Critic's Choice | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Critic's Choice 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

TAPE-BEATLES

After a few years of operating as Public Works, these longtime collage artists have gone back to using their original, much more provocative name. Actually, calling what the Tape-beatles do "collage" is putting it nicely--they build their work entirely out of pieces of other people's music, film, and video, and their motto is "Plagiarism." But Ralph Johnson, Lloyd Dunn, and John Heck have usually employed their plundered treasure in the service of some greater sonic or visual or political point--not just as smirking commentary on the source material. Their splendid 1993 album The Grand Delusion, a bitter meditation on American culture and the gulf war, has only a few easily identifiable samples--a bit of Also Sprach Zarathustra, some "Strawberry Fields Forever" strings, and a handful of presidential sound bites. The rest of the mix is thrift-store-LP crescendos and pitter-patter, spiked with nuggets from instructional and homiletic records, all looped and staggered into blurry, nerve-racking waves of texture, with incompatible rhythms and tones clashing freely. The Grand Delusion and another extended piece, Matter, will both be performed here in glorious multimedia, the sound segments accompanied by a three-projector film presentation involving both synchronized archival footage and subsidiary loops. (You can preview Delusion at the Tape-beatles Web site, soli.inav.net/-psrf/windex.html.) Live performances by the Tape-beatles tend to prominently feature dead technologies and directly involve spectators: at one show I only heard about, they literally ran a tape loop through the audience. Saturday, 10 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600. DOUGLAS WOLK

Support Independent Chicago Journalism: Join the Reader Revolution

We speak Chicago to Chicagoans, but we couldn’t do it without your help. Every dollar you give helps us continue to explore and report on the diverse happenings of our city. Our reporters scour Chicago in search of what’s new, what’s now, and what’s next. Stay connected to our city’s pulse by joining the Reader Revolution.

Are you in?

  Reader Revolutionary $35/month →  
  Rabble Rouser $25/month →  
  Reader Radical $15/month →  
  Reader Rebel  $5/month  → 

Not ready to commit? Send us what you can!

 One-time donation  → 

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Douglas Wolk

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
April 30 1
Performing Arts
March 21

Popular Stories