Dirty Baby is a multimedia collaboration among guitarist Nels Cline, poet David Breskin, and visual artist Ed Ruscha. It was inspired by two sets of paintings by the L.A.-based avant-gardist Ruscha: Silhouettes, dark images that Breskin has described as "a time-lapse history of Western civilization," and Cityscapes, consisting of black strips on single-color fields with aggressive titles like "You Cross Me I Wanna See Blood" and "You Will Eat Hot Lead." The subtext of both is U.S. involvement in the Middle East. Breskin wrote poems for each image in the style of Middle Eastern ghazals, which are meant to be accompanied by music. Cline plays guitar for Wilco, but has also ranged from jazz into the avant-garde. His six-part suite for Silhouettes has an Americana influence (thanks to pedal steel and banjo) but ventures widely into metal-edged rock, free jazz, and funk. Originally released as a book/recording combination in 2010, Dirty Baby has been performed only once before. The impressive eight-member ensemble Cline will lead includes keyboardist Yuka Honda of Ciba Matto, plus Nels Cline Singers percussionist Scott Amendola and bassist Devin Hoff.
Thu., Nov. 29, 8 p.m., 2012