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August will conclude with a generous helping of new music opportunities

As August draws to a close, those seeking out opportunities to experience the “bleeding edge” of new music and improvisation will find at least five potentially satisfying options, running all the way through Labor Day Weekend into the beginning of next month.

The Broken Shadows Family Band
from Darren Johnston's Web site

Most important is that, once again, this will be a week with two concerts from Outsound Presents, one each in the New Music Series at the Luggage Store Gallery (LSG) and the SIMM (Static Illusion Methodical Madness) Music Series. The specifics for these events are as follows:

  1. LSG, Thursday, August 28, 8 p.m.: The opening set will be a new ensemble project called Bridge of Crows. By their own description, their music exists “at the intersection of ethnomusic influenced by Primitive Roots/Blues and Contemporary Electroacoustic Chamber improvisation.” The core members as Kersti Abrams (alto saxophone, rhaita, maqrunah, and flute), Greg Baker (clarinet, percussion, and laptop), Mika Pontecorvo (flute, guitars, percussion, and laptop), and Elijah Pontecorvo (electric basses and theremin). For this particular concert they will be joined by two cellists, Adriane Pontecorvo and Mariko Miyakawa (also providing vocal and electronic support). The second half, beginning at 9 p.m., will be divided between two visiting groups from Los Angeles. The first, bandito overlord, calls itself a “Harsh Noise Dance Ritual” ensemble, whose “Frantic Ritual” was used for the soundtrack of Samur Khouja’s film Bandito Overlord. They will be followed at 9:30 p.m. by Mynameisann!, currently on a United States tour to promote the recent release of their EP Shelter Remixes. The Luggage Store Gallery is located at 1007 Market Street; and, as usual, admission will be on a sliding scale between $6 and $10, payable at the door.
  2. SIMM, Sunday, August 31, 7:30 p.m.: This will be a two-set program beginning with Instagon. This group calls itself Garage Jazz, a garage band working with the structural materials of jazz. They are particularly distinguished for never giving more than one performance with the same ensemble, nor do they practice or hold rehearsals as a group prior to any performance. For Sunday’s gig, Jaroba will perform on saxophones with rhythm provided by Lob on bass, Andre Custodio on drums, and Eduardo Poyart on keyboards. They will be followed at 8:30 p.m. by T.D. Skatchit. The initials are those of Tom Nunn and his cousin, David Michalak. Together they have developed a family of instruments called Skatch Boxes, built out of cardboard boxes and played with combs. Unless I am mistaken, Outsound Presents was responsible for my first encounter with Nunn; and the visual experience was as fascinating as the auditory. As usual, the venue will be the Musicians Union Hall at 116 Ninth Street, near the corner of Mission Street. General admission is $10 with an $8 rate for students and seniors.

Other events likely to be of interest are the following:

  • Wednesday, August 27, 8 p.m., El Rio: Located deep in the Mission (on Mission Street just south of Cesar Chavez Street), El Rio describes itself as a “neighborhood Bar, Community Space and Garden.” They maintain a relatively full calendar of performances every night. This particular evening will present a program entitled Delirious Summer, bringing together three groups that visit El Rio regularly. The Bay Area trio Grex, consisting of Karl Evangelista on guitar and vocals, Rei Scampavia on keyboards and vocals, and Robert Lopez on percussion, will open, having just returned from a national tour. They will be followed by a visit from Vancouver-based Spring, the quartet of Joseph Hirabayashi (guitars and vocals), Elliot Langford (guitars, piano, electric sitar, and vocals), Ridley Bishop (saxophones, bass, and vocals), and Kevin Romain (percussion and vocals). The final act will be Surplus 1980 with Moe! Staiano (guitars and vocals), Bill Wolter (guitars), Meine Twf (guitars), Amanda Chaudhary (keyboards), and Thomas Scandura (drums). El Rio is located at 3158 Mission Street, half a block south of Cesar Chavez Street; and admission is on a sliding scale between $5 and $10.
  • Friday, August 29, 6 p.m., de Young Museum: Friday Nights at the de Young will present the Broken Shadows Family Band, led by trumpeter and vocalist Darren Johnston. This group describes itself as “New Roots Music for Internationalists.” Performances on non-Western instruments are provided by Corinne Sykes (tamboura, percussion, and vocals), Faisal Zedan (derbekki, riqq, and vocals), and Marco Peris (tupan). Matt Szemela plays violin and also sings, and bass is provided by Jake Leckie. Admission is free with entry to the museum, which is located in Golden Gate Park at 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive,
  • Monday, September 1, 8:30 p.m., Make Out Room: Make Out First Mondays is a series of performances out on the cutting edge of Bay Area jazz and improvisation. This will be a three-set program. The opening act will be DunkelpeK, the duo of percussionist Nava Dunkelman and Jakob Pek, who alternates between guitar and percussion. The second set will be by the jazz combo Nathan Clevenger Group, led by Clevenger on guitar. The other performers are Kasey Knudsen on alto saxophone, Cory Wright on tenor saxophone and clarinet, Aaron Novik on bass clarinet and clarinet, and a rhythm section of Sam Bevan on bass, and Jon Arkin on drums. The program will close with the free improvisation group Miami Ham, consisting of saxophonists Brian Pedersen and Josh Marshall and percussionists Robert Lopez and Sung Kim-Ogiku. The Make Out Room is located in the Mission at 3225 22nd Street, just west of Mission Street.