Friday, May 12, 2006

It's Called BAIA

A great lineup of bands, several of whom are new to me, is performing a benefit concert at Shakori Hills on Saturday. The organizers are a group called Battling AIDS in Africa (see here for more info) -- several of them are local high school kids.

A while back, I wrote about the compelling music coming out of the Bu Hanan collective, and several of those guys are playing here. The hyper-verbose chamber pop of Perry Wright's Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers [prev.] grabbed me from the first time I heard it, and it actually has grown on me. Perry was kind enough to make the out-of-print Psalterie available for free download here. It's a little more austere than the follow up Mother of Love..., but full of lovely moments like "Aeterna (Concerning the End of the World) (Ps. 30:9)". David Karsten Daniels [prev.]writes complex folkish songs, and his recent work (like "Minnows") seems to be influenced by minimalist composers as well. Kapow! Music's John Ribo [prev.] ranges from folkish rock with mild electronica touches (like "Just There") to crazy all-electronic bleep bloop songs (like "Five Finger Discount").

A number of the other bands are either old favorites (Schooner, North Elementary) or recent discoveries (The Never). But there are several that I haven't heard before that are pleasant surprises. I haven't had a chance to really dig deep, and I'm not feeling real analytical, but here are a few tracks that stand out at first glance.

Seamus: "Turn Light Nurse"
Pretty polished pop rock, especially considering that most of these guys are in high school. Scott Satterwhite is one of the organizers of this benefit. Hear more songs here.
The Low Life: "Thixotropic"
Their web site says very little about the band (maybe you have to join the street team? but why would you without knowing more?) but they have plenty of songs here. It's got some of that jam band/Dave Matthews vibe -- maybe it's the percussion. As any regular reader knows, I'm a sucker for bands that have more than a drum set.
Asphalt: "Lost in Tremors"
They claim to be "a new form of rock" and though I'm not really feeling that, it's solid enough prog-inflected hard rock. More here.
Zindangi: "Dum Maro Dum"
Cool! An interesting world beat blend of Latin, Middle Eastern and African influences. (Cf. Project Mastana.) It'll make you dance. More sounds here.


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