Brent Gutzeit | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Brent Gutzeit 

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Plenty of people call Brent Gutzeit an electronic musician, and you can't really blame them: as a member of the trio TV Pow, he's played dozens of concerts using nothing but a laptop. But he can do plenty more than point and click: He played bass in the Bowie-esque pop group Everyoned and contributed scrabbling acoustic guitar and sonorous snoring to a hilarious unamplified TV Pow gig last October at the Spareroom. And his new solo album, Drugmoney (Kranky), is a piano record--though you'd never know that from listening to it. (According to Gutzeit's Boxmedia Web site, Drugmoney began its life as a CD-R he sold to local record stores whenever he needed cash for his "next bag.") Rather than simply strike the piano's keys, Gutzeit rigged tiny electric motors to vibrate several of its strings; on the first track, "Piano Motor Skills #2," you can briefly hear the noise of the motors spinning before the sound morphs into a cross between a gamelan and a security alarm. By the time you get to "400 Blows," nearly 40 minutes later, Gutzeit is sinking window-rattling bass notes into a harmonious haze of overtones. This free show is a release party for Drugmoney, but don't expect a rehash of the disc. Gutzeit plans to bring an electric piano, his homemade 20-string steel bass, and an acoustic guitar. He may even sing a folk song. Sherry Diaz and White/Light open; Gutzeit and the other members of TV Pow will be part of Diaz's backing band. Monday, May 10, 9:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.

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