Sonic Reducer: Micro Reviews Of The Angel Babies, Gardens & Villa, Paley & Francis

Sonic Reducer: Micro Reviews Of The Angel Babies, Gardens & Villa, Paley & Francis

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On one fateful night at a rough bar somewhere in New Mexico, Calida and Frankie (The Dirty Hearts) witnessed a gangster’s inspiring performance of “Billie Jean,” then, later, his arrest after violently demanding to sing Rosie & The Originals’ "Angel Baby" out of turn. The Angel Babies were born. The Austin-based duo uses electronic beats, synthesizers, accordion and vocal harmonies to create a lo-fi, experimental, quasi punk sound that’s fun and maybe a bit dangerous. Hear the band live and buy this 7-inch at the Launchpad on Sunday, July 17. The Angel Babies plays with The Seeing Things and St. Petersburg. (JCC)

Gardens & Villa Gardens & Villa (Secretly Canadian)

Gardens & Villa sounds like the name of a chichi decorating magazine. Instead, it’s a funk-laced, intergalactic-feeling Santa Barbara-based band with post-punk and prog rock undertones. The music is a far-out affair and has little to do with topiary or Tuscany (though the moniker is derived from the group’s lush residence on Villa Street). See Gardens & Villa live along with frosty sweet New Orleans rock band Generationals on Saturday, July 23, at Low Spirits. (JCC)

Paley & Francis Paley & Francis (Sonic Unyon Records)

After initially asking myself "what is this crap?" this album really grew on me. It takes a while to adjust to the laid-back sound, kind of a Randy Newman meets Leonard Cohen affair. The band features some loose piano playing by Spooner Oldham along with minor guitar chords that complement the misanthropic lyrics perfectly. "I’ll take a drink from your jugular vein / I’ll unleash my cats on your salty brain," sings Black Francis on “Curse.” Strange. Cool. Comes out in September. (GP)

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