When a fledgling performance space opens a five-minute walk away from one's home, you're kind of obliged to go and lend support even if you have a pretty good idea that the music offered isn't going to be your smear of marmite. Such occurred last night with the inaugural concert at Homefield Advantage which is presenting four Saturday evening shows in a second floor gallery (Lex Leonard) here in Jersey City. From the look of things, this series is going to concentrate on the avant-to-ecstatic jazz end of the spectrum with shows by Jason Kao Hwang, Tony Malaby and others.
Last evening's set featured Daniel Carter with a guitarist and drummer. Admittedly, I wasn't expecting much of anything, but that's indeed what we got. Carter is obviously a good player (I'd seen him previously in the Astor Place subway station as a member of Test) and I can imagine moderately enjoying a solo set from him, especially when he plays it relatively straight. He rotated from flute to trumpet to tenor to clarinet to alto, doing some nice tonal playing on the first two. But it was all in the context of a typical Viz Fest-y formless, would-be-ecstatic set. The drummer was one of those thousands who brings a few dozen accoutrements, toying with each one for 20 seconds or so, checking them off some mental list then proceeding to the next (btw, I thought there'd been a law enacted against the use of bullroarers, no?). Were I his daddy, I'd lock him up in a room for a few months with a snare and a single stick. The guitarist included a Midi set-up, recording and altering his own and other's tones in pedestrian fashion, something that was irritating 20 years, much less today. I'm given to understand he was once a disciple in Fripp's League of Crafty Guitarists.
Sounded like it.
Ah well, did my civic duty to support any remotely interesting venture in the neighborhood. Be tough to drag me back there, though.
Alvin Lucier - Nothing Is Real (Wergo)
Alvin Lucier - Ever Present (Mode)
"Blue" Gene Tyranny - Out of the Blue (Unseen Worlds)
Lubomyr Melnyk - KMH (Unseen Worlds)