HEROES OF TOOLIK
is strangely original, old-school art rock music--“a unique stew of riffs” (The Aquarian 10/21/11). The ensemble on Winter Moon is trombone, guitar, accordion, voice, bass and drums. It’s not really indie. It is well-played.
The front line players are recognized avant gardists, with new music and new jazz credits going back decades. Arad Evans (guitar, vox) has recorded and toured worldwide with the Glenn Branca Ensemble since the ‘80’s, and has performed the music of Elliot Carter, Milton Babbitt, and with Rhys Chatham, Ben Neil, Blastula and The New Music Consort. Peter Zummo (trombone) formerly of John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards, is a member of the Downtown Ensemble, Peter Gordon’s Love of Life Orchestra, and a veteran of Arthur Russell’s bands.
In Heroes of Toolik, these players take it to the other side, channeling an outside sensibility through art rock song forms—ear candy with a brain not tied to any particular trend or fashion. Matt Hunter (bass, vocals) grounds this fusion having put out nine albums with the indie/noise band New Radiant Storm King and toured with J. Mascis and the Fog and The Silver Jews. Ted Ferguson, of The Wells, (accordion) and Trip Kyle (drums) have been gigging New York, Austin and elsewhere for many years. Over the years, these players have been heard on series such as BAM Next Wave, Lincoln Center's Serious Fun, S.F. Symphony's New and Unusual, and in venues from Lincoln Center to CBGBs and throughout the world.
The sound has been described as Television, via Captain Beefheart, via Neil Young, but its wide range escapes easy genre identification. The band switches without effort or warning from concentrated power pop, to disturbing, dreamy instrumentals, to barroom blues. The unifying element is a sense of humor wrapped around an emotional core.
Winter Moon was produced and recorded by Wharton Tiers at The Kennel Studios in Brooklyn, NY and by Ted Ferguson at Sisyphus Studios, in West Orange, NJ. Additional percussion on Two Humans by Wharton. Text fragment on Yellow-Haired Sea from Odyssey of the North by Jack London, spoken by Anna Esme. All songs by Arad Evans