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Joe McPhee with the Thing

Joe McPhee with the Thing perform Saturday, April 28, at MECA, 1900 Kane, 713-928-5653.

Haven't heard of the Thing? Don't worry, all your favorite musicians have.
Haven't heard of the Thing? Don't worry, all your favorite musicians have.

Scandinavian jazz experimentalists the Thing consists of three guys whose names you've never heard of and can't pronounce anyway (Mats Gustafsson, Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten, Paal Nilssen-Love). But, rest assured, many artists you do know — Sonic Youth, the Boredoms, the Ex — have heard of and have worked with those guys and all the vowels in their names. Collaborating with them on this show is 68-year-old free jazz legend Joe McPhee, who began working with the Thing in 2001. McPhee's lofty résumé could carry the weight of a bill on his own — he can be heard in more than 70 recordings, is a recipient of the 2005 Resounding Vision Award (it's a jazz thing) and has made some of free jazz's most groundbreaking works with (here we go with the names again) Ken Vandermark and Peter Brotzmann. Add him to the Thing for some mind-bending, genre-defying covers of acts as diverse as Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, the White Stripes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Lightning Bolt, and it's sure to be an exciting, if slightly hard-to-pronounce, show.

 
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