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Third Coast Percussion @ SF Jazz Center 

Wednesday, Mar 23 2016
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To understand the Chicago quartet Third Coast Percussion, you must first understand what a percussion instrument is. It sounds almost idiotically simple, but a percussion instrument is anything — be it a keyboard, a bucket, or a hollow pole — that you can make a sound with. So basically anything can be a percussion instrument — which is exactly what Third Coast Percussion is trying to prove. At their upcoming show, the quartet will be playing two pieces: one composed by the experimental classical mastermind Steve Reich; the other by Glenn Kotche, the drummer for Wilco. While the Reich piece involves simply a piece of wood and drumstick per musician, the Kotche piece is a little more arcane. Here's what essentially will happen: At the beginning of the song, the musicians will carry out buckets full of junk and scraps to two microphone-outfitted tables. They'll dump the contents out and start building, all the while making music (hence the percussion part of the whole spectacle. Get it?). Eventually, they'll create rudimentary instruments like drums made out of cardboard tubes and packing tape and one-string violins made out of fishing lines and tongue depressors. If this all sounds very wacky and zany, good. It should. "For better or worse, we don't do one sound," says the outfit's David Skidmore. "We'd rather be weird and unexpected."

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Jessie Schiewe

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