Beyond all the nightclubs and concert halls in Chicago, a lot of interesting live music is happening in odd little corners, including art galleries. In a gig that received virtually no advance notice, the trio of David Daniell, Douglas McCombs and Frank Rosaly played last night (Aug. 22) at Heaven Gallery in Wicker Park. Things were extremely casual as the three sat down around midnight in front of 20 or so audience members and played a short set (or rather, one long “song”).
McCombs is the best known of these three, thanks to his years of work with Eleventh Dream Day, Tortoise and Brokeback. He’s been recording experimental instrumental guitar music lately with Daniell, an artist I became familiar with last year when he performed at the Empty Bottle’s festival of drone music. Daniell is also in the band San Agustin, and since he moved from New York to Chicago, he’s become of those loyal concertgoers you always see at places like the Empty Bottle. (I interviewed Daniell for a story in Signal to Noise magazine.) Daniell tells me that he and McCombs have about seven hours of music on tape now, including work with various drummers. They’re in the process of sifting through that music and editing it into an album.
Last night, their drummer was Rosaly, who used kitchen pots, a bow and various pieces of metal junk to make a cool kind of clatter, while Daniell and McCombs made shimmering chords with piercing melodic notes occasionally emerging out of the wash. Guitarist Matt Schneider played an opening set that was quieter but with a similarly contemplative vibe.