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Wednesday, October 4

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Concert Tue May 28 2013

Magic Time with PCRV and Crank Sturgeon @ Tritriangle


Let's say you've got a thing. A thing you're interested in. Movies, or stand-up comedy, or jazz, or RPGs. Most of the stuff you check out or attend in service of your thing you might go alone. Your friends/family/spouse know you have that thing, but they don't need to endure every grinding minute of it with you. But once in a while, an exceptional outlier in that thing comes around, and, well, you've just gotta share. You might go to open mics at Cole's on Tuesday by yourself, maybe, but when Jimmy Pardo comes to town, you drag your friends along. Your significant other may appreciate your interest in silent movies, but you'll be going it alone most days, except when "Safety Last" comes to the Music Box. Certain exceptions break past the workmanlike high-middle ground of the things we love and become something that we can take others without fear. No off nights for these people.

For experimental/noise music, I can take anyone with a halfway open set of ears and frontal lobes to a show by Emil Beaulieau, or Joseph Hammer, or Damion Romero, or Sudden Infant, and I know they'll at least appreciate the power of it, the fascinating performance, or maybe even the streak of humor. Two acts that regularly come through Chicago that get this seal of approval and which are playing tonight [Wednesday the 29th, not Thursday as previously stated] are Montana's PCRV and Maine's Crank Sturgeon.

Matt Taggart of PCRV is a gymnast of noise. His superhuman speed and accuracy can elicit gasps, like watching someone in spandex sling themselves around two uneven bars faster than the speed of thought. He also works compositionally, not just giving you an endless procession of contrasting textures. PCRV pushes you through sequnces, modes, build-ups, fake-outs, and, eventually, big noisy take-downs. (One moment please...I've just been given an update. PCRV is "a sound artist whose work has steered more into the fluxus traditions, although he still has firm roots in noise provocations." As the wrong-number operator says, "please make a note of it.")

Then there's Crank Sturgeon. Where to even begin with Matt Anderson's two-decade stint as the crazed pope of freak sound. Well, the first time I saw Crank perform was at the Empty Bottle around 2003. He was mostly naked save for a dryer exhaust tube running from his genetalia up to...I don't remember where. Maybe his face, or maybe a set of bells or something with blinking lights. He also wore giant mask that made his head look like the namesake sturgeon. A cape may have been involved as well. I remember Matt, cranked up to maximum velocity on pure joy of performing, frantically trying to focus the crowd, stage-whispering, "Shhh! Magic! Magic!! SHHHH! MAGIC! MAGIC!" before lashing a pile of stage debris with contact mics (which he makes himself). Watching Crank Sturgeon when he's accessed the main pipeline of crazed energy that drives him is like listening "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" being narrated by George Fenneman (dig Crank's basso profundo) while being cattle-prodded. (George, not you. Or maybe you as well. Both of you, being cattle-prodded.)

These two have toured together regularly, last appearing in Chicago at this same location, which is now called Tritriangle (1550 N. Milwaukee Ave., 3rd floor), but used to be called Enemy. Cock E.S.P. laid down one of the biggest stage bummers I've ever seen (meant as a compliment), and then PCRV Matt scrubbed the room down with a sonic pressure-washer and Crank Matt put his feet in a bowl of water and played the blues. Just, trust me. It was wonderful, even....MAGIC!

Opening the proceedings are solo sets by Chicago's finest, Jason Soliday and Vertonen. $5 donation suggested. 8 p.m. is the rigid start time, so don't dawdle with your dinner.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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