Beat Circus / These Wicked Things
Album: These Wicked Things   Collection:General
Artist:Beat Circus   Added:Mar 2019
Label:Innova Recordings  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2019-04-02 Pull Date: 2019-06-04
Week Ending: May 12 May 5 Apr 28 Apr 21 Apr 14
Airplays: 1 1 3 2 1

Recent Airplay
1. May 07, 2019: Attitude Adjustment
The Last Man (Is Anybody Out There)
4. Apr 24, 2019: Brownian Motion
Bad Motel
2. May 04, 2019: Buford J. Sharkley Presents: As Told to Hervey Okkles
Bad Motel
5. Apr 21, 2019: Hanging in the bone yard
Gone, Gone, Gone
3. Apr 27, 2019: Music Casserole
The Last Man (Is Anybody Out There)
6. Apr 18, 2019: Hanging in the Bone Yard
Gone, Gone, Gone

Album Review
Reviewed 2019-03-19
– General Description: Just plain fun. Just great. So many excellent musicians joining sounds. So many excellent ideas and distinguishable genres explored: cowpunk (combining elements of country, western and punk), post-punk, Mexican folk (Huapango), mariachi, spaghetti western, and giallo (Italian thriller-horror). “These Wicked Things” is the fourth release from the Boston-based band Beat Circus and the final installment in singer/multi-instrumentalist/composer Brian Carpenter’s “Weird American Gothic” trilogy.

In 2014, Carpenter was commissioned to compose music and lyrics for Dominic Orlando’s play “The Barbary Coast” (based on a true crime book by Herbert Asbury about San Francisco in the late 1800’s). The play focuses on Joaquin Murieta; he went on a revenge spree after his wife Rosita was killed by gold miners. Two versions of “Rosita” and some incidental music from the play are included in this release.

Brian Carpenter has a deep clear voice and sounds like a weathered gentleman cowboy telling you why he and his horse are so calm in the approaching storm. (Just the way it is, mam’ — just the way it is. Gotta keep movin’ though. Nice talkin’ with ya.) And then the camera pans to a sky, wide and dark with clouds, as the simmering surroundings begin to a slow boil.

Every track is a delight.

– Musicians:
Brian Carpenter - vocals, harmonica, piano, bells, trumpet, jawharp, turntables
Andrew Stern - guitar, baritone guitar, acoustic guitar
Alec Spiegelman - bass clarinet, tenor saxophone, flute, backing vocals
Abigale Reisman - violin, backing vocals
Emily Bookwalter - viola, backing vocals
Jordan Voelker - viola, backing vocals, saw
Paul Dilley - double bass, electric bass
Gavin McCarthy - drums

Additional musicians:
Brad Balliett - bassoon on “Crow Killer”
Catherine Bent - cello on “Crow Killer”
Quinn Carson - trombone
Ron Caswell - tuba
Bill Cole - Chinese suona on “The Evening Redness in the West”
Dana Colley - bass saxophone on “Bad Motel” and “These Wicked Things”
Tomas Cruz - backing vocals, voice of Murieta on “Rosita (huapango)”
Gita Drummond - boy’s voice on “Childe Roland”
Adam Sachs - hand percussion
Jane Scarpantoni - cello
Stephen Ulrich - lap steel on “The Last Man (Is There Anybody Out There?)”
Jacob Valenzuela - mariachi trumpet on “Rosita (huapango)”

– FCC Compliant: YES
– Especially Recommended Tracks: 8, 11, 14
– Track Reviews:

1. *(2:59) Murieta’s Last Ride - fast drums with fun creepy stuff above
2. (3:44) These Wicked Things - medium-fast cowboy song; sung in early 1940’s Hollywood Western-style
3. (2:26) Bad Motel - Desperado-style story-song
4. **(3:05) Just A Lost, Lost Dream - animated; lyrics get a little lost but excellent music
5. ***(2:35) Crow Killer - instrumental; dark and clunky with eclectic asides
6. ***(3:27) Gone, Gone, Gone - moody but fast piece with over-narration in Jack Nicholson-Chinatown-style then singing; lots of expressive sax
7. (2:17) The Girl From The West Country - instrumental mood music; jawharp oldies western
8. *****(2:17) Rosita (Tango) - who doesn’t like a tango? especially one where they whistle; instrumental with some angry Spanish shouting shadowed in the background at the end
9. (3:26) The Key - relaxed pitch-bent explanatory song
10. **(2:31) All The Pretty Horses - sharp edge in the sound initially, then it opens up to a jazzy reverb experiment
11. ****(4:19) Rosita (Huapango) - guitar solo starts; lovely, graceful Huapango-style song about the loss of Rosita
12. **(1:38) Childe Roland To The Dark Tower Came - haunting instrumental
13. **(2:15) The Evening Redness In The West - picks up from the previous track; instrumental; sharp nightmare discord; STOPS at 2:10
14. ****(6:53) The Last Man (Is Anybody Out There) - story narration again and then song; very interesting ride
15. *(2:21) Long Way Home - another haunting instrumental

Track Listing
1. Murieta?S Last Ride   8. Rosita (Tango)
2. These Wicked Things   9. The Key
3. Bad Motel   10. All The Pretty Horses
4. Just A Lost, Lost Dream   11. Rosita (Huapango)
5. Crow Killer   12. Childe Roland To The Dark Tower Came
6. Gone, Gone, Gone   13. The Evening Redness In The West
7. The Girl From The West Country   14. The Last Man (Is Anybody Out There)
  15. Long Way Home