Kaki King | Lincoln Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Kaki King Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Wed., Feb. 11, 8 p.m. 2015

A few decades back, when the great ax gods ruled the stadiums, Kaki King might have been a rock star, swaggering up the charts with some long-haired quartet. Instead, hip-hop and pop took over the radio, and guitar prowess became a slightly snooty niche. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for King, who’s managed to carve a varied and eclectic career for herself sans the limelight. Her last album, 2012’s Glow, was mostly dexterous and rootsy acoustic jazz that landed somewhere between Django, Ennio Morricone, and a hoedown. Her latest project, the Kickstarter-funded The Neck Is a Bridge to the Body, is completely different. Though there will be an accompanying soundtrack, the project is mainly intended to be a live performance in which King plays her guitar alone onstage while colorful tripped-out animations dance on the screen behind her and across her guitar, turning the instrument into a mercurial neon fetish. The music isn’t jazz but more an assault of feedback-laden psychedelia that’s part Mahavishnu Orchestra, part Sonic Youth, and of course part Hendrix during his most lyrical “Waterfall” moments. There are bleeps and electronic bloops and other effects to let you know that it’s 2015, but the new age auditory assault on the future nevertheless feels comfortably and delightfully retro. The guitar was once an object of worship; Kaki King at least is keeping the faith. —Noah Berlatsky

Price: $25

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