Headdress, Cavedweller, Silver Pines
Reviewed by Doug Freeman, Fri., Aug. 24, 2007
Headdress, Cavedweller, Silver PinesCarousel Lounge, Aug. 18
The carnivalesque climate of the Carousel Lounge lends itself well to psychedelic folk and flow. Saturday night, nomadic duo Headdress, Austinites of two months, filled in the corners and droned heavily from the dark, bruised blues plodding softly against the drunken noise in the back of the bar like a scene from Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus. Resembling Waylon Jennings circa 1976, Caleb Coy's stripped, lingering guitar notes bent like rusted barbed wire, hauntingly saturated by Ethan Cook's dreary, repetitive chords on the tie-dyed draped keys. The dark holler harmonica and hot Southern junkyard twang of lap steel melted into vocals drowned in enough reverb to fill canyons. Not surprisingly, Headdress recorded its exquisitely impalpable debut, Turquoise, underground in Arizona. Continuing in bearded fashion, Cavedweller's Dirk Michener, broken spoke of the Charles Potts Magic Windmill Band, led his trio into brighter psych-pop terrain, quivering vocals swirling atop the bass-laced classic R&B of "Eyez" and whistling through the driving rhythms of "Sleep in a Ditch." Michener riffed familiar Sixties garage formulas but contorted through his own smartly demented freak-folk fancies, the smooth pulse of the James Brown ode "Augusta, GA" found a perfect groove. San Marcos septet Silver Pines filled the front floor last, new keyboardist Adam Jones offering an odd electronic texture to their ethereal country sound. Stefanie Franciotti's lead vocals swelled with staggering versatility – a Holly Golightly lilt drifted down into Hope Sandoval, then soared back to a Josephine Foster falsetto, all cut with the immaculate twang of Emmylou Harris. The Pines' debut will be one to savor come 2008.