Billy Bang and Abbey Rader

Billy Bang and Abbey Rader

Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, FL • November 6, 1998

Violinist Billy Bang is possessed by Satan. There’s no way around it. Occasionally, you run across musicians who play like he does; who go way beyond music theory and traditional rules of rhythm and harmony, and make the most fucked-up, scary noises on their instruments that you can imagine. Sure, it all starts out within a nice little framework, a few notes, an ostinato, a little solo, some more melody… and by the end he’s jumping around the room and banging on the back of it with the bow and making insane throat noises. I can’t help but end up almost rolling on the floor with laughter. How else can you react to a performance so uncanny? Abbey Rader, legendary drummer from New York, on the other hand, had some bizarre percussion set up, which he mostly didn’t utilize. I would have loved to hear what some of those little metal thingamajigs sounded like. Regardless, I was astounded that two people who never met each other could just set up somewhere, shake hands, and start playing this intense improv music. That’s a very special thing; a special thing that could only take place at an Emit Concert organized by Peter Tush and David Manson. Anyone who complains that there’s no good music going on should go to one… they’re wild, man.

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