Friday, February 19, 2010

Arborea and Alexander Turnquist at The Space

Thursday, March 4, 2010:

The Space
295 Treadwell Street
Hamden CT

$10 - 7:00PM - All Ages

Arborea: This near-psych not-quite-unconventional Maine based folk duo is peculiar. Film director David Lynch has dabbled in music a few times (most recently with Ariana Delawari), and when I first heard Arborea, I was reminded of a Lynch team-up with Jocelyn Montgomery called Lux Vivens. That record might as well be the score to an unmade medieval Lynch movie. A similar mood-directing soundscape, although maybe not as dark, is the foundation for many of Arborea's songs.

But there was one song that I wasn't sure of, called "Dance Sing Fight". It jumps into a coda that uses lyrics from the chorus of Midnight Oil's "Beds Are Burning". The thing is, the lyrics are altered slightly. Are they referring us to the original song's specific political point or are they putting these words into a new context to reshape their meaning? Whatever their intent, I can't decide if the nod works or not. I guess what makes it hard for me to pin down is that the first thing that pops into my mind when I hear those lyrics is Peter Garrett twitchily skanking in the desert. I mean, the guy seriously looked like a Conky 2000 run amok in the Australian outback. Sorry, where was I...

Arborea have been busy releasing since 2006. They've garnered praise from NPR and our BBC cousins across the pond. Their tour is taking them around the world, and includes SXSW dates.


Whether it is a finger plucked 12-string or an ambient drone, Alexander Turnquist's instrumentals open expanses both internal and external. His MySpace has several songs posted that cover territory between Peter Broderick and Max Richter. But his record As the Twilight Crane Dreams in Color makes me wonder what Jack Rose might have done if he had ever wanted to cover Jóhann Jóhannsson. No doubt seeing Turnquist live will be very interesting.

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