a week on the scene
Local fans of music that skronks and squawks have reason to cheer this weekend - thanks, as usual, to Boxcar Satan's intrepid Sanford Allen, who continues to book artists from aural territories that other promoters fear. The Thursday, April 8 Austin show by the Peter Brötzmann Tentet (at the Parish, 214 E.6th St., 512-478-6372) has the side benefit of allowing some of Brötzmann's group to splinter off for side gigs off the main tour's route, and one such offshoot is an inter-continental beast called The Thing.
A four-piece combo drawn from three countries, The Thing is composed of Joe McPhee (United States), Mats Gustafsson (Sweden), Paal Nilssen-Love, and Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (both from Norway). Saxophonist Gustafsson's name will be known to those lucky Current readers who caught his 2001 San Antonio gig with percussionist Paul Lovens, or who have traveled to Austin to hear his collaborations with Ken Vandermark (another member of the Tentet).
Gustafsson and sax/trumpeter player McPhee (who, living on this side of the Atlantic, isn't always a member of the group), are the best known of the bandmates - the former known for furious and furiously loud playing compared most frequently with Evan Parker and John Butcher, the latter harking back through the '60s free-jazz heyday to the blues and gospel music.
Paired with the Nilssen-Love/Flaten rhythm section, the group avoids the icy distance of some avant-garde performers. The prefer to think of themselves as a garage band, raucous and eager to engage the audience, and are as likely to belt out a White Stripes cover as a composition by Don Cherry. If that's not enough to draw hipsters out to a jazz show, Sanford Allen promises an Easter Egg hunt in between the group's two 40-minute sets.
The Thing performs Sunday, April 11 at the Wiggle Room @ PW 16 Art Lodge, 2301 S. Presa, 534-2375. Showtime is 8 p.m., and the cover charge is $8.
Compiled by: John DeFore