Woodsman, Dustin Wong, Grandeurs | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Woodsman, Dustin Wong, Grandeurs Early Warnings (Music) Recommended

When: Wed., March 28, 9:30 p.m. 2012

Making music the way Dustin Wong does—stacking an elaborate looped guitar line atop a bizarre looped guitar line, repeating as necessary, and finally playing a rhythmic real-time guitar line to accompany it all—is something of an exact science, requiring impeccable precision and a mind strong enough to stay steady amid a dizzying barrage of competing patterns. On his new instrumental album, Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads (Thrill Jockey), Wong works a territory completely inaccessible to your run-of-the-mill effects-pedal junkie. Much like his intricate fiddling with defunct Baltimore art-rock quartet Ponytail, Wong's solo work calls into being a colorful Pollock-like world of splotched and splattered riffs—complex and well-orchestrated, but with the vibe of recess on an elementary school playground. The record's 16 tracks alternate between two main approaches: quick-hitting, hyperactive swirls of tapping and scale picking on one hand and, on the other, deliberate, heavily layered progressions that morph into prog. The best cut on the album, "Toe Tore Oh," is a six-plus-minute crescendo that begins with bare-bones guitar lines and finishes with thick electronic beats and a sprinting, slow-panned melody—it's like the evening sounds of a state fair, refracted through a pretty epic mushroom trip. —Kevin Warwick Woodsman headlines; Dustin Wong and Grandeurs open.

Price: $8

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