Plenty of rock musicians are dabbling in improvised music these days, but none goes to quite the lengths Pelt does. The Virginia trio’s five albums map its journey into the void. Its 1995 debut, Brown Cyclopaedia (VHF), is a loose but essentially song-based album; woozy verses and raw-throated choruses float above the rumbling guitars and crashing drums like coal dust out of a collapsed mine shaft. But on subsequent releases, defined structures give way to sprawling, open-ended pieces, and acoustic instruments complement the guitars. The group compresses drones like sedimentary strata on its latest disc, Techeod; flutes, hand drums, and banjos rest atop a dense swirl of bowed guitars and humming amplifiers, which in turn gives way to layers of organ loops. In concert anything goes, from electric ragas to AMM-like layered meditations to howling feedback orgies. Pelt rarely strays far from home, but the band’s engagement next week at Terrastock II, in San Francisco, has led to its first cross-country tour. This free in-store appearance, a Chicago debut, is its only concert between Michigan and Montana. Sunday, 2 PM, Reckless Records, 3157 N. Broadway; 773-404-5080. BILL MEYER

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photo.