Dustin Wong opens for Dodos on Saturday.
Mild-mannered delay-pedal phenom and longtime Baltimore scenester Dustin Wong (who recently relocated to his native Tokyo) has established a highly specific and uniquely rewarding approach to solo guitar composition/improvisation over the course of his three exploratory, loop-based Thrill Jockey opuses. His latest, the carefully titled Mediation of Ecstatic Energy, is being billed as the conclusion of a trilogy, but it feels equally like a springboard for something new. While 2010’s Infinite Love borrowed its name from a mantra, it’s worth stressing that the first word of the new title is not “meditation.” It may have its moments of daydreamy bliss — like when oddball-pop princess Takako Minekawa turns up to coo atop the lulling, airy final track — but this is easily the most adventurous, combustible and (at times) aggressive solo Wong has ever sounded, piling on fragmented, ping-ponging melodies in increasingly unpredictable, occasionally jarring ways and expanding his timbral palette so much that it feels almost limitless. Wong’s visually unassuming but aurally resplendent performance should make a tangy and startling appetizer before the bread-and-potatoes indie-rock comfort food of San Francisco duo Dodos, whose pleasingly meticulous new one, Carrier (Polyvinyl), finds more pedestrian but still highly redolent uses for the electric guitar.
Sat., Sept. 28, 9:30 p.m., $15, Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 215-739-9684, johnnybrendas.com.
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