious even though they barely toured and rarely gigged. Founding members Jean-Hervé Peron (vocals, guitar, bass), Werner “Zappi” Diermaier (drums), and Hans-Joachim Irmler (keyboard) sat out almost all of the next 15 years, and since then they’ve carried on like a feuding family: both Peron and Irmler have toured and recorded with Diermaier, but all three haven’t played together since 1997. Irmler is in charge and Peron is absent on 1999’s Ravvivando, while the opposite is true on 2007’s Nurse With Wound collaboration Disconnected. And in October of last year, dueling versions of Faust played on the same day in Austria and England. The four-piece group appearing tonight includes Peron and Diermaier, whose latest record, C’est Com . . . Com . . . Complique (Bureau B), is fairly rock oriented thanks in part to French guitarist Amaury Cambuzat, who’s since moved on. The lineup here is rounded out by guitarist James Johnston (Gallon Drunk, Bad Seeds) and painter, video artist, and vocalist Geraldine Swayne. Expect monstrously heavy rhythms and cross your fingers for a spectacle—Faust’s live show has been known to include real-time painting, TV smashing, functional cement mixers, and an old boiler repurposed as a percussion instrument. Bobby Conn opens. —Bill Meyer

Price: $20

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