Bearded folksters Brad Cook, Phil Cook and Joe Westerlund are the meat and bones of Megafaun. Taking an oddball approach to traditional American music, the band’s compositions are an endearing, organized cacophony of guitars, banjos, fiddles, horns and harmonica. Megafaun hails from North Carolina (and Wisconsin, originally), and is touring in support of its second album, Gather, Form & Fly. On Saturday, April 24, the trio makes a stop in Albuquerque to perform at Low Spirits.
Peer into Megafaun’s world through songs from Brad Cook’s collection, selected at random.
“This Fucking Job” • Drive By-Truckers • The Big To-Do
“This is the new single from their new record. These dudes are my favorite contemporary band, period. Mike, Patterson and Sonya offer an incredibly intriguing and literate perspective within the institution that is Southern rock music. This song is Patterson at his finest.”
“Tears of Rage (Alternate Take)” • The Band • Music From Big Pink
“Perfect! The Band is my favorite band of all time. So much so that I have them tattooed on my left shoulder! This is Richard Manuel at his finest. This version carries more reverb / overall distance than the version they ultimately threw on the record. Love this song so much. Maybe the best first track on a first record ever?”
“Moonflight” • Otto Luening • Pioneers of Electronic Music
“Otto Luening was a Wisconsin boy! He was a wonderful composer who made revolutionary strides within 20th century electronic composition. He worked heavily with magnetic tape throughout the ’50s and beyond. This piece centers around flute and tape. I listen to Otto a lot while watching Lakers games. Not exactly sure why.”
“Agitation” • Miles Davis • [1969 bootleg]
“Oh man. This is some special material. This is from a bootleg from a concert in 1969. Commonly referred to as The Lost Quintet, ’cause they never truly recorded, this was the group of five musicians that transitioned Miles’ music from his acoustic to electric period. Insane, exciting playing all-around. I love hearing these guys find their footing in what would ultimately be one of the most exciting groups in the jazz lineage.”
“Spirits” • Albert Ayler • Spirits
“Well, here is another major hero for me. I have a large tattoo of Ayler on my right shoulder! His music speaks from such a raw, emotional place. This track is as important as any from the catalog. Dark, searching and spacial would be characteristics of this particular piece.”