The GOASTT

The GOASTT is two people, Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl. It is, in itself, a chimera; a fabulous creature made with parts of two distinctly different creatures. It is also an acronym, as you might guess from its being capitalized like that. By virtue of being a friend to, and fan of, both the zygotes in this organism, I know what its letters stand for, but it's not mine to reveal. I expect they will do so at some future point.

Having driven my Ducati to Sean and Kemp's house through the darkened October streets of 4 am New York to type these words, I realize the absurdity of my task. If I wrote a novel and gave its protagonists stories of origin like the ones from which the two parts of GOASTT arose, people would say I was a fabulist in need of a hyperboectomy. Or an artless sophomore. But life is allowed a liberty with plotlines that novelists are not. Take these two:

Sean Lennon is a man of many hats. Like an alien who fell to earth and had to quickly assimilate humanity, he is a vast rolodex of accents, facts, farce, a myriad of motor skills (from archery to sketching) and can play any musical instrument (as if all undertakings are merely transposable keys to a song he knows by heart). Hyper-aware, there's almost nothing he isn't good at... This may be the result of his legendary genetic endowment, or simply the enormous pressure of his parentage; his father was perhaps the most accessible and experimental songwriter of his century. But, just as he reached the age of 5 when his father might have reared him with the milk and honey of nurture rather than the iron fist of nature, Sean's father was assassinated. As a consequence of this huge event and other shadows, Sean's life has been strangely both circumscribed and exaggerated. To the insouciant improvisational "Art is a Verb!" nature of his parents was added a welter of natural anxieties that would have made Woody Allen feel at home.

When I briefly encountered Sean's mother as an avant garde artist at Wesleyan University in January of 1966, I thought she had the most original mind I'd ever met. Later as she was dragged across the yawning screen of American hypercelebrity, I didn't know what to think, save that she, and all around her, seemed improbable.

And improbable was the first word that came to mind when I met Kemp Muhl almost exactly 40 years later.

Though her background was as unlikely as Sean's, hers was as private in its peculiarities as his was public. And her origins as the Georgian daughter of a military lieutenant colonel who had been nipped off to be a supermodel in New York, at about the tender age improbably beautiful girls are usually abducted - which is, chronologically at least, almost criminally young - did not in any way explain the fact that she has the other most original mind I had ever encountered.

After meeting Kemp, I followed her around- to the extent that I could move quickly enough- not, like most others, for the scenery, but because I found her casual triple-entendres, her "Kempisms," to be so improbably delicious in my mind...

She is such a free-running spring of cool creativity, that it didn't surprise me much when, shortly after she paired off with Sean and began to experience the musical ecosystem that is his unique mind, she revealed herself to have an utterly original sense of melody and lyrical realization as well. Her lines are like Borges short stories. I might have known.

As a symbol of her transformation for Sean, she now goes by Charlotte (her first name), much like a Native American who gets a new name upon having killed their first buffalo. Erstwhile Sean, (since his past chapters of turmoil and Shakespearean tragedy,) has shed the dark scales of his brooding artist skin for that of a newfound composer and puckish poet of an invincible fiber.

My great fortune lies in being an audience very close at hand to the gestation, birth, and early being of The GOASST. It is beautiful and strange and new. Let us watch it grow together.

-John Perry Barlow

Tall Tall Trees

Tall Tall Trees, formed in 2008, is the musical project of multi-instrumentalist/songwriter Mike Savino. Often performing on a home-rigged electric banjo sent through an array of pedals and loopers, Savino along with longtime collaborators Mathias K├╝nzli (drums), Kyle Sanna (guitar, keyboard), and Benjamin Campbell (bass) create music that is a blend of folk and rock with the occasional foray into psychedelia.

Moment, the band's sophomore album, made possible by a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, was released February 2012 via the band's own Good Neighbor Records. The album has been called "an LP of majestic sonic qualities" by Groopease and showcases their evolution from a quirky bluegrass-leaning side project into a fully formed indie-rock band. Recorded by Matthew Cullen (My Morning Jacket, Ray LaMontagne) at Dreamland Studios (Fleet Foxes, Delta Spirit) outside of Woodstock, NY, and mixed by Bill Moriarty (Dr. Dog, Man Man), moment finds the band crafting a rich textured sound to support the more complex themes dealt with in this set of nine songs. Inspired by a group camping trip into the Alaskan wilderness, moment tells the story of a man yearning for escape and connection with nature. Listen Before You Buy called it a "beautiful and compelling album", drawing references to Wilco and Brian Eno.

Tall Tall Trees' self-titled debut was released in 2009. Jezebel Music dubbed it "a perfect storm of catchy songwriting, spot on performances, and crisp, inventive production." The record became a mainstay on college radio charts for several months despite the band's lack of promotional funding. According to College Music Journal , "it's impossible not to smile at their pop-driven folk songs" earning the band official showcases at the CMJ Music Marathon three years in a row.

Songs like "Heart Says Go" and "Bubble Gum" have found their way onto television shows like Teen Mom, American Pickers, and Two and a Half Men and have earned the band a loyal cult following for their eclectic brand on indie folk-rock.

$10.00 - $12.00

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The GOASTT with Tall Tall Trees

Saturday, November 23 · Doors 9:00 PM at Union Pool