Friday, Aug. 26, was another two-concert night for me. Talk about strange juxtapositions. I started out the evening by driving to Skokie for a free show by Blue Öyster Cult at the Backlot Bash street festival… which was pretty good, as far as classic rock band shows go. But alas, I missed the big finish with “Don’t Fear the Reaper” and “Godzilla” so I could make it to the Hideout in time for a show on the more experimental end of the spectrum…
Blue Öyster Cult
Rob Mazurek and Emmett Kelly
I got to the Hideout in time to see the record-release show for Rob Mazurek and Emmett Kelly. Mazurek is best known as a jazz musician, playing cornet as well as using electronics. Kelly is a versatile guitarist, playing with both rock and jazz groups, as well as a fine singer-songwriter in his own right, leading the Cairo Gang. On the new album Alien Flower Sutra. Kelly’s voice drifts through strange sonic landscapes sculpted by Mazurek. The music was equally strange in Friday’s live performance.
Their set was followed by Horse Lords, a band from Baltimore playing instrumental music that might get categorized as jazz — though it sounded to me more like progressive rock along the lines of King Crimson or krautrock, with guitar, sax, bass and drums locked into rigorous patterns. Whatever genre it is, it was damn impressive.