Northern Spy, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based label responsible for pleasing out releases from Zs, Charles Gayle, the USA Is a Monster, and Loren Connors and Suzanne Langille over the past three years, recently released Black Host's Life in the Sugar Candle Mines, and it's an absolute motherfucker. Led by drummer Gerald Cleaver (pictured), the quintet-Darius Jones (alto saxophone), Cooper-Moore (piano, synth), Pascal Niggenkemper (bass), and Brandon Seabrook (guitar)-explores a blissfully chaotic space where free jazz meets urban noise and even some post-rock textural sound tapestries. It's a riveting jolt, moving from gorgeous morass to eardrum punch and back again. Local promoter Bernard Lyons brings the group to the Windup Space June 8 for Creative Differences Weekend Edition, a two-night Brillo pad to the brain. Lafayette Gilchrist joins Cleaver at 8:30 p.m. June 8 for a palette-cleaning duo before Black Host sets fire to the place at 9:45 p.m. The following night features Marilyn Crispell playing solo piano at 8 p.m., before a performance by the duo of pianist Lucian Ban and violist Mat Maneri, whose live ECM release Transylvanian Concert captures a gorgeously melodic and moody collaboration between these two exceptionally versatile performers.
While it's still a ways off, it's never too early to shout from the rafters that Weasel Walter is coming to High Zero 2013. Yes, that's right, the drummer from Chicago's hair-parting Flying Luttenbachers and current drummer of the avant-everything metal outfit Behold... the Arctopus is one of the 12 artists from around the country and globe descending on Baltimore for the improvisation and experimental music festival that runs September 16-23. Also among the totally awesome creative brains making the journey: Misha Marks, Angélica Castelló, and Sabine Vogel, joined by locals such as Susan Alcorn, Horse Lords' Andrew Bernstein, Jaimie Branch, and Christina Blomberg. See the full lineup at highzero.org, and pay attention for the fest's configurations and other activities closer to the event.
Speaking of experimental hijinks, the Red Room curates its seventh mini-festival, now called Worlds in Collusion, during this year's Artscape. It's three days of various kinds of performance, from turntable improv to comedy to baroque music to poetry to dance and various genre-splintering musicians. A full lineup is still in the works, so check redroom.org for more details.