Guitarist and author Alan Licht plugs back in | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Guitarist and author Alan Licht plugs back in 

click to enlarge Alan Licht

Alan Licht

courtesy the artist

Alan Licht’s recording career stretches back to 1990, when he appeared on two seven-inch EPs by the group Love Child. One was a collection of cute, bouncy songs cleaved by Licht’s volcanic guitar solos; the other was a set of lo-fi but respectful covers of pieces by the sui generis composer Moondog. In the years since, he’s been stepping over boundaries like they shouldn’t be there in the first place, collaborating with equally adventurous musicians including cosmic jazz man (and former Chicagoan) Rob Mazurek, cassette-reliant sound artist Aki Onda, outsider guitarist Loren Connors, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs drummer Brian Chase. And as an author whose published work includes art-catalog essays, profiles of underappreciated minimalists, and a book about tidal changes in pop culture titled Sound Art: Beyond Music, Between Categories, he has also explained how he does it; while he’s keenly aware of the methods and mores of whatever genre he’s operating in, he hears everything as rock music and approaches it from that direction. In 2015 Licht put aside the electric guitar, his main instrument throughout his career, to make an acoustic LP. The pieces on Currents (VDSQ/Thin Wrist) are brisk, songlike solos with a pithiness that’s at odds with the side-long excursions on his other albums under his own name. Licht will return to the electric guitar and long-form composition for a new, unnamed piece that will form the bulk of his concert at Bond Chapel, but it will build on the strumming techniques and repetitive structures of his acoustic music as well as incorporate some extrapolations from the Stooges’ “1970,” which he played on the Currents tour.   v

Get our free weekly Early Warnings newsletter 💌

It’s Chicago’s essential months-ahead music calendar straight to your inbox.

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  → 

Popular Stories