Cute Band Alert!

W-S Burn creeps through the woods.

The first time I saw W-S Burn was last summer and I couldn't decide if I liked them. Perhaps it was the wind chime/lamp contraption singer Amanda Beddard (aka Pixie) was spinning on stage as she sang. (I have an undiagnosed fear of wind chimes that stems from a childhood accident.) But, damn, she had an amazing voice.

I saw them again last month at the Parlor, and I confronted my fear. The duo - with former Brother JT collaborator Steve Gigante on guitar - moved here from Atlanta last year, but before that they lived in Knoxville, Tenn. For the past three years they've been playing as W-S Burn (W-S stands for Winston-Salem, which is where Beddard is from), spinning blues and folk into Southern gothic, and releasing a handful of home recordings that literally sound haunted. Beddard's voice ramps from purr to howl, and the lamp-chime only makes it affecting. Truly engaging to watch.

"Pixie has been writing songs since she was a little kid," Gigante relates. "Actually, one of the songs on [2004's] Two Dreams Tucked in Tight called 'Augustine' was written by her when she was 11 years old. And the version on that disc is the first time we had ever played it together. It just came out. So, there's a strange symbiosis happening which I really love. Writing songs together has been one of the most enjoyable musical experiences of my life."

So, seriously, what's with the lamp?

"The lamp came about because we started collecting wind chimes, with the intention of using them while we played. At first we thought of getting a music stand or some kind of metal bar to hang them on, but that wasn't very appealing. Then one day we were in a thrift store and saw the lamp and it just hit us - let's string them up on the lamp shade! That way we can turn it in a circle to play different chimes, and we can plug it in, too. It just made sense. Plus, we like playing in the dark and with the lamp we can usually convince venues to turn off the lights."

See if Emo's will turn off the lights Saturday when they open for Marnie Stern in the Lounge.

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