Mother Falcon’s Still Life

Austin's animal collective

By Margaret Moser, 2:32PM, Mon. Feb. 15, 2010

Tamir Kalifa of Mother Falcon
Tamir Kalifa of Mother Falcon

There’s nothing static about Mother Falcon’s Still Life EP, not when upwards of 14 instruments unite in song. Even among its peer bands – Speak, Bright Lights Social Hour, Oikos, and Diamonds – Mother Falcon is in a class of its own.

The orchestral indie-pop on Still Life flourishes at Central Presbyterian Church – one of South by Southwest’s best acoustic venues - Saturday, Feb. 20, 8pm. Chase Weinacht and Motion Picture open, then Mother Falcon take the stage, headed up by the amazing Nick Gregg, whose cello, mandolin, guitar, and vocals map Mother Falcon’s airborne direction. As a special addition to the evening, a choir of voices including Troupe Gammage and Nick Hurt of Speak will be heard.

The members shift in various configurations – rehearsals alone must require a militaristic gathering of the troops – but usually include violinists Clara Brill and Yun Du, pianist-guitarist Claire Puckett, and the charismatic Tamir Kalifa, whose accordion and ethereal vocals foil brilliantly with Gregg’s. He called to talk about the show at Central Presbyterian and marveled about the new world order of releasing music. Kalifa, who is also a filmmaker, is a believer in the DIY approach, saying that Mother Falcon plans to “adopt that model in publicizing and advertising Still Life.”

“We’re doing it all ourselves. I get more excited about publishing on the Internet than broadcasting on television,” Kalifa says, his voice nearly drowned out by passing sirens. He apologized for the noise as he jumped to praise the venue. “It couldn’t be any better!”

Mother Erickson’s Dance Party

Ya gotta love it. Sumner Erickson’s release party at Jovita’s, Sunday, Feb. 21, is for the Texcentrics’ new self-titled CD, and doubles as a birthday for his mother, Evelyn Erickson, who turns 86.

This is no surprise to anyone who’s seen her dancing and bopping around at Sumner’s shows or at Roky’s concerts. She’s pretty, sprightly, a delightful conversationalist (ask her about her classical singing), dedicated to peace activism, and so very, very proud of her sons.

The Texcentrics’ new CD finds Sumner developing more as a vocalist, no surprise given his family, but perhaps because for so many years he was Pittsburgh Symphony’s first chair tuba player. Yet he’s deliberately crafted his music around the Texas rock songwriters such as Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly, and the new record bears the earmarks of those fine talents.

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