Listening Party: Gran Dios, Forge Mountain Diggers and Telepath

This week, we’re starting things off with a suggestion from our Listening Party forum discussion. Local band Gran Dios claims to be a powerpop/post-punk outfit, but their music is actually a bit less straightjacketed that that. Songs like “Hypothesis” border on alt-country, while “Conversations uptight” lean more towards an early grunge sound. Vocalist Christ Connolly has a hint of David Byrne in his voice, so we’ve picked the most Talking Heads-like song, “He’s Got It Made,” to begin your Gran Dios experience.

Next, we have local bluegrass outfit the Forge Mountain Diggers. Although the group claims to have punk roots, their recordings reflect a fairly traditional take on old-time inspired tunes. Perhaps they’re referring to their pre-FMD history, which includes slightly edgy work with the Freight Hoppers (from fiddle player David Bass) and significantly more punk-inspired work with the Milkcrate Rustlers (from banjo player Allison Williams). Punk or not, they do know how to play a clog-worthy song or two. We suggest starting with “Hold the Woodpile Down,” available here.

Closing out this week is Telepath, a slightly trance-y, groove-oriented group that manages to fuse a number of international sounds in their music, all without managing to fall into the “world beat” trap. Their genuinely smooth songs are suitable for the mellow moment at a club, but have just enough momentum to include on a mix CD for your drive home. We suggest starting with “Natural Vibrant,” which you can find on the group’s MySpace page.

Now, it’s your turn. Tell us your thoughts on these performers by posting into the comment fields below. This is your chance to be the music reviewer, so praise and pan as you see fit.

Also, if you’d like to suggest a band for Listening Party, or have questions about the column, visit this thread on our forums.

— Steve Shanafelt, A&E editor


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2 thoughts on “Listening Party: Gran Dios, Forge Mountain Diggers and Telepath

  1. UPDATE: It appears the Forge Mountain Diggers have recently called it quits, at least for the time being. In September, the group announced that they’d be taking a hiatus during the winter, but would be returning in 2008. The group’s MySpace (updated a few days ago) seems to make it clear that the band has made the break a more permanent thing.

  2. Well, I despise bluegrass with every pore of my being, so I won’t comment on the Foggy Mountain Boys or whatever they’re called.

    I’ve known about Telepath for a few months and I think they are masters at what they do. I unfortunately missed a chance to catch them at Orange Peel. If you like good down-tempo/dub, “Fire One” is a great CD.

    I just discovered Gran Dios a couple days ago on myspace and I’m very impressed. While they may wear their influences (Pavement? GBV?) a tad too obviously, their songwriting is top-notch! “He’s Got It Made” and “The Top” are really strong melodic tunes. Definitely a band to keep your eye on, IMO.

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