What’s up with avant-garde and experimental
Published: September 26, 2012
Earlier this month Baltimore musician/vocalist, performance artist, and filmmaker Bethany Dinsick relocated to New York for a short spell just to explore a different arts community. The 2007 Towson University graduate has been an underground presence in recent years, whether it be performing at the Transmodern Festival or the Bank, helping to start up the Baltimore Experimental Dance Collective (with Sarah Autrey, Sigrid Lauren, Sarah Magida, Sophia Mak, Sophie Moore, Madeline Tess Peters, and Monica Mirabile), performing with other outré vocal gymnasts such as Shodekeh and Gerry Mak, and creating vocal drone folk as Square Pi. These days she’s performing as Sick Din, and as evidenced by the EP of the same name that she recently recorded with Oxes’ Chris Freeland (tentatively scheduled for release later this year), it’s an inviting combination of her woozily transfixing vocal improvisations and Square Pi’s sense of seductive melodies. Tracks such as “Black Heart Trance” and “The Sacred Sacrament of Sex (XXX)” put percussive electronic vocal samples behind her singing voice, and the result is this sort of haunting joy—the inverse of apocalyptic folk a la Coil or Current 93. Visit YouTube to check her new video for “Public Service Announcement 2012: Bread,” which is like a DIY Pen & Pixel album cover come to noise-pop life. Sick Din live blossoms into performance: Dinsick costumes herself as a “celestial space being” and performs with John Somers (aka local producer Do While—whose bucolic four-song EP is worth downloading at dowhile.muxtape.com), who triggers the various samples of her voice. Sick Din plays the Bohemian Coffee House Oct. 6 with Little Spoon, Birthdays, and Winks.
After spending eight weeks in an AIDS-related coma in 2008, pianist Fred Hersch has not only come back—he’s come back on fire. A versatile and responsive player since the mid-1980s, Hersch has always displayed the subtle panache of Wynton Kelly, but on albums, from 2010’s Whirl and since, Hersch has let loose a wide breadth of ideas and emotions that are on fascinating display on his new Alive at the Vanguard, where “Sartorial (for Ornette)” opens with a lurching groove and quickly slides into a de Kooning whorl of colors. Hersch comes to An die Musik for two sets Sept. 28 with bassist Drew Gress and drummer Eric McPherson.
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