Bands Worth Watching
Brandon Basino has been at work developing his Salt Altars project for several years. He crafts exquisite and detailed tales of life in the South, life on the plain, stories of travel and dust. You can smell the leather and taste the pine in your mouth afterward. It would be a cop-out to lump him in the folk category as his music transcends any sort of banal descriptor as that. His music is more than rudimentary chords drawn out to fit with a series of lines but instead a living, aged character that walks into the room, a character that sounds full and won’t leave your ears for days after you meet him. One of the best songwriters in Tallahassee and in the country, in my opinion.
SALT ALTARS – tallgrass lullabye by boatparty
Ian Power created Woset. A recording project at first, Woset has been playing select shows around Tallahassee for the past two years, with a choice supporting cast following Ian’s strong vision. Woset is a hard project to describe. Elements of ambiance, drone, rolling grooves, Hassell trumpet, treated lap-steel—the palette is extremely wide and lush whenever Ian writes a piece of music. Consider the blending of early era Genesis but earthier, more nylon strings, more trumpets, more sepia-toned keyboards, and then mix that with mid-’70s Grateful Dead but less jammy, more intellectual, but just as willing to open up at a moment’s notice and streak off at some blistering pace where the leads are shared by three different instruments in a synchronized and dizzying gallop. Sometimes Woset sounds like a horse that hasn’t been broken yet.
I think Jane Jane Pollock takes the cake for the most inventive, dynamic, weird, collage-minded, groove-minded group in Tallahassee. They recently released a self-titled record, and it’s outlandishly original; lots of sampled beats, sampled keys topped with ethereal, layered vocals. It can be spooky, but it’s spooky in that way comfortable way, like in the way you come to love the monster under your bed. You need him after a while, like you need this kind of spooky groove. Besides, it’s not that spooky anyway. It’s just like Michael Arcos and the rest of Jane Jane know things you don’t know about the world. Like maybe they’ve witnessed something you haven’t. Maybe this something was scary, maybe it was something that would strip a lay person of their innocence.
Jane Jane’s members are grand educators. They’ve seen it, but they won’t frighten you or burden you with the whole story. They’re gonna blot out the hard parts and go around the scary stuff, but the whole time you see them live or listen to their music, you know that they really could just overwhelm you and take you to places you’re not ready to go. Jane Jane Pollock wants you to grow up and be a happy person though. And because of that, they’ll wait, just for now, to drop some knowledge on you.
Next page: Venues Of Note and Post-Show Hangs