The brainchild of visionary composer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Brian Carpenter, Beat Circus is a bona fide Boston music institution, Since forming in 2002, the group has evolved from an all-star improv outfit, boasting players like Brandon Seabrook, Jim Hobbs, and Jerome Deupree, into something less easily pigeonholed: one part edgy, eclectic art ensemble, one part twangy, moody roots-rock outfit, combined in an instantly appealing mix.
These Wicked Things, the fourth Beat Circus album and the third installment in its “Weird American Gothic” trilogy, has its roots in music Carpenter was tapped to compose for an ill-fated play based on The Barbary Coast, Herbert Asbury’s history of San Francisco’s violent birth during the Gold Rush era. The play never made it to the stage, but some of the music and ideas continued to resonate for Carpenter, who reworked and expanded it into These Wicked Things, a compelling mix of Mexican folk music, cowpunk, “spaghetti Western” soundtracks, and other curious notions. Added to the deep Beat Circus bench for the occasion are guest artists including legendary improviser Bill Cole, Morphine saxophonist Dana Colley, and Calexico trumpeter Jacob Valenzuela.
To whet your appetite for These Wicked Things and and the upcoming tour celebrating its arrival, National Sawdust Log has the distinct pleasure of offering the exclusive premiere of the video for the album’s title track. You’ll definitely get a sense of the album’s moody vibe and spacious feel… feast your eyes and ears, and then come back after the jump to learn more.
Carpenter, via email, explained how the video came to be:
“These Wicked Things was mixed in Tucson, Arizona, with Craig Schumacher at Wavelab, where so many great recordings have been made. I love working with Craig and hiking out to the desert and just exploring the world. For the video, I traveled to New Mexico with director Dan Huiting, a super creative filmmaker with an incredible eye, and met the very talented actress Julia Lee Romero, who lives there. One of my favorite living artists, the Brooklyn-based artist Danijel Žeželj, created all of the stunning black ink drawings for both the record and the video. The song has a lot of dreaming and mirage in it, with a certain distance and longing, and I thought the wide expanse of the white sands really captured that perfectly.”
Coming March 22 on the Innova label. These Wicked Things will include an original 18-page graphic novelette by Croatian artist Danijel Žeželj, widely admired for work published by DC Comics through its Vertigo imprint (El Diablo,Corinthian: Death in Venice,Luna Park), as well as his 2011 collaboration with bandleader Darcy James Argue, Brooklyn Babylon.
The album is available for pre-order now via Bandcamp, on CD and limited-edition vinyl as well as a variety of download formats (including lossless). Beat Circus will celebrate the release in a series of live showcases far and wide—including a hometown hit at Somerville’s hip ONCE Ballroom on March 23 and a Brooklyn showcase at National Sawdust on April 25, also featuring kindred spirits Tredici Bacci.
This week's tally of memorable things National Sawdust Log editor Steve Smith has stuck in his ears includes selections featuring Alvin Curran, Linda Catlin Smith, Lea Bertucci, and Chris Forsyth.
https://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Playlist-May-27-2019.jpg5002000Steve Smithhttps://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/national-sawdust-log.pngSteve Smith2019-05-27 03:00:222019-05-28 16:15:57Playlist (Blinking at a star).
This week's tally of memorable things National Sawdust Log editor Steve Smith has stuck in his ears includes selections featuring Rew, Christian Wolff, Ellen Arkbro, and John Zorn.
https://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Playlist-May-20-2019.jpg5002000Steve Smithhttps://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/national-sawdust-log.pngSteve Smith2019-05-20 18:00:232019-05-21 17:28:31Playlist (Something like a bird).
Ahead of Linda May Han Oh's National Sawdust show May 16, watch a video premiere from her new album, 'Aventurine,' which finds the bassist, composer, and bandleader celebrating creativity and evolution.
https://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Oh-banner-3.jpg8001500Steve Smithhttps://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/national-sawdust-log.pngSteve Smith2019-05-15 12:00:282019-05-15 13:54:27Video Premiere: Linda May Han Oh