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Bill Orcutt/Chris Corsano Duo, Chuck Johnson

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 @ 8:30 pm - 11:55 pm | $10

“In the 90s noise band Harry Pussy, Bill Orcutt’s electric guitar playing was bracing, brittle, and singularly brutal. When he returned to recording and releasing music in 2009 after about a decade away, his sound was just as distinctive– but this time it was done with acoustic guitar, making his consistency that much more remarkable. Harry Pussy devotees were suitably stoked by this seamless rebirth, but surely in the back of their minds a question lurked: would Orcutt ever go electric again? The answer was yes– Orcutt has played electric guitar intermittently over the past four years, both solo and in various collaborations. But The Raw and the Cooked is the first full-length release in which he plays it exclusively. Recorded live last fall during a tour with drummer Chris Corsano, the album is a storm of high-speed improvisation, with 12 untitled tracks flying by in just 25 minutes. Orcutt’s old band favored short blasts too, so another question naturally emerges: does The Raw and the Cooked sound like Harry Pussy? The answer again is yes, but with qualifications. Orcutt certainly echoes his work of decades past, dropping the kind of string-bombs that evoke an amplified car crash. And Corsano’s percussion is so rangy that it inevitably overlaps with the blunt pound of Harry Pussy drummer Adris Hoyos. But he’s generally more precise and pointillist, with rolls and hits that are frequently jazz-like. That in turn inspires Orcutt toward runs that would work as well on an overblown sax as they do on an over-amped guitar. More importantly, the aims of this duo seem decidedly different from that of Orcutt’s former outfit. Where Harry Pussy often dove toward the deepest end of noise rock, Corsano and Orcutt seem just a bit more interested in exchange. They’re more inclined to volley their sounds back and forth than jump together into a noise pit.” – Pitchfork

On this expressive and singular new album, Chuck Johnson gives his steel pedal guitar the starring role, and creates a kind of country post-rock. It feels like a universe unto itself. Pedal steel guitar is such an evocative instrument that just one chord emanating from its strings can suggest entire worlds. Often that’s exactly how it is used: one chord at a time, doled out sparingly to enhance moods already established by other instruments. But what if you give pedal steel guitar the starring role? That’s what Chuck Johnson does on Balsams, an album that’s drowning in waves of pedal steel, accompanied only by sparse, time-marking bass tones. It’s a simple formula, but Johnson mines it for rich music that feels infinitely expressive. – Pitchfork


January 30, 2018
8:30 pm - 11:55 pm


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