Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012

Stream Jon Mueller's Magnificent "Death Blues" LP

By Evan Rytlewski
jon mueller
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Jon Mueller understands that silence can be unnerving. That simple understanding has carried through all of the drummer’s work, from his output with Collections of Colonies of Bees to his myriad collaborations with various experimental composers and even through his loud, early albums with the Pele, the most conventionally rock-minded project he’s ever worked with, and it has especially informed his solo albums, where he’s mostly taken a less-is-more approach to his percussive compositions. So when he titles an album Death Blues and opens it with a track broken by long empty spaces and silences, a sense of unease sets in. The listener knows it’s only a matter of time until that silence breaks, and sure enough, minutes later, it does.

Though it doesn't abandon Mueller's usual minimalist sensibilities, Death Blues is one of his most eventful albums. It’s only fitting, then, that he’ll welcome it with what must be his most ambitious performances ever. This weekend at the Alverno College’s Pittman Theatre—and I’m quoting generously from a press release here because I can’t pretend to picture what Mueller has in mind—the drummer will present a performance experience that “engages all the senses – obviously sound, but also sight, taste, scent and touch. Working with choreographer Molly Shanahan, designer Dylan Schleicher, and pop-up restaurateur And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Crumbs, Mueller will transform the Pitman Theatre into a singular environment where only 100 people may be present at each performance.” He’ll be assisted by members of Altos, Juniper Tar, Testa Rosa, The Celebrated Workingman and Field Report.

In advance of those performances, and the album’s January physical release on Hometapes and Taiga, Death Blues is streaming on Bandcamp. Give it a spin below.

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