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Dustin Wong At Music Hall Of Williamsburg, July 9th, 2012

Dustin Wong offers his credentials. he first played with Dirty Projectors in 2006, has watched them grow, and can't wait to see the show, Dustin was opening for them at MHOW, Monday night. Then he sits down with a bunch of machines by his feet, a guitar on his lap, and quietly but completely devastates the audience with instrumental guitar compositions and multi-guitar symphonies he records live and puts on a loop. 

Dustin does this for half an hour and only stops when somebody tells him his time is up. Then the crowd cheer like maniacs and Wong deserves every applaud.

Wong is a remarkable guitarist. He seems to lack in anything approaching dexterity for the first 15 minutes, playing tangled notes and little licks and progressions and multi tracking them live over and over again. It is both discrete and show offy with a touch of Hawaiian. Around what I guess is the third song, Wong begins showing off, and plays the bottle neck with fast, tinkling sounds like a bell or something. And he loops them as well.

Imagine if Glen Branca had one of these and was working out melodic instead of sonic puzzles… and was lo-fi. That's about the best I can do with the former member of the experimental band Ponytail and Ecstatic Sunshine.

When you think of experimental you are really thinking of someone saying "eat this, it tastes bad but it's good for you", but Wong is too melodic based and, for an instrumentalist too concentratedly smart to be a bore. I am not the only one who thought that. He could have played for another hour and nobody would have noticed it. It was like a musical puzzle and you couldn't stay one step ahead of him. He was modulating the tone with knobs, and bending the strings and making em wobble and vibrate and all for what? The sheer pleasure of sound

Grade: A

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