If you spend enough time lurking around Washington's music venues, there's a "Where's Waldo" game that requires you to keep your eyes peeled for the guy in the black-framed glasses and military cap. You might spot him at a house show, making his guitar sparkle and scream. Or at a warehouse party. Or at a wedding reception. He's pretty much everywhere, just about all the time.
His name is Anthony Pirog and his upcoming gig at the Fridge is special: The 34-year-old guitarist is celebrating the release of his debut solo album, "Palo Colorado Dream," a collection of rich, pastoral music he recorded with esteemed bassist Michael Formanek and Ches Smith, a drummer who's kept time with John Zorn and Marc Ribot. These three each qualify as jazz players, but the sounds they conjure as a trio resemble something else: the sumptuous post-rock of Tortoise, the volatile prog-rock of King Crimson or maybe the blissful repetition of Terry Riley.
And while his rhythm section is propulsive, playful and alive, it's Pirog's melodies that drive this music. He's a guitar hero with the technical chops necessary for dazzling ears and scrambling brains. But when Pirog chooses to let his instrument breathe and simmer, he's doing something far more heroic: He's listening.
Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Fridge. 516 1/2 Eighth St. SE, rear alley. 202-664-4151. www.thefridgedc.com. $10 in advance, $15 at the door.