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.
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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All Photos: Greg Szeto
MP3: Lonnie Walker – Compass Comforts
A sweaty grower of a Thursday night show, from the blissful haze of expertly layered guitar loops to the serenity of nature, followed by big-riff country-fried rock and capped off with high-energy, soul-filled dance songs.
Jared Paolini’s measured performance matched his meticulous and painstaking live layering of guitars to produce vast and glorious escapist textures. Small Sur’s set was pitch perfect, some new cuts being played, while Andy Abelow often stole the show with his ever-improving, excellent sax work (nary a squawk or hesitant entrance in earshot, and rich, full tones abound). This is no small feat considering Bob Keal’s soaring vocal work and subtle, lyrical guitar, and Austin Stahl’s deliberate and expressive drumming. Future Islands provided the soulful dance party we have all come to expect, Sam Herring’s emphatic, raw vocals and uniquely theatrical delivery proving ever effective. Will Cashion’s bass work also proved spot on, providing a much needed, kinetic bass line you could feel, compensating for the somewhat hollow drum machine beats in the background.
But for me, the big find of the night was how much I absolutely fell in love with Lonnie Walker’s foot-stomping, knee-slapping, crunchy and rousing Americana rock. Building each song from rambling country riffs and vocals to huge guitar shredding payoffs, frantic vocals, and ramped-up, urgent tempi. So versatile was their approach that they even dropped one of their songs into something like a syncopated ska beat. Expect to hear more from them in these pages in the very near future.
Photo credit: Defekto
MP3: Jared Paolini – The Fog Desert from Side B of Bears & Pieces/Jared Paolini split tape (2009)
Being that the philosophy backing experimental music largely emphasizes meaning to the individual rather than to the culture with which the musician belongs, I find it unnatural to be the least bit persuasive when speaking of Jared Paolini. To me, his half of a lost:ghosts:records split cassette with Bear & Pieces, entitled “The Fog Desert,” is something of an aesthetic wonderland, its very fabric shimmering with heavenly charm. The track’s liveliness becomes more persistent throughout its 19-minute duration. In a way, Paolini evolves “The Fog Desert” idiosyncratically while still keeping it cohesive, a pool of unreal reverberations and entrancing resonance.
Others that I’ve played the tape for suggest that his round edges and soft tones are designed to bring the listener into something of a divine coma, and I couldn’t disagree more. Jared Paolini, though I haven’t read his word on the subject, probably does not make sound for any specific purpose. Rather, I’d posit that he has a simple and genuine enthusiasm for these exact frequencies, the sort of appreciation that won’t let you nod off; it’ll hold you captive. Many without an eye for experimentation and ambiance are at a loss when it comes to music that demands an above average amount of effort on the behalf of the listener; and I won’t lie to you, “The Fog Desert” is no exception. Sure, this one might take a little elbow grease to decipher, but is art really worth discounting for that reason alone? I don’t think so, and I hope not.
Photo credit: Flickr user Dorret
Hunting for safety from the sun’s rays made me feel something like an animal Sunday. I was leaning against the old rusted fence in the MICA parking lot, watching Santa Dads do their own thing–and it is totally theirs to keep, when I became aware of all the Wham City members working their butts off in the draining heat. I remember running into (who I believe was) Stefani Levin of Wham City at the Load of Fun on Saturday night. She was clearly fatigued, and (not knowing who she was) I asked “hell of a show, right?” She exhaled loudly and replied, “I’m working.” You might imagine what hell organizing and executing this monstrous Whartscape must have been. For those of us who attended, I think it’s time to give a quick thanks to the people that put this rad fest on.
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