Aldenbarton have busy lately. The gents have been on studio duty in Brooklyn lately crafting their new full-length, but took some time to play a couple of shows with the Twin Cities powerhouse that is Spirits Of The Red City. The bands played Fontana's together the previous Sunday, took some time off so Spirits could do a little time and a show by themselves, then got together again at The Creek for a last hurrah.
It's a short ride from the JS-NYC HQ on the swinging Lower East Side of Manhattan to LIC and The Creek. I came in for the last half of the Spirits Of The Red City set. They are a ten piece band (although I don't think they were all out on tour) with limited amplification and a whole lot of harmonies, as well as the loveliest bassist I've seen in some time. That's a whole lot of people, but if you want cello and muted trumpet in your band, you make space in the van. Spirits Of The Red City are getting quite a name for themselves in the Twin Cities, selling out two release shows for their debut Hunter Moon before embarking on their first tour. This show was pretty sparse, but it was by no means a reflection of the quality of the music. The band is pretty spartan for it's size, with economical arrangements and very little in the way of solos. It's a good idea, much more Lambchop than Phil Spector. More bands should exercise such restraint. Main singer Will Garrison has an earthy voice that sounds years older than his baby face might suggest and he's in the company of a gang that are no stranger (or joke) with a harmony.
While there are a number of voices in harmony at some points, don't think that you're getting the Danielson Family or Polyphonic Spree. Choral music makes me want to shoot myself, but quality harmony that doesn't go all CSNY is a pretty good thing. Spirits Of The Red City are closer to Low than they are any of the afore-loathed bands. I have fantasies about decking Graham Nash in medias doo-doo-doo-doo-doot, but the Minneapolis collective soothed this savage beast and made him buy a copy of their new record Hunter Moon. You should, too. Here's a link. You can keep tabs on Spirits Of The Red City here.
Aldenbarton had a tough act to follow, but did their usual stellar job. Some of the songs that will turn up on the new release made appearances, including the stellar Winter. Their pretty aces Damian Jurado cover made an appearance, reminding everyone assembled that Aldenbarton are just as good with other people's songs. That hasn't gone unnoticed by underground phenom Jason Anderson, who has tapped the trio to back him for a May residency that should have the City buzzing. While we're all waiting for the new Aldenbarton record, pick up their debut Exodus Of The Eldest on Itunes. Keep tabs on the Granite State beard aficionados here and stay tuned for some Drew St. Aubin solo shows soon.