Best Homecoming - 2012
Between his family life in Edwardsville, Illinois, and his tours of Japan alongside folks like Jim O'Rourke and Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche, local performances by Darin Gray are rare. At January's New Music Circle-curated show at the Kranzberg Arts Center with Chris Corsano and Dave Stone, Gray summoned the pent-up energy of the four-plus years since his last St. Louis performance and took it out on his upright bass. Strings were beaten with sticks, and an amplifier internally combusted. At the climax, he blew into a trumpet mouthpiece attached to a tube which he swung above his head as his bass lay lifeless onstage. It was enlightenment through aggression, cementing Darin Gray's reputation as our most creatively and physically dangerous musician.