Dick Slessig Combo
Concert in the Foyer, free wandering.
The ticket gives access to the Mike Kelley "Ghost and Spirit" exhibition.
In resonance with Mike Kelley’s exhibition Ghost and Spirit, the Bourse de Commerce has compiled a programme of concerts and performances that address the importance of music in Mike Kelley's work. This programme draws on his influences, close collaborators, and a generation of musicians and performers who have been inspired by his musical explorations.
The Bourse de Commerce and New York label Blank Forms present a concert in the Foyer by Dick Slessig Combo, a trio featuring guitarist Mark Lightcab, drummer Steve Goodfriend and, for this performance, bassist Stanley Lightcap. Mark Lighcap, ex-member of the confidential but legendary Californian alternative rock trio Acetone, worked for the Mike Kelley studio from 2006 as production manager, then workshop manager. Present for the installation of the exhibition at the Bourse de Commerce, he brings together his band Dick Slessig Combo for an intimate concert stretching popular songs into instrumental versions in a contemplative atmosphere.
Since their 1990 debut at a downtown Los Angeles loft party, where a version of the Sandals’s “Theme from The Endless Summer” spontaneously mushroomed into a ninety- minute exercise in self-mesmerism, the Dick Slessig Combo has stupefied audiences worldwide with their pseudo-structuralist approach to the interpretation of popular song. Dick Slessig Combo existed quietly for four decades, peeking its head out occasionally, maintaining a somewhat cryptic presence through sporadic performances, infrequent releases, and an occasionally-updated SoundCloud cache of live recordings. Their music is simultaneously expansive and reductive, drawing on influences including Chet Atkins, Terry Riley, Isaac Hayes, Javanese gamelan, skipping records, and ’70s disco, all filtered through a decidedly ramshackle, garage-rock sensibility.
In his 2019 book The Wichita Lineman: Searching in the Sun for the World's Greatest Unfinished Song, journalist Dylan Jones describes Slessig's 2002 recording of the Jimmy Webb hit (1968) as "the longest version of any song you've ever heard, elongated and slowed down so that it sounds even more like a lament, with a hyphen of silence between each note." Critic Greil Marcus succinctly captured the feelings of listeners in his response to their rendition of George McCrae’s “Rock Your Baby” at the Portland Art Museum in 2000: "I could listen to that forever.”
Founded in 2016, Blank Forms is a New York-based non-profit organization that supports emerging and under-represented artists working across temporal disciplines such as experimental music, performance, dance, and sound arts. It seeks to create new systems for preserving, nourishing, and exhibiting to the public the work of historically established and emerging artists. Black Forms provides artists with curatorial support, residencies, commissions, and publications to help them document, disseminate, and make.
In resonance with Mike Kelley’s exhibition Ghost and Spirit, the Bourse de Commerce has curated a programme of concerts and performances:
- On 14 September, American artist Will Benedict presents the musical performance Pandemonium
- On 14 October, a concert by the Japanese group Marginal Consort
- On 18 October, British artist Anthea Hamilton presents Decade of Emotion
- On 20 October, a concert by Sun Ra Arkestra and by American musician KESSWA, with an introductory lecture by French journalist Joseph Ghosn
- On 21 October, Loris Gréaud and Lee Ranaldo present Cortical: Soundtrack for a Monograph