There’s no pinning down Shane Parish. On acoustic guitar, he spins webs of bright, densely packed notes; plugged in, he dips into a deep well of jagged rhythms, gnarled chords, and elongated ribbons of humming sound. Stylistically, he seems equally at home meditating upon American folk tunes, negotiating high-speed hairpin turns with mathy combo Ahleuchatistas, and matching wits with improvisers such as Tatsuya Nakatani, Wendy Eisenberg, and Jacob Wick. He’s already delivered two albums this year. On January’s Viscera Eternae (Ramble), he uses nylon- and steel-stringed acoustic instruments to externalize lengthy, stream-of-consciousness reveries; on the brand-new Liverpool (Dear Life), he adapts old sea shanties via alternately tense and playful treatments for electric guitar. What makes Parish persuasive in every context is his capacity to engage fully with the material at hand while infusing it with restless, investigative curiosity. For this concert, his first Chicago-area appearance in three years (he’s based in Athens, Georgia, after a long stretch in North Carolina), Parish will perform alone. While he expects to play songs from Liverpool and from a not-yet-recorded singer-songwriter venture, his improvisational instincts might divert the action in any direction. The openers for tonight’s show include Lia Kohl, who’s also performing a solo set. She is best known as a cellist, but on her new solo cassette, Too Small to Be a Plain (Shinkoyo/Artist Pool), she combines strings, electronics, radio static, and field recordings into diaristic expressions of pandemic-era solitude.
Shane Parish, Lia Kohl, Tue 3/15, 9:30 PM, Elastic Arts, 3429 W. Diversey, $15, all ages