Death Vessel, Micah Blue Smaldone Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Sat., Aug. 30, 10 p.m. 2008

What with all these people hanging dreamcatchers in their vans and singing about, like, going out to the desert and learning to talk to the wolves, it’s hard to remember sometimes that not all folk is of the “freak” variety. But Joel Thibodeau and his coconspirators in Death Vessel give you little reason to suspect that they even know what their spirit animals are—they combine the gentle catchiness and faux naivete of twee pop with a sophisticated jazz flavor a la Joni Mitchell and some adventurous ideas about instrumentation (I’d never seen anyone credited with “railroad spikes” before). Thibodeau’s high, girlish voice takes some getting used to, and the title to Death Vessel’s new Nothing Is Precious Enough for Us (Sub Pop) is in fact several degrees too precious, but the generously tuneful music and its little touches of rigorous, cerebral weirdness incline me to be charitable. —Miles Raymer

Price: $10

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