The Friday Morning Listen: McPhee/ Brotzmann/ Kessler/ Zerang – The Damage is Done (2009)

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It’s that time of year again. Time for the Monadnock region’s fantastic music/arts festival that goes by the name The Thing in the Spring. Put together by the dynamic duo of Eric Gagne and Mary Goldthwaite-Gagne (Peterborough’s official CulturalGadflies™), the Thing brings an entire weekend of music of many kinds, from folk to hard core to improvised jazz to things that can hardly be explained let alone categorized. In the middle of all of this is Broke, Saturday’s art show. The name comes from the added twist that all of the artists have agreed to price their wares for under 50 bucks.

As the Thing has grown over the years, Mr. Gagne has managed to bring in an impressive array of talent to our little corner of the world. Sometimes we all look around during a show and think “Wow, I can’t believe this is happening.” I had that feeling in particular when watching Thurston Moore (and perhaps will feel the same this year when Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley appear before the main event).

This year, the big draw for my ears is the duo of Joe McPhee and Peter Brotzmann. Peter effing Brotzmann? Right here in town? Get out!! Actually, I’m a little scared of this particular show. Brotzmann wields his horn like an aural flame thrower. Will he be tempered by Mr. McPhee? I can’t wait to find out.

You know, people are always saying how there’s nothing good to listen to anymore. Now, I know that that’s not true. But our fractured entertainment universe somehow manages to make it seem like there’s both too much and not enough out there. It is events like that boost my faith that not everybody has given up.

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