Homeroom’s Physics for Listeners series connects local trio ZRL with four disparate composers | Gossip Wolf | Chicago Reader

Homeroom’s Physics for Listeners series connects local trio ZRL with four disparate composers 

Plus: The Plastic (Crimewave) Ono Band releases its fourth tape-only split, and Cole’s begins a months-long celebration of its tenth year.

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click to enlarge ZRL: Zachary Good, Lia Kohl, and Ryan Packard - MAREN CELEST
  • ZRL: Zachary Good, Lia Kohl, and Ryan Packard
  • Maren Celest

Chicago nonprofit arts programmers Homeroom coordinate the concert and recording series Physics for Listeners, which connects local composers and performers from diverse musical traditions. For the current iteration (following installments in 2010 and 2012), Homeroom worked with improvising trio ZRL (clarinetist Zachary Good, percussionist Ryan Packard, and cellist Lia Kohl) to commission ten-minute pieces by Ben Lamar Gay, Ayanna Woods, Sam Scranton, and the members of Ohmme. Reader critic Peter Margasak has said of ZRL that "it's difficult to describe them in terms of genre—they're interested in exploration, wherever it may take them." On Saturday, June 1, ZRL play their four commissioned pieces at Constellation to celebrate the release of the music on vinyl—as an album also called Physics for Listeners.

Last week Steve Krakow (aka Plastic Crimewave) released the split cassette Approximately Unknown Universe, the fourth on which his band the Plastic Crimewave Syndicate collaborates with avant-garde luminaries Ono. The tape-only release consists of live recordings from 2019's Chicago Psych Fest X: PCS and Ono on side two, and Mako Sica with untouchable drummer Hamid Drake on side one. Krakow says the Plastic (Crimewave) Ono Band's set includes covers of the Troggs' "I Want You" and Yoko Ono's "Why" and "Mind Train." He hopes to place copies in shops, and tapes are $6 plus postage via plasticcw@hotmail.com.

The stubby stage at Cole's Bar has hosted many of the city's best bands, among them Melkbelly, Meat Wave, Negative Scanner, and Oozing Wound. Owner Coleman Brice is celebrating the bar's tenth anniversary with a bunch of concerts and comedy shows between June and August. The first concert is Friday, June 7, with psychedelic postpunks Cafe Racer, local garage supergroup Ethers, and experimental Glyders side project SPVD.  v

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