Friday, February 10, 2017


From the wilds of Western Massachusets comes another of the many musical projects instigated and/or assisted by Anthony Pasquarosa. You might know him best as a solo acoustic guitarist who has recorded some excellent haunting/baroque/unique albums for the VDSQ label, with Morning Meditations being a particular favorite of mine. He's also in a basement loner/downer punk band called Gluebag, has a psychedelic folk project called Crystalline Roses, and there's several more, one of the more recent ones being, here in the last half of 2016, a new 'supergroup' of sorts with the 'supersilly' name Weeping Bong Band. The term 'supergroup' is used because the band also includes Pat Gubler, aka "PG Six" of Tower Recordings, and I believe also Wednesday Knudsen from Pigeons (which makes two members of Pigeons, because Gubler is now in that band too). Not sure who else is in the Weeping Bong Band, and watching these full sets on YouTube somewhat carefully, I believe the lineups do vary.

With each live appearance, their M.O. seems to be improvising one single piece of music that lasts in the 20 to 30 minute range (a.k.a. a 'side long jammer'). In each of the full-set videos currently on YouTube, at some point in the first third of the piece, a woman approaches the microphone and reads a short psychedelic poem over the psychedelic music, which continues after she leaves the stage. The music is heady stuff, certainly in the vein of 70s krautrock extended modal jamming, with names like Paradieswarts Duul and certain instrumental sections of Ash Ra Tempel and the Cosmic Jokers and Popol Vuh being touchstones (the bass player in the 7/16/16 video above certainly brings that loping modal psych groove to it), but with a strong acoustic presence. The band is mostly if not all string players, and together they have a delicate facility that sets them apart. They can get gossamer-thin and butterfly-quiet as they patiently and steadily navigate, capable of rippling into sudden clusters of beautiful notes that arise like bouquets of flowers. Pasquarosa plays a glisteningly effected acoustic guitar, Knudsen plays haunting electric, and PG Six plays a few different strange stringed instruments, as well as some choice wooden flute.

Having the band post these full-set YouTubes for all to hear is interesting too. In the days (not all that long ago) when physical releases mattered, rather than just getting your music posted and streaming online, these live sets might have been a run of CDRs. They might've even been edited into a mysterious/beautiful double LP of 4 side-long jammers. (Hey, there are 4 YouTubes, after all... start with the one above and then play the three below... I even took the time to place them in chronological order...)

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