Parade of Flesh presents . . .
He's My Brother, She's My Sister, Caught a Ghost, Song Preservation Society
2720 Elm St.
Dallas, TX, 75226
This event is all ages
He's My Brother, She's My Sister
He's My Brother She's My Sister seem to invite a broad range of colorful words to describe their music and performances: "flamboyant folk," "psych-acoustic," "estranged and glamorous" and "vaudeville-y." No doubt this is due to their mélange of musical styles, both modern and antique; their eccentric attire and sense of expression, both sincere and theatrical; and, their unique instrumentation, which includes a rhythm section bolstered by a tap dancer.
Brother and sister Robert Kolar and Rachel Kolar split vocal duties, with Robert on guitar and kick drum and Rachel on tambourine. Their voices range from boisterous to introspective, from breezy to emotive. Lauren Brown adds full-body percussion with her fluid tap-dancing and drumming. Oliver Newell adds stand up bass with joyous flair. Aaron Robinson plays lead guitar on a lap slide, veering from nuanced psychedelica to American roots riffs.
He's My Brother She's My Sister played 150+ shows in 2011 and the band will hit that mark again in 2012. These have included capacity and sold out shows in NYC, Brooklyn, Austin, Miami, Nashville, DC, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and San Francisco. The band has performed at the Sundance, High Sierra, Lowdown Hudson River Blues and SXSW festivals plus they will appear at this year's famed Austin City Limits festival. He's My Brother She's My Sister has shared the stage with Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Neko Case, The Knitters, The Growlers, Alexander & Friends, Devil Makes Three, Fitz & The Tantrums, Local Natives and Charles Bradley.
Caught a Ghost
Jesse Nolan describes the name of his band 'Caught A Ghost' as referring to the sensation of being filled with the spirit of the past. "It's an old expression," he says, "musicians used to say you caught a ghost if you gave a good performance. Like you were possessed."
As the songwriter, producer and lead singer of the band, Nolan is a devotee of music from bygone eras. But he eagerly expounds upon his affection for vintage soul, delta blues, and 90s rap alike. As Nolan explains, "It's definitely like being possessed. It's an obsession. What's not to be obsessed about? I don't think it makes me unique, it makes me human."
What does make Nolan unique is his musical dexterity (he plays all of the instruments on his recordings except horns and some of the drums) combined with the effortlessness with which he seems to pull from many different genres. His music recalls influences from the soul and rock n' roll traditions (Stax, Motown, Sam Cooke, the Rolling Stones) yet still feel distinctly modern with references to hip-hop and electronic recordings from the 90s to contemporary tracks. The diversity of influences in Caught a Ghost that spawned from Jesse Nolan's mad scientist approach to composition has sparked several comparisons to another Los Angeles native, Beck.
"I had a very rich musical upbringing." Nolan says. "My dad, who is a musician himself, exposed me to a lot of great music. He's a stax/Motown fanatic, and obsessed with seeing live concerts. I also grew up in the 90's watching MTV and listening to rap, so I'm into tracks that hit hard."
The result: Caught a Ghost produces a sound and aesthetic that separates them from the rest of their neo-soul contemporaries. Of course there are threads of classic influence that are apparent, but, for example, the hypnotic synth line on "Time Go" as well as the use of dubstep wobble bass with a full Motown horn section on "Sleeping at Night," quickly sets the band apart from others that have tried to directly revive the Motown sound.
Every song feels on some level like a great remix. "I love the aesthetic of taking something old and repurposing it." Nolan says. "But another difference with my music is that I don't tend to use samples- I'm just sampling my musical memory. It's a very imprecise process really, like a Jackson Pollock painting. I'm just splashing sounds around. I'm an imperfectionist."
"Caught a Ghost is ultimately about a collective experience." Nolan says. "It may have genesis in my weird brain, but it's ultimately about creating community." That spirit is reflected in the makeup of the band, which includes Stephen Edelstein on drums, who was Jesse's kindergarten classmate.
Anyone who has seen Caught a Ghost play live can also testify to that notion. In addition to playing high energy shows with as many as nine musicians and various dancers onstage, the group often makes use of projections and performance art as a means of shaking people out of their comfort zones.
Part of that approach comes from Nolan's desire to stay active. He describes his last label experience as a disaster. Early on in his career, Nolan found himself in another band that was signed to a relatively big record contract that ultimately fell apart just before the release of the first record, ending in the dissolution of that band. The experience left him with the desire to completely re-imagine his approach to music. "I was crushed," He says. "But like anything else, often the best work comes from the darkest turmoil. For me, Caught a Ghost was truly a self-reinvention, on a musical, personal and spiritual level.
Caught a Ghost has signed to +1 Records (The Heavy, The Morning Benders, The Postelles), and their debut EP "Nightworks" will be released on February 12th, 2013. When asked about the title, Nolan says wryly, "I stay up late. It's what Franz Kafka said about writing- that it was nightwork. The night offers peacefulness and the opportunity to go deep into your own head."
With their debut EP forthcoming, and their full-length album to follow soon thereafter, try and catch this ghost while you can.
Song Preservation Society
"What the Shins are to the movie Garden State, Song Preservation Society could be to a potential Golden State."
Song Preservation Society started as Trevor Bahnson, Ethan Glazer and Daniel Wright. Their debut EP, Ready Room, was recorded in the fall of 2012 with guidance from the much-respected Nino Moschella, master of coaxing masterful production out of a modest multitrack. Ready Room is Song Preservation Society's from-the-heart music brought to full and beautiful life with brass and woodwinds and strings and even fuzz guitar. It's seven songs with a strange kind of purity that points to something timeless. In 1966, it could have fit between the Beach Boys, Simon and Garfunkel and Love; in 1976, it'd make people think of the last Big Star album; right now it shines through bands like Fleet Foxes and The Shins to be a ray of light all its own. When they started out, they might have picked that name just for fun. But on Ready Room, they've really made something worth preserving.