Music » Critics' Picks

Bhob Rainey

8 p.m. Friday, December 23. Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, 3301 Lemp Avenue.


Even the militantly DIY noise punks who frequent the Lemp Arts Center appreciate a good tradition. The venue is hosting its ninth annual pre-Christmas solo show by Bhob Rainey, a New Orleans-via-Boston soprano saxophonist. Anyone who has set foot inside Lemp should know not to expect the new-age jazz that normally comes to mind when Christmas and soprano saxophones hang out. There is nothing smooth about Bhob Rainey. The improviser expertly summons the incidental sounds of his instrument and mangles them into something resembling a scratched copy of Coltrane's My Favorite Things slowly spinning backward on a turntable — the perfect antidote to Christmas carol overload.

Out of Your Comfort Zone? Fret not. An opening set by Lemp owner Mark Sarich's cello noise act Epicycle presents as much tension and discomfort as a traditional family holiday dinner.