For Those Unable to Attend Marc Ribot's First Texas Performance, the Sights and Sounds

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Photos by Chris Howell
Marc Ribot and his latest collaborator, a filmmaker named Charlie Chaplin
Marc Ribot's performance at The Kessler Saturday night was one for the ages -- proof, if nothing else, that it is indeed possible to get a free-jazz sax skronk out of an acoustic guitar. Ribot, whose estimable solo career includes session stops with the Lounge Lizards and Elvis Costello and Tom Waits and artists too myriad to name without eating up the entirety of the Internet, played Dallas for the first time in his career -- unfathomable, but worth the wait. "A revelation," said one of the many guitarists in attendance; "so not Dallas," said another. (Here's the DC9 at Night take.)

His brief set, more of which follows courtesy the ever-present camera of Jeff Liles, was a prelude to something perhaps even more significant: Ribot's scoring of Charlie Chaplin's 1921 film The Kid, first performed at the New York Guitar Festival in January and done only one other time since. As Ribot explained before the lights dimmed, his mostly improvised score -- some of which is excerpted on his new album Silent Movies, out tomorrow -- renders an "ancient" film about single parenting below the poverty line somehow, suddenly, contemporary, as though such a topic is ever antiquated.

"I was working on it while all the headlines with the stock market crash were in the news, and suddenly it didn't feel like ancient stuff anymore," he said, "I see it differently every time I see it. There's a lot in there."

As promised, Chris Howell, the maker of the extraordinary Oak Cliff boxing doc Sweet Science, captured the night in a series of stills available here. Jump for more sights and sounds from a magical night.


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