droney tony and rhys's pieces

I found myself looking forward to last night's Table of the Elements show at the Warhol with a giddy nervousness the likes of which I had only felt once in the past couple years (that being the Mountain Goats show).

Tony Conrad opened the show, and put me in a special place. He really ought to have been last -- while he was the least loud of the three acts, his intensity level was through the roof. How can you have been doing this stuff for 40 years and still have that in you? How has it not gotten old? That only makes it that much better. It's hard to describe in writing what some of those moments in the middle of that repetitive violin screaming did to me. I found myself thinking a lot about dreams, and feeling inspired to do much more important and interesting things than I have been.

Jonathan Kane is an astounding drummer, while his current band ("Jonathan Kane's February") doesn't really seem to feature it that much. They had some good moments for sure, but on the whole I mostly just felt like their set could've been a bit shorter.

Seeing Rhys Chatham in person, a couple feet from me, was fairly religious in nature even before he picked up a cheap Ibanez and closed out the set with "Guitar Trio," arranged for SEVEN GUITARS. Here was me, second row, with a bunch of awesome people I know, watching Rhys Chatham and 8 other guys total performing "Guitar Trio," in Pittsburgh. When will this happen again? Possibly never. Totally worth my money. I was sorry to have missed the other shows (I just presumed I wouldn't be able to get into the Brillobox at midnight, though I hear in retrospect that it wasn't sold out), but I definitely don't regret having made the decision I did.


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