Zeena Parkins, 1987
I'll admit, I would have preferred one of Zeena's solo albums, but surprisingly, none of them are available on vinyl. It's times like this I want to start my own reissue label—if only to fill such gaps in my own collection, if not correct history. Luckily, if Something Out There isn't solo, it is an avant garde potpurri of downtown NYC in the 80s: Ikue Mori, Christian Marclay, Tom Cora, Wayne Horvitz… It's filled with spazzed takes of instrumental avant rock, merging Zorn's freewheeling, game-theory improv with the outer reaches of post-punk, like the Pop Group. An open embrace of chaos and dissonance—far outside of rock's language—is carried forward by a stumbly, punkish energy.