We start off this week’s Listening Party with the Ahleuchatistas, a prog-rock trio with very strong jazz and punk influences. Formed in guitarist Shane Perlownin’s living room in 2003, the group is now on their fourth album, Even In the Midst and is anticipating the February rerelease of their second album, The Same and the Other, on avant-garde legend John Zorn’s Tzadik label. The group’s stripped-down, effects-free style has also earned them a number of mostly positive reviews from the likes of Pitchfork Media and the All Music Guide. We suggest starting with the song “cracked teeth,” available on the group’s MySpace page.
Next on the playlist is rising star Tyler Ramsey. A three-time winner of the Mountain Xpress “Best of WNC” reader’s poll, Ramsey has been a mainstay of the Asheville music scene for the better part of a decade — both as a solo artist and as a collaborator — but it was his 2004 self-titled release that helped introduce his bittersweet solo music to a larger audience. With a new album, A Long Dream About Swimming Across the Sea (Echo Mountain Records), slated for release on January 15, and a steady gig opening for Band of Horses on their current tour (not to mention his current role as a guitarist for the group), Ramsey’s career definitely appears to be on the move. We suggest starting with “A Long Dream,” which you can hear on both his Web site and MySpace page. Or, if you prefer, you might want to check out his recent appearance on NPR’s World Cafe
Closing out this week, we have the divineMAGgees, an Asheville-based folk-rock duo formed by multi-instrumentalists Danielle Tibedo and Cregan Montague. With a warm, rich and multi-layered sound, it’s hard not to find something in their song catalogue worthy of at least a casual listen. We suggest starting with the song “Trouble, which can be found on their MySpace page. It’s worth noting that your chances of seeing the divineMAGgees in their current form are dwindling, as an expanded, electrified version the group will soon be performing as The Electric Pearls.
— Steve Shanafelt, A&E editor