Dirty Three, Cairo Gang | Lincoln Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Dirty Three, Cairo Gang Agenda Recommended Soundboard

When: Wed., Sept. 26, 9 p.m. 2012
Price: $18
Released in February, Toward the Low Sun (Drag City) is the first new album in seven years from Australian instrumental trio Dirty Three, and it doesn't seem they spent much time worrying about how to reintroduce themselves: the raucous opening track, "Furnace Skies," opens with a churning, distorted keyboard part that sounds like it's already under way. The track is frenzied and loose but obsessively driving, and sounds rustic despite the amplification; Warren Ellis's electric violin surges over the free-jazz clatter of drummer Jim White, making for one of the band's most intuitive and effective performances in a two-decade career that's packed with them. Ellis, White, and guitarist Mick Turner (who like Ellis doubles on keyboards here) have been busy with other projects during Dirty Three's hiatus, and they've never sounded stronger as players—in fact it seems like some of the music they've made in the interim has given them a new fire. Some of the ideas on Toward the Low Sun sound familiar—tracks such as "Rising Below" and "The Pier" could've come from almost any period of the band's career—but the scrabbling rhythms, impassioned melodies, and tangled noise in their ragged, hot-blooded folk rock can combine in so many ways that "familiar" is relative. And at any rate the growing skill and rapport of the three players could refresh the music even without novel ideas. These guys have always been at their best live—Ellis is a virtual tornado onstage—and I can't wait to hear how they put everything together this time. —Peter Margasak The Cairo Gang opens.



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