Saturday, January 22, 2011

Random Cutting (and other assassinations), Chashama, Fri Jan 21

Caught a set from Tyler Nolan (of Vaz and Up Died Sound), who plays solo as Random Cutting, last night at Chashama, the p-r artspace that's right where you'd never think it should be: E 42nd, right across the street from the Helmsley Hotel.

Living out of a suitcase

Last time I'd seen Nolan solo he accompanied an edited-down (to 30 minutes or so) Robocop, drawing laughs and whoops from a half-full but fully attentive Zebulon. And there is something intrinsically sci-fi to his bright and loud style — not à la Chrome, but formally somehow, visions of glassy spires crashing up out of the ground, like an Arthur C. Clarke paperback cover set on •>awe<•. One fleet five-note run that started a new passage (he plays straight through, with brief pauses) last night kind of suggested the light-tones at the end of Close Encounters. What's rare (in a solo electric-guitar set, at least) is there's no indulgence in his playing; he neither wastes a shred nor underplays, everything is hemmed and purposed without feeling tight or restrained. The cuts are anything but random. Check out two pieces named for tall black men at his site, linked at top.

Also on hand at Chashama were a bunch of hacked and rigged old video games, the most popular being JFK: Reloaded, which is exactly what it sounds like. It really was impressive and only a bit unnerving; while I don't think anyone old enough to remember the day is currently coding video games, I couldn't help but think of the function of history in severing emotional ties to traumatic events. The people (hmf, kids) clustered around the machine were laughing their asses off, and who am I to criticize? I wasn't born till ’67.