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Monday, May 5, 2014

Best shows to see: Nels Cline Singers, Kirin J Callinan

Posted By on 05.05.14 at 12:23 PM

Kirin J Callinan
  • Kirin J Callinan
The Chicago International Movies & Music Festival wrapped up last night, and if you didn't get your fill of live music over the weekend there's still plenty of shows to see this week.

Tonight Gigan plays Cobra Lounge while Legit and Auggie the 9th perform at Schubas. Tomorrow night you can check out Dustin Wong at Empty Bottle or Tech N9ne and Freddie Gibbs at House of Blues. On Wednesday, Woods and Quilt play Subterranean.

Be sure to head to Soundboard for all the Reader's concert listings, and check out a couple picks from our critics below.

Tue 5/6: Nels Cline Singers at SPACE

"Guitarist Nels Cline titled the new album by this long-running group Macroscope (Mack Avenue), and more than anything Cline has released in his prolific career, it's wide-angle music—he operates with the mind-set of a jazz musician while drawing on styles and sounds from all over the map," writes Peter Margasak. "It's the Nels Cline Singers' first recording with vocals (wordless singing on 'Respira,' which seems influenced by Milton Nascimento) as well as its first with new bassist Trevor Dunn, who replaces Devin Hoff—considering Dunn's facility in jazz and adventurous rock (Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk), he was a perfect choice. The versatile Scott Amendola returns on drums, and the group's dense sound bustles with polyrhythms and textural figures from guest musicians, including percussionists Cyro Baptista and Josh Jones, keyboardist Yuka Honda, and harpist Zeena Parkins. Cline's extroverted guitar is unsurprisingly the primary voice: on the percolating ballad 'Red Before Orange' he's at his most soulful and lyric, and on the epic, episodic 'The Wedding Band' he displays his predilection for 70s fusion, especially Weather Report."

Wed 5/7: Kirin J Callinan at Empty Bottle

"Just try to overestimate the bizarre boldness of singer-songwriter Kirin J Callinan," writes Kevin Warwick. "It's in the smoky, drama-filled yowls that he spits out like he's trying to upstage an entire avant-garde poetry slam. It's in his crackling beats, which might sound like an ethereal indie-rock arrangement or like something picked from AraabMuzik's back pocket. And it's in his visual aesthetic—the video for 'Landslide' consists entirely of the Aussie smeared with mud and suspended upside-down over a body of water. Callinan's solo debut, last year's Embracism (Terrible), can be herky-jerky in its construction—it might play around with operatic rock on one track, then dive into some sort of electro-industrial experiment with a Nick Cave vocal twist on the next."

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