EC-raised musicians keep upending folk in North Carolina
Having filled every bar and venue in town with DeYarmond Edison’s slow evolution in style from rootsy Americana to experimental and progressive folk, the foursome of Brad and Phil Cook, Joe Westerlund, and Justin Vernon made a heavy impact on the arts and music scene in and around the Chippewa Valley before calling it quits in 2006. Fortunately for us, the split quickly spawned two great bands from one, and we now have both Bon Iver and Durham, N.C. band Megafaun. Where DeYarmond Edison may have left off in their twisted folk style, the Cook brothers and Joe Westerlund pick right back up with Megafaun, whose debut EP, Bury the Square, now re-released by Table of the Elements, has earned enough support to gain new fans and tours nationwide. Still completely organic are their hammerings of banjos and acoustic guitars, and clearly belted southern drawls in three part harmonies, but when they interrupt these with inorganic deposits of screeching feedback, electronic bleeps, and cut-and-paste tape samples, we hear Megafaun’s ability to completely bend genres into new territories. Not only did record labels notice, so did some of their favorite bands, leading to tours with Menomena and the Dodos, to name a couple, as well as the opportunity to open for and play in one of the most internationally well-known and respected psychedelic folk bands of the moment, Akron/Family. The threesome’s latest tour pairs them with Berlin’s Arnold Dreyblatt, whose experiments with sound have shaped beautifully droning instrumental compositions since the early ’80s.
The Daredevil Christopher Wright + Megafaun • Friday, Sept. 26 • Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts, Menomonie • 8pm • $16 adults, $14 seniors and students, $6 children • 235-0001 • www.myspace.com/megafaun