Kronos Quartet concert review

The Kronos Quartet

At PopMatters, a review of the Carnegie Hall debut of the abstract new piece composed by Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche for the Kronos Quartet.

I did a double take: Kotche, in his most impressive virtuoso moment of the night, was playing melodic mallet lines with one limb and percussive parts on the drum kit with the other three. It made my head hurt. Although he was compelling as a performer, his composition seemed a bit scatterbrained, perhaps a bit too eager to show all his cards in one go, as though he needed to get all his weirdo ya-ya’s out before heading back out on the road with Wilco. (To be fair, he’s not the only one grappling with that problem—paging Nels Cline.) At times, it seemed to be more about spectacle than sound; we were probably a good twelve minutes in before he so much as hit his snare drum. His art-house technique of choice seemed to change every few bars (the cracking of twigs into a microphone being the most obnoxious phase) and I shuddered at the thought of what he might have planned for the giant gleaming golden gong planted stage left. More