Given the godforsaken cold that grips Calgary, it's little wonder that Alberta named her professional hockey team the Flames. For Canuck Chad VanGaalen, any sanity not otherwise found busking the streets likely took place in the warmth of the basement -- building pianos, saxophones, clarinets, violins and various found-object munitions. With a body of work approaching 200 albums' worth of unreleased material -- the lion's share composed as instrumentals on prepared rigs -- VanGaalen definitely fits the profile of some drooling savant who sings falsetto with a vitamin D deficiency. Of course the industry loves a good, undiscovered-genius story that lets critics throw around the ol' Harry Partch comparisons. But in the case of VanGaalen, influenced more by John Cage than John Lennon, referencing some mystical junkman makes total sense. With Infiniheart, a sprawling opus that clocks in at seventy minutes despite Sub Pop's judicious pruning, Calgary's best-kept secret since defenseman Roman Harmerlik (who's a bit crazy himself) takes the Larimer stage this Friday with Rogue Wave. Bundle up.
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