Music

Christmas jeer: Kool G Rap faces the mob.
photo: Jake Price
Christmas jeer: Kool G Rap faces the mob.

For boomboxes run out of sync; they distort; they resonate at different frequencies. The vocal parts warble queasily and the glockenspiels submerge. Where you stand in relation to others goes a long way toward determining what you hear—a neat metaphor for religious belief. My friend Katie called the sound "vague," and that vagueness is the result of truly accepting chance operations in public performance (John Cage certainly didn't want performers stopping for cigarettes). In terms of concept with a big C, Unsilent Night owes a debt to Alvin Lucier's distorting tape loops. But in pulling off a Christmas music that's both postmodernist and unironic, Kline shows himself a little bit Rudolph after all. —David Krasnow

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