Yesterday at NX35: I Heart Lung at Texas 8 Ball

Band: I Heart Lung
Texas 8 Ball
Time: 1:08 a.m.

With most jazz music, it's usually about the sounds you don't hear. With avant-garde music, like the stuff Southern California duo I Heart Lung plays, it's about the sounds you do hear--and then some.The audience circled Chris Schlarb on guitar and Tom Steck on the drums,who were set up on the floor, right in front of the stage. What followed was an unique mix of noise rock and jazz improvisation.

Schlarb's ax work was out in full force during the set, as he performed parts of songs played by others on the albums. The one mess up with a slippery drumstick during the erratic track "Speedboats for Breakfast" didn't amount to fault on Steck's part. Actually, I thought of the omnipotence paradox, which asks "Can an omnipotent being create an object that he or she cannot move?"

What can I say? Avant-garde music tends to make me ponder things.

If Steck is a god--he sure as hell has godlike powers over the drum set--that song might be the immovable object.

The closing number opted for a spacey disposition where both talents blended into a stream of droning sound.

The 45-minute set left the audience as if they were player pianos twitching out the patterns laid out for them on punch cards. Actually, it may have just been the early-morning chill and the hour lost to daylight savings.

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Shahryar Rizvi
Contact: Shahryar Rizvi