e. christina herr & wild frontier
V.19 No.27 | 7/8/2010
Bridle the Wind
The celestial twang of The Grave of Nobody’s Darling
Jessica Billey and Bud Melvin must be the most creative couple to hit the local music scene in some time. Hailing from Chicago, each counts more than a half-dozen musical projects between them. There’s the audacious and experimental Lionhead Bunny, in which they play empty whiskey bottles, the mysterious vocaltron (which seems to be of the band’s creation) and 19 effects pedals. In the Blue Rose Ramblers, the pair champions vintage fiddle songs of the sort on which Bob Wills based his Western swing. As part of the massive Cobra//group ensemble, they push the limits of what you or I think of as music. Solo, Melvin pioneered chiptune banjo rustling (reprogramming Game Boy blips and bleeps into five-string music) and Billey has played violin for The Mekons and Smog.
V.19 No.18 | 5/6/2010
Cowboys Are My Weakness
A night of disparate local Americana
Years ago Kate Mann traded her New Mexico home for Portland, Ore. She’s just returned to Taos, guitar in hand, packing a songbook full of brilliant lyrics and discreet melody. Often backed by a rotating cast of musicians known as the Calamities, this week Kate plays her welcome-home set as a solo.