Found Sound Walks on a Saturday Afternoon

August 24, 2011 · Print This Article

On Saturday, August 13th Penny Duff and Michael Slaboch put together a series of “intimate music and audio art” events throughout Chicago’s Ukranian Village. Various musicians and artists performed between 1 and 6 pm, peppered through the neighborhood on a kind of walking tour.

 

 

It began on the front porch of 1042 N Winchester St. A Cheshire Cat made out of stained opalescent glass sat in the window of the front door, just over Plastic Crimewave’s shoulder. Sitting in colored pants and socks, (shoes placed neatly beside him on the edge of the stairs) he played a morning raga on his banjo.

 

 

 

From there, we traveled a few blocks to the backyard of 1032 N Wood and watched a honky tonk band, The Lawrence Peters Outfit. Overhead the sky grew dark. There were rumors of a storm and the telephone lines blew back and forth vigorously as LPO played their set ending with a song about a storm.

 

 

 

At 2:00 we walked over to Corbett vs. Dempsey–a mainstay of neighborhood, experimental music performance–to see Mark Booth’s live collage of “reconditioned and recontextualized aural fragments.” Outside it began to hail and the sky was exceptionally dark. The sound of ice pellets punctuated Booth’s gramaphone samples.

 

 

By the time we made it outside the weather had more or less passed. Although it had deterred the in-transit, shopping cart performance by Heartichoke–we still went on to see Andy Slater at 2047 W Walton St. Slater played a homemade monochord slide bass who sometimes mimicked heavy metal riffs on his twangy slab of wood. Dogs wandered around the backyard while he played and people stood around him on all but one side, some (like me) by the back gate, others on the stairs at his back.

Following this were several performances I didn’t get the chance to see: the meme on 2337 W Thomas, Matthew Hale Clark at 2237 W Rice, Piss Piss Moan Moan Moan and Shearing Pinx at Permanent Records and, finally at the Rainbo Club: Judson Claiborne and the Found Sound After Party.

That’s more or less the wrap up. What I wanted to say, though, what it made me think about, was how important interrupting regular experience is. Seeing an organized music event that takes place along a neighborhood walk amplifies your experience of the neighborhood and the music. Like an art show in an apartment, there is something domestic and, even, banal about the setting. With the exception of a block party, these spaces, streets and alleys are not generally intended for a shared, public experience. One’s expectations of the performance consequently and curiously suspended, insecure; anything could happen within this ill-defined and intimate structure. Furthermore, the freedom the audience has to stumble upon the event, or depart nonchalantly: there is no cost, no obvious gain for those organizing the experience. There are free scones on a front porch, new faces come at certain events as others depart, each porch/backyard is organized differently, inadvertently acknowledging the lifestyles of its flanking domeciles. Such moments deeply interest me because their naturalness does not appear, at first, contingent on any audience. Plastic Crimewave might just sit on a porch and play for his own pleasure. We might be just happening upon it. There happens to be a honky tonk band in that backyard. The people in attendance appear to know what they are doing, even though they say very little to one another and stand, for the most part, as strangers do–not touching. This is one of Chicago’s greatest strengths: that people administrate such events and, more so, that a public rallies behind them, activating the potential for aesthetic experiences in banal, everyday settings.




Top 5 Weekend Picks (2/11 & 2/12)

February 10, 2011 · Print This Article

1. Lumpen 1995 Sex Issue Release Party at Co-Prosperity Sphere

An evening of sexy-ness inspired by the 1995 Sex Issue! Music by Ornery Little Darlings, HotChaCha, The Loneliest Monk, Grace Kulp, and DJ BSide.

Co-Prosperity Sphere is located at 3219 S. Morgan St. Party is Friday from 7pm-midnight.

2. The Warmth I Feel Is So Cold at Murdertown

Work by Lindsey Hook, Jessica Minckley and Amber Renaye. Opening lecture with Jessica Minckley.

Murdertown is located at 2351 N Milwaukee Ave, #2. Reception is Friday from 6-9pm.

3. Every Thing That Rises Must Converge at Rainbo Club

Images from New Orleans by Marzena Abrahamik, Andrea Bauer, Maral Hashemi, and Evan Jenkins.

Rainbo Club is located at 1150 N. Damen Ave. Reception is Friday from 6-10pm.

4. Breaking Up With Chicago at Swimming Pool Project Space

A curated selection of “Liz by Lina” for sale at the last hurrah for The Pool.

Swimming Pool Project Space is located at 2858 W. Montrose. Show and sale on Saturday from 2-8pm.

5. A Coupling at HungryMan Gallery

Work by couples: Frank Piatek and Judith Geichman, Dana Degiulio and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, Samantha Bittman and Mike Nudelman, and Amber Thomas and Josh Reames.

HungryMan Gallery is located at 2135 N Rockwell St. Reception is Saturday from 6-11pm.