We start this week’s Listening Party with local progressive reggae and dub act Misgana, a suggestion by Xpress forum user Andy Palast. With lyrics that reliably allude to classic themes —the “sacred ganja tree,” “the path to Mount Zion” and how “in Babylon, a bubble got you all up in your trouble” — there’s not a lot here that one wouldn’t expect to find in the music of a young, rasta-leaning reggae band. Still, the basic structure of the songs is enjoyable, and there’s quite a lot of potential in Misgana’s music if you look for it. We suggest starting with the pleasant ditty “Spirit of Jah.”
Next up is indie rock act Darpa, another suggestion from our forums by frequent Listening Party commenter Jason Ross Martin. (Interstingly, Darpa’s singer is Andy Palast, who suggested Misgana above.) In their own words, this five-piece band “integrates everything from new-wave, prog, and psychedelic rock to brit-pop, trip-hop, and freak-folk into its sound.” Fair enough. The end result can be a little muddy at times, but songs like “Graffiti Cathedral” — our suggested starting track — hint at a worthy understanding of alt-rock song structure.
Closing out this week’s Party, we have Every Mother’s Dream, an Asheville-based folk-pop group that has only gotten better since debuting in 2001. Jay Kaiser and Mandy Carter work wonderfully together, and have long been one of the area’s best-kept musical secrets. Now using a full-band format that incorporates jazzy, funky, jammy elements and fills out the duo’s music, EMD is definitely worth a listen. Any of the songs on their MySpace page are worth a listen, but our suggested starting tracks are the “Last Day of Summer” and the folk-country toe-tapper “Steer.”
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 Mountainx.com forums