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Jazz Occurrence - Foundational Sounds: Extraordinary Popular Delusions at the Beat Kitchen 1/9/2017



The machine that is EPD had Mars Williams back at the helm, for their first performance of 2017. They played the ‘sexy’ room downstairs. And this was my first live painting set up in the downstairs venue. These gentlemen are always quite humble in their power. Jim Baker sets up command central with electronic keys, carrying in cases of equipment. The man is his own roadie. Steve Hunt assembles his kit mid room. Brian Sandstorm carries the thump on bass. Mars on various reeds.

Conceptually, Jim Baker used the term ‘palimpsest’ on Facebook to describe the potential for the night. I told him I would be time traveling in a sense; revisiting EPD works from 2016. I had sanded back portions of a painting, revealing primer then wood panel. Bringing a work back to the venue, to paint on it again with the same band, is a new one for me. I usually start and stop with the music, the piece being done when the sound vibrates out. But I thought I would attempt another layer, removing a previous one, to ‘tempt the onion’ and see what would happen. Like playing two sets of music simultaneously, this could lead to an undesirable effect. But the adventurous and foundational sound of EPD gave me permission. This is about being comfortable with the band, feeling safe in experimentation, and going with it.


EPD often gives me a sense of levitation (hovering over the band, held up and guided by the music). They create a warm and pleasantly challenging wave. I referred to Mars as at the helm, but really there is no band leader. Each player’s layer is top noted and under toned at different times during the performance. This gives this painter permission to have brushstrokes imitate the sound as a whole, as opposed to individual instruments.

And now that I have reread that last sentence, I may just try to depict individual instrument/musician sculptures next time.

The abstract nature of my writing may be a turn off for traditional music review readers, but it is my language of experience. And I am on an artists’ way of understanding why music moves my brush as it does.

The 3X4 acrylics on panel painted images are here, and I will be time traveling with these also; sanding away portions and returning to the live sound of Extraordinary Popular Delusions soon.

Venue/Band plug alert:

The Beat Kitchen is a cool spot any night of the week. The fact that this venue has supported EPD over the years makes them smart and, like the band, foundational to the music scene in Chicago. This exploratory music is good for your head. I’ve talked to some attendees who come to an EPD show for a needed fix. A fix that clears the head of nonsense and the drudgery of the human condition. Then fills that head with a custom soundtrack of how life can be, when you are hip to what is out there.

G-d bless EPD.

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Feel free to engage in an email dialogue with me at lewisachenbach@yahoo.com about the sonic arts/visual arts movement.

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