SoundTrack web extra: New Weird Xmas

The band formerly known as Eleven & the Falcons has, with the new year, taken on a new name: Alligator Indian. Says the band, “We’re going to be working on new material and playing shows over the coming months so we’ll keep you posted.”

At the end of 2010, they released a three-song EP on Bandcamp which retains the avant garde charm of Eleven & the Falcons but with nods to garage rock and ‘60s doo-wop. Oh, and it’s called New Weird Xmas. But don’t let that scare you away.

“Christmas may be over, but Alligator Indian’s debut EP, New Weird Christmas, is still free to download and offers three songs perfect for any time of year,” reports a press release.

This is actually true. The title track (well, almost: It’s called “New Weird Christmas” is a sucker punch of fuzzed out guitars and distortion, throaty vocals buried under static and ringing background “na na nas” that recall a radio station fading in and out during a long road trip on a rainy day. Both otherworldly and cozy.

“Prospect Park” was written as a Christmas gift to the band’s friend, Brooklyn artist Melissa Diaz. A bell-clear refrain, “Just like Holly,” rings over a glitchy metronome of electronics while layers of voices build below in reverse architecture. The song is a microcosm of a story; a carol stripped to its essence.

“Merry Xmas, Melissa Diaz” is the EP’s longest track at four-and-a-half minutes. Here, Alligator Indian showcases its penchant for soundscapes and sonic craftsmanship. If this were a visual art project, it would be a collage; if it were a film it would be a Kinetoscope strip of still images run together in halting animation. As it is, the song is a pastiche of holiday songs sung in haunting and echo-y waves, sometimes atonal, sometimes harmonic, always intriguing. That this is Christmas music out of season somehow makes it that much better.

Listen and download the EP here.

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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts writer and editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs.

11 thoughts on “SoundTrack web extra: New Weird Xmas

  1. dave

    “do people actually like this stuff?”

    That’s what I ask about Widespread Panic. I tip my hat to those who endeavor to cook up a unique sound. You have hits and misses. The ones that hit, well five million other bands go on to emulate them. Those that miss, well you tried.

  2. Christian BC

    Thank you Mountain Xpress for another glowing review! We love you guys! And thank you commentors for your input! I’d rather make music that people either love or can’t stand than music that illicits no strong feelings at all.

  3. bill smith

    [i]I tip my hat to those who endeavor to cook up a unique sound. [/i]

    Yes but the question was, do you [i]listen[/i] to it?

  4. dpewen

    Not a fan of Widespread so I hear what you are saying … lots of cool music out there and bad … look at American Idol … yuk!

  5. the Cruxvoid

    make noise-ppl listen-some will not like-but those who stay will eventually fork over $$$ so that the noise will remain

  6. boatrocker

    I happened to be having a libation in a bar they were playing earlier this year (under their old name). While the only word to describe it was “interesting”, I do like how the one member’s post reminds me of P.T. Barnum’s famous quote “Say whatever you will about me, just spell my name right”.

    I wrote it off as I’m just too old (being in my 30′s) to appreciate such music.

    I do find it odd however when bands suddenly want to change their name. There’s no better way to waste time at a practice than to sit around brainstorming names only to find out all the clever ones are taken.

  7. Jim Donato

    Well, I’m almost 50 and I love Eleven & The Falcons music. I see them live at every opportunity. It’s great to hear people going against the tiresome and oppressive Asheville jam band/acoustic folk/bluegrass mafia! I’m always up for creativity, and value it over “easy listening.”

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