Mark Pickerel & His Praying Hands

Saturday

SXSW Platters

Mark Pickerel & His Praying Hands

Cody's Dream (Bloodshot)

Although remembered as the drummer for Seattle punkers Screaming Trees, Mark Pickerel's solo career has taken some interesting turns. Cody's Dream, his second album under his own name, builds on his previous work of evocative moods and lucid melodies. Inspired by a solitary car trip through the South without a working car radio and only his imagination to keep himself company, Pickerel writes of shady characters and a ghost or two in an inviting way that draws the listener close while occasionally asking for a dance. While his dusky vocals recall Nick Cave at his most tuneful, they lend the proceedings a necessary darkness; he even turns Dylan's "One More Cup of Coffee" into dirge. It's not all funereal, though. The jangle pop of "Cherokee Grove" and the bright beats of "She Sleeps Through Sirens" lighten the air tremendously. While not for everyone, Pickerel's visions are slices of heaven for those with a taste beyond the mundane. (Saturday, March 15, Red Eyed Fly, 8pm.)

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