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Sound Off!: Indian Jewelry

Indian Jewelry

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01. MP3: Indian Jewelry – Temporary Famine Ship from Free Gold! (2008)
02. MP3: Indian Jewelry – Swans from Free Gold! (2008)
03. MP3: Indian Jewelry – Lapis Lazuli from untitled 2010 release (World Premiere!)

Indian Jewelry are students of drone and psychedelia.  Formed by Erika Thrasher and Tex Kerschen in 2002, the logistics of this ever-evolving collective are baffling, seeming to expand and contract as frequently as the air we breathe.  With a rotating cast of members that is kinda like a revolving door, it’s a wonder they ever get anything done.  They have remarkably churned out two full-lengths (2006′s Invasive Exotics and 2008′s Free Gold!) along with refining a noted live spectacle.  Happily, they have a third album on the way and we are premiering the track “Lapis Lazuli” above.

The result is one of the catchier distillations of mind-warping visions you are likely to see. Uniquely, they manage to wrangle a balance of psych and drone that is rarely seen; more often than not, you encounter one predominating and the other playing the role of hook or kitsch.  IJ are relentlessly toeing lines: they teeter on the precipice of shoegaze with the clashing of distorted guitars, deploy drones that take them to the pearly gates of noise, paint often enough in textures to recall post-rock.  All done while keeping aligned with the fundamental vision of psych: providing a musical framework for melding and moulding of consciousness.

“Temporary Famine Ship” displays these qualities perfectly, a simple psych guitar riff twirls amidst a cacophonic din of reverberating vocals and droning synths that might be considered neon if not so sinister, driven by a stomping set of tribalist drum beats; a paradox that is catchy and unsettling at the same time.  ”Swans” feels appropriately ascendant in its guitar melody, leading to a gradual and righteous coalescence of the various droning components that feels not unlike basking in the sun after a sojourn through the dark woods.  Slow-burning grower “Pentecostal” has a pipe-organ-like drone that recalls a sermon or ritual of titular origin, primitive power, and low-range vocals that could easily be mistaken for tongues.  The excellently titled “Lapis Lazuli” shimmers with textures of guitars and synths in perhaps their most polished track to date; the track also brings them even closer to the sounds of post-rock, the proceedings having an ominous cloud above them.

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With a sonic palette such as this, they’re well paired to open for Celebration along with Videohippos (premiering as a quartet featuring Jared Paolini and Adventure aka Benny Boeldt) at the LOF/T this Thursday Oct 15th, as part of the “Earth” installment of Celebration’s Baltimore Elemental series.

Check out the music video for “Lapis Lazuli” after the jump.

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Interview: Adventure (w/ Benny Boeldt)

Adventure plays the Talking Head Club July 5th, and somewhere during Whartscape weekend July 17th-20th (venue TBA).

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MP3: Adventure – Poison Diamonds

I’m fairly certain that if Benny Boeldt (aka Adventure) wanted to, he could pave a path as one of the most riveting and innovative video game soundtrackers in history, scoring a sweet deal at Square Enix for the next Final Fantasy or Microsoft for Gears of War or Halo and pumping out material to rival Nobuo Uematsu.

But I have a feeling he’s not really interested in that. Instead, he’s got a solid deal on DC’s Carpark Records, making his nest alongside numerous other Baltimore and Wham City related acts such as Beach House, Dan Deacon, Ecstatic Sunshine, and Lexie Mountain.  Now a true Baltimorean, Benny is an active member of Wham City and about to move in with Johnny Siera, and Adam Endres.

“Battle Cat” off his debut LP dropping in Septmber has been making the rounds and raising eyebrows at diverse outlets such as New York Magazine, Wired, Tiny Mix Tapes and Pitchfork. Before his career rollercoaster begins, gently with Whartscape next month followed by the first big drop with his own tour beginning around August, Benny took some time to sit down with us and chat about his path to Baltimore, his music, his costuming dilemmas and more…

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