Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Cotton Jones Basket Ride - [Maryland] - opening for John Vanderslice this Sunday at Mercury Lounge NYC, the curiously named act was "Born on a ship during the 1984 Baseball World Series between the San Diego Padres [Tony Gwynn rules forever) and the Detroit Tigers." Cotton's front porch psyche-folk goes down best during the line "black is the color of the heart they gave me" in "I was Stoned by the Choir," a knitting of Dylan, Marley and acoustic blues-style Spiritualized. -Kenyon

Astral: Sleepwalker (Vibraphone)
release: March 25, 2008
style: lo-fi ethereal post-post-punk
similar: Experimental Aircraft, the Autumns
[rating: *1/2] With one hand in lo-fi dark post-punk and the other in dream pop/shoegaze, Astral offers an odd idenity crisis. The tinny drums are forgivable, but the vox often sound strangely off. Here and there they do find their footing: "A Lullaby from Amsterdam" and "Winters in May" ease into washy delay-enhanced guitar effects and spaced-out vocals, achieving average dream pop. When Astral takes on post-punk, the ghost of Bauhaus is screaming to be released. Screaming in agony. -Kenyon

Son Lux - [NYC] - the latest from the challenging Anticon records is this manically unpredictable overcasting art experiment from paid composer Ryan Lott. Think Joseph Arthur's approach to dealing with multi-tracks, though more avant-garde. Son Lux has had the honor of sharing a stage with Sufjan Stevens. At War with Walls and Mazes released March 11. -Kenyon

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