The Beat: Ivory Weeds

Ivory Weeds' folky EP, Big Hurry's new-wave sonic trickery and Legs Like True Trunks' aural symmetry.

IVORY WEEDS, As, Brother Fox
Ivory Weeds (aka John Chriest) holds true to the belief that you should never count any influence out, regardless of how esoteric or incongruous it might appear on paper.

On his As, Brother Fox EP, Chriest does a fantastic job of channeling multiple sources and genres to come up with a unique sound—which, I gotta say, when considering the local folk scene (regardless of whether it’s “experimental” or whatever), has left me wondering why this dude is not getting more press.

With guitar lines that buzz like autumn leaves and lyrics that patiently wait for the end of disinherited youth, I find myself wondering, Am I really listening to a record that sounds like a tete-à-tete between Appendix Out and David Behrman? Yeah, it would appear that I am.

(Learn more at, and check out Ivory Weeds’ fourth CD, I Am … Entropy, at

BIG HURRY, Sink or Swim  
Big Hurry continues its new-wave sonic trickery with Sink or Swim. In this latest release, the band marches onward with guitarist Andy Wilkosz and bassist Lenny Flatley gleaning simple lines from their respective instruments, collectively weaving an ornate tapestry that brightens the corners while staying within the lines.  

Vocalist Kelly Tobias performs epic call and response vocals with the impassioned energy of a post-punk siren (think Sally Timms of the Mekons), while sporadic blips and beeps emanate from her keyboard and hang over the tunes like a gallery of frantic echoes.  

And speaking of echoes, drummer Dani Buncher embraces DeFreitas-esque beats with the aplomb of a trapeze artist, deftly leading the others through a journey of reckless abandon with the passion of a bad habit—and to top it off, the e.p. even includes a remix!

(Get a taste of Big Hurry’s music at

I’ll admit it: The comparisons to long-standing Pittsburgh juggernaut Don Caballero piqued my interest to all the talk surrounding Legs Like Tree Trunks.  And it’s true that the gentlemen who make up the band have the math-rock thing down to a science; guitarists Matt Holden and Dave Cerminara do indeed sound like proteges of Don Caballero/Battles six-string noise-looper Ian Williams.  

But really, the similarities end there. Legs Like Tree Trunks lays down its own brand of aural symmetry while nodding in the somewhat angular direction of indie-turned-mega-label stalwarts Built to Spill and criminally underrated ’90s North Carolina mathletes the Raymond Brake. As a music lover, one of the most exciting things is the potential that lies within hearing a band for the first time, witnessing the excitement and ambitious naïveté that ebbs from the speaker.  

Legs Like Tree Trunks shows promise and ingenuity.  But with that comes high expectations.  Let’s hope they’re savoring the moment and staving off the desire to grow up too fast.

(Sample Legs Like Tree Trunks’ music at

Kurt’s Playlist:
Soul ’69, Aretha Franklin
Spontaneous Compositions and Improvisations, Charles Mingus
West, Wooden Shjips
The Year of Hibernation, Youth Lagoon
Morricone Bossa, Ennio Morricone
The Riptide, Beirut
Requiem For An Almost Lady, Lee Hazlewood
Dancer Equired, Times New Viking
Hotel Shampoo, Gruff Rhys
Dead To Me, Girls Names

Categories: Things To Do