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Beak, Anatomy of Habit, Vukari

Fri., Sept. 19, 9 p.m.

You’re supposed to mellow out as you grow grayer and life beats you into submission, but the members of Chicago instrumental postrock institution the Timeout Drawer formed a metal band called Beak instead. They crank up the volume and with it the rage in their sound, largely by adding vocals. Beak’s new Let Time Begin (Someoddpilot) is still heavy postrock in many respects—the meandering interludes, the omnipresent moodiness, the rapid picking that foreshadows a monstrous crescendo—but when guitarist-vocalist Jon Slusher bellows like he’s struggling to expel the bile that’s eating the pit of his stomach, the tracks become crushing. In one of the defining flourishes on Let Time Begin, “Over the Shelter, the Morning Breaks” (a more post-anything title, there is not) acts as a two-minute-plus instrumental intro to album closer “Fiery They Rose,” showcasing Beak’s proficiency at writing bristling postrock as well as their newly acquired skill at letting it off its leash. —Kevin Warwick $8

Beat Kitchen (map)
2100 W. Belmont Ave.
Roscoe Village
phone 773-281-4444
Beak, Anatomy of Habit, Vukari

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Constellation (map)
3111 N. Western Ave.
Roscoe Village

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Wandelweiser Festival

Sat 9/20-Sun 9/21: 8:30 PM
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Wandelweiser is an international collective of composers who find beauty in music that has been pared down to silence and simple gestures. They share with minimalists an appreciation for reduction, but rather than get hung up on repetition, their compositions express an unfixed, open quality; after all, wandel is the German word for change. Continue reading >>

This is one of our Fall Arts Best Bets for Music.

$10 per performance, $15 for weekend pass

Constellation (map)
3111 N. Western Ave.
Roscoe Village Wandelweiser Festival

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Chicago Wandelweiser Festival: R. Andrew Lee

Sun., Sept. 21, 8:30 p.m.

Different styles of music require different kinds of virtuosity. “Great Balls of Fire” wouldn’t have sounded so exciting if Glenn Gould had played it with his exacting touch, and Jerry Lee Lewis couldn’t have extracted much poetry from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier with his percussive attack. Denver-based pianist R. Andrew Lee has recorded the music of composers Eva-Maria Houben and Jürg Frey (members of the international Wandelweiser collective) for the Irritable Hedgehog label; their work requires players to be finely attuned to the threshold between sound and silence, as well as able to maintain cohesion and pacing over the long haul, and Lee’s recordings reveal his mastery of the minutiae of transitions and his sure-footed negotiation of wide-open spaces. On Houben’s “Go and Stop,” which he’ll perform tonight, the exquisite variety with which he renders the decay of notes imbues the quiet music with poignancy and suspense. Lee will also play Frey’s “Pianist, Alone No. 2,” Craig Shepherd’s “December,” and Michael Pisaro’s “Distance (1).” Prior to the concert, he’ll participate in a 6:30 PM Wandelweiser panel discussion with the composers and Aperiodic director Nomi Epstein. —Bill Meyer $10

Constellation (map)
3111 N. Western Ave.
Roscoe Village Chicago Wandelweiser Festival: R. Andrew Lee

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