ISSUE presents a performance of electric guitar and voice by David Grubbs to celebrate the release of The Plain Where the Palace Stood (Drag City), his first collection of songs since 2008’s An Optimist Notes the Dusk. He will be drawing from material from the new album as well as from a recently completed, forthcoming release from the trio Belfi / Grubbs / Pilia. 75 Dollar Bill, a duo of Rick Brown on percussion and horns and Che Chen on electric guitar, opens the evening.
The Plain Where the Palace Stood finds Grubbs once again twining the diverse strands of his broad interests. As in the days of Gastr del Sol, langorously insistent, idiosyncratic, immediately memorable songs float in idiosyncratic, exceptionally unhurried arrangements. The Plain Where the Palace Stood features vocals on just four of the eleven tracks, yet the album as whole flows—breathes—effortlessly alongside the most acclaimed releases of his extended catalog.
David Grubbs is an associate professor in the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, CUNY, where he also teaches in the MFA programs in Performance and Interactive Media Arts (PIMA) and Creative Writing. He is the author of the forthcoming book Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, The Sixties, and Sound Recording (Duke University Press).
Grubbs has released twelve solo albums and appeared on more than 150 commercially-released recordings. He is known for his cross-disciplinary collaborations with writers such as Susan Howe and Rick Moody, and with visual artists such as Anthony McCall, Angela Bulloch, and Stephen Prina. Grubbs was a member of the groups Gastr del Sol, Bastro, and Squirrel Bait, and he has performed with the Red Krayola, Will Oldham, Royal Trux, Tony Conrad, Pauline Oliveros, and Mats Gustafsson, among many others.
More recently Grubbs played in Noël Akchoté’s ensemble, performing Carlo Gesualdo’s fifth book of madrigals in an arrangement for five guitars. He appears in Augusto Content’s new documentary film Parallax Sounds, and in March 2013 Grubbs and Angela Bulloch presented their new performance work The Wired Salutation at the Centre Pompidou.
75 Dollar Bill is a duo of Rick Brown and Che Chen. Brown was born in San Francisco, CA and is a clerical worker at a law school in NYC. Chen was born in New Haven, CT and works for a cancer diagnostics company in Stonybrook, NY. They met via myspace and started playing together as 75 Dollar Bill approximately eight years later. Brown plays percussion and homemade horns and Chen plays electric guitar.