A performance of Guitar Trio by Rhys Chatham is always a stunning, overwhelming, transcendent thing to experience. The composition itself is a schematic set of instructions for 3 or more guitarists, a process that Chatham directs from the stage as he plays himself. It has been his practice to perform the trio with local musicians, as Chatham did in Iowa City nearly 5 years ago with a completely different group. Every performance is the same, and every performance is completely different.
Rene Hell, former Iowa Citian who has gone on to some renown in the experimental music scene delivered a performance that was a departure from his past forays into fuzzy analog electronica. Most of the set was a chaotic blizzard of digitally synthesized sounds; like a Warner Brother’s Cartoon soundtrack done by Karlheinz Stockhausen for an audience of deranged robots. And I mean that in the best possible way.
Solid Attitude were, err, solid. These guys play their punk rock like demons possessed by other, more evil demons, and Mickey Shaw’s lead singer/ranter performance is a thing to behold.