history sifter :: come night

I don't claim to know the ins-and-outs of the record industry. Even still, I'm baffled to find records out-of-print. It feels as though we’re living through the era of peak-discography. Streaming services make vast amounts of recorded history available. Of course, when you look at all that's actually missing, you realize only swaths of popular music are available. There's certainly plenty of experimentalism to be found on spotify, but it feels nowhere near comprehensive. There's also an entire cottage industry of unearthing and reissuing rare gems on vinyl—which captures at least a small portion of what streaming services overlook.

This, though, is my OOP! WTF?! subset of the History Sifter series, wherein I make a direct plea to that those who reissue music and keep it in circulation: if you are listening, rectify this situation; quickly, please.

Recorded long before Loren (née Mazzacane) Connors' mid-to-late-90s rediscovery as an avant blues legend, Come Night was a small group record—something that's still a rarity in his oeuvre. He usually appears in a duo, at most. There’s a couple of records by group Haunted House (also with Langille). Come Night is more closely related to Hoffman Estates—the sole record by the Loren Connors / Alan Licht Ensemble, featuring a wealth of guest turns by Chicago jazzmen like Rob Mazurek and Ken Vandermark. Hoffman Estates was entirely instrumental, though. The result on Come Night is amorphous. It’s not blues, jazz, ambient or rock, but it’s not-not-those either. There are few records that mine this same terrain of abstract, patient, distended songcraft—Chris Connelly’s Everyoned or The Episodes come to mind. (And yes, it does feel weird to put Loren Connors on the same shelf as a record by the former frontman of Revolting Cocks.)

Loren Connors work has always felt desperately solitary. It’s unmoored from timekeeping, spacious and unpredictable. His partner, Susan Langille has long been his perfect foil, her husky, hippy intonations meshing perfectly with his bent strings and amplifier hiss. Come Night expands outward without spoiling the chemistry. The supporting cast acts more like a makeshift lean-to, partially protecting them from the elements.