whiskey and apples

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Navajo Radio



I unfortunatly only caught about five minutes of their first show at Emos last week, but it was still enough to know that Navajo Radio is going to make a lot of people smile around here. This music explodes with color, makes you want to jump out of your skin and run around in sand dunes. Their 4-song EP will surely get some Animal Collective (Sung Tongs-era) comparisons, but only by coincidence. Navajo Radio's EP is the sound of four creative friends singing relaxed, experimental music together, and I don't think they're really trying to sound like anyone but themselves. There's a naturalness to this music that reminds me of little kids drawing shapes with crayons, just letting their hands go wherever feels good.

The EP opens with "Road on the wind," where bird and water sounds make you feel like you're strolling through an aviary. Then in the background is Cari (Fancy Feast) Palazzolo's distinct "aaah," and a fantastic guitar line enters from Eli Welbourne that really caught my attention. It's the second time I've seen Eli play guitar in the last couple weeks--the other was at his house when X Playne and Jamie & Patrick from Ypsilanti came thru town and played at a Totally Wreck art collective show.

So when Konrad of Possessed by Paul James mentioned he was surprised to see Papa Mali bandleader Malcolm Welbourne (a Dr. John-esque swamp-music-playin bluesman) floating around our little Emos show, it all suddenly made sense. Lineage, man, lineage.

Listen to two of these songs as well as an older experiment with Dave from Diamond Caverns on Navajo Radio's myspace page.

Track two, "Singsong," is sung in a call-and-response, and sort of reminds me how it felt to be a bewildered little kid: "Kingdom come, kingdom come, come on and whisper along, you'll hear it in the song, lazy lazy love, tug and pull, shake, shake tambourine, blow it all to smitheree-ee-eens." The third track, "Golden snowglaze," (a title which makes me want a donut) is nice and long, it develops constantly and takes you on kind of a journey, and there's really rad oscillating vocals. "Uni versal tigerplex," the final track, repeats the lyrics, "A thousand tigers roar," punctuated by screams and other good stuff.

These EPs come in distinct, hand-painted covers, and you can ask em about how to get one through thier myspace. Find out when they're going to play next, too. It's highly recommended.

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