Flying Luttenbachers | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Flying Luttenbachers 

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The industrious Weasel Walter hasn't slackened his pace since leaving Chicago for the Bay Area last year. A member of no fewer than 15 groups during his 12 years here, he's already involved in three new projects there: Goof Ice, XBXRX, and Curse of the Birthmark. But his most active and best-known outfit remains the Flying Luttenbachers, which he started back in 1991. The band's been through more than a dozen members over the course of 15 albums, Walter being the only constant. On this return visit he's joined by guitarist Ed Rodriguez and bassist Mike Green, though the latest Luttenbachers release, Systems Emerge From Complete Disorder (Troubleman Unlimited/UgExplode), is strictly a solo affair. This complex and harrowing album (which, according to the liner notes, concerns "the recombinant genesis of life after the extinction of all earthly matter") begins with a barrage of corrosive noise, followed by six tracks marked by tricky, high-velocity time signature changes, pile-driver bass lines, screaming prog-rock guitar, and Varese- and Xenakis-inspired, MIDI-powered orchestral bombast. The middle tracks, which stake out a space somewhere between Magma and the Magic Band, are packed with dense detail: electronic squeals and zigzagging guitar are stretched tightly over a framework of martial beats. The set concludes with a 20-minute epic, "Rise of the Iridescent Behemoth," in which piano lines run a gauntlet of violent, rhythmic explosions. The next Flying Luttenbachers album, The Void, will be written with Rodriguez and Green, and Walter's planning to record solo guitar interpretations of works by Varese, Penderecki, Boulez, Webern, and Xenakis later in the year. Coughs, No Doctors, and Flaccid Trip open. Saturday, February 28, 10 PM, Fireside Bowl, 2646 W. Fullerton; 773-486-2700.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Matt Ritona.

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