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It’s a Cult 

Wednesday, Mar 16 2011
Confession: The first time we saw Michael Musika, we rolled our eyes. So many bad things have been done by guys in moccasins leading loose musical collectives — think about it. Many things, and very bad. We think we can be forgiven for our pouty gesture. And inside of a song or two, the situation in our eye sockets changed; were those tears starting? What the hell? Nearly anyone would sound nice wafting around on the dream-angel backup chorus of Indianna Hale, Kacey Johansing, and Sleepy Todd, but it turns out Musika's just really great. He's actually a composer, not a songwriter, hence the gangchestra he seems to attract, all of whom have their own notable stuff going on; sometimes you wonder what they're doing behind anyone. He's technical but relaxed, grandiose and folky at the same improbable time, and he makes quiltlike, often Dylanesque songs using scraps of bell, toy piano, baby rattle, and the like. But don't tons of people do that and it just seems silly? Tonight is the night Michael Musika and his friends have been waiting for: He releases Spells, a record, and also a novella about the coyote who told him to change his life. Go ahead. Roll your eyes — coyote? really? — but this is a holy-shit night, and if you go, you risk turning into a helpless, fawning acolyte, and so happy about it. Musika is backed up by the above choir plus Matt Adams, Dave Mihaly, Jesse Olsen, and more. Plus, the opening musicians are Toshio Hirano and Brass Menazeri and DJ Zeljko. So happy.
Fri., March 18, 8:30 p.m., 2011

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Hiya Swanhuyser


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