Bardo Pond, Poison Arrows, William Fowler Collins & James Jackson Toth | The Owl | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Bardo Pond

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Bardo Pond, Poison Arrows, William Fowler Collins & James Jackson Toth 

When: Sun., Oct. 9, 9 p.m. 2016
Philadelphia-based quintet Bardo Pond have been mining heavy psychedelic ore for 25 years. Their music comes in two essential modes: slow, blasted rock songs illuminated by the spacey singing and flute playing of Isobel Sollenberger and droning, feedback-heavy improvisations that flow as inexorably as a river of lava. Peace on Venus (2013), their last album of original songs, is the acme of the former approach. But 2015’s Record Store Trilogy (Fire), a three-CD collection of covers originally released as limited-edition 12-inches, affirms Bardo Pond’s peculiar versatility. Though capable enough and happy to turn any song into an epic sludge fest, they still don’t sacrifice the unfiltered tragedy of Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain,” the cosmic bliss of Pharoah Sanders’s “The Creator Has a Master Plan,” or the nonsensical jubilance of Brian Eno’s “Here Come the Warm Jets.” The group’s members have also formed a number of side projects over the years to explore variations on the latter improvisational method—on the most recent LP by Alumbrados, 2009’s Monochord, guitarists John and Michael Gibbons and a few confederates use found vocals and acoustic strings to get into an especially late-night zone. The group’s core members perform a set of free-form jams under that name in a concert at the Burlington on Sat 9/8. And never mind whatever alias they’re using, Bardo Pond haven’t played in Chicago since 2006.
— Bill Meyer

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