(Atlanta, GA) neo-psychedelic indie rock band
In the low light of the hut the old man sat quietly puﬃng on his mapacho. “You must disengage from your…continuity,” he said, referring I’m sure to my earbuds, which, with apologies, I cranked. As I tapped the last drop out of the clay cup and laid back on the ragged foam mat I saw that the old man’s face was no longer his, but a hawk’s. The spirit-world comes on like that.
The music I came to see with my third eye, Ponderosa’s Pool Party, started with a voice, a silver highlonesome in a mist (or maybe the mist was the voice), an electric guitar that identiﬁed itself (verbally, and I’m translating here) as He-who-makes-things-sprout, then a convergence at something analogous to a rain dance, as if conducted (in lapis lazuli) by Keith Moon. Pianos and guitars and harmonies breathed into existence tetrahedrons, Spanish friars, bird-lions, machine elves, Quetzacotl, so forth, and landscapes, always the sweeping, rolling variety. No point going on about what the music looks like. To paraphrase the giant, blazing eye that cries honey, you must see for yourself.
“Indie rockers Ponderosa are well worth your attention, combining psychedelic, soul and souther rock that’s hauntingly beautiful and irresistably catchy at all the same time.”
It’s fitting you might have caught a glimpse of Alexis & the Samurai’s members Alexis Marceaux and Sam Craft on Treme, HBO’s pantheon to New Orleans musicians. The soulful, young artists are lifelong New Orleanians, with credentials that best that of the cast. The pair’s star has since risen even more furiously with Marceaux’s recent announcement of being a contestant on this fall’s season of NBC’s The Voice.
Exiled after having lost everything in hurricane Katrina, Alexis has spent the last several years returning home and building up a career from scratch. The meantime has been hard-fought but fruitful, with appearances at The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Voodoo Music Experience, SXSW, and several tours of the US and Europe. The two 20-somethings initially teamed up for Alexis’ sophomore effort Orange Moon (2011). Under the tutelage and engineering of The Polyphonic Spree’s Rick Nelson, the duo drew an all-star cast, 25 of NOLA’s finest musicians of every genre, for a big and lush indie-pop opus with a distinct Louisiana flavor. Marceaux released Dandelion in ’09, and its songs were picked up by various television shows (MTV’s The Real World, E!’s Keeping Up With the Kardashians, etc.), but with Orange Moon, she’s elevated herself into a “songwriting force to be reckoned with” (No Depression), securing more media placements, as well as rotation in Starbucks cafés and other stores.
The duo plans to capitalize on the exposure by taking their multi-instrumental spectacle (strings, guitars, keys, foot percussion, vocal harmonies, often all at once) on the road, as well as by working on a new EP, set for release this winter.
These Mississippi brothers found their hearts in New Orleans years ago. Keeping up with the grind and glamour of musician life in the city: John, Joe, and David Shirley birth, Cardinal Sons. The rhythmic chords and warm harmonies carry a blend of contemporary indie folk with some Nola soul.
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