Monday, November 23, 2009

Celluloid Bachelor #8: Dragon Turtle's Island of Broken Glass

I used to find those crazy and implausible self-identified genre descriptions on indie band myspace pages endearing, or at least amusing. Now, when the latest indie songstress once again defines themselves as “zouk/concrete/death metal,” I tend to just roll my eyes. At least I do before trying to remind myself to get over my humorless self-seriousness.

Every so often, though, I’ll see a jumbled set of descriptors that make me wonder what such a band would sound like. Such was the case with the description recently provided me of Dragon Turtle: “ambient psych folk.” What? I didn’t know what to expect, but before even listening I knew I’d be writing something. Fortunately, the fellas in Dragon Turtle make it easy for me to write something nice.

Equal parts David Byrne, David Grisman, Akron/Family, and Rusted Root, Dragon Turtle indeed integrates the aforementioned descriptors and does so in a complex, challenging way. In other words, they sorta rule. One of the album’s stand-out tracks, “Island of Broken Glass” exemplifies this sort of complexity. A friend described it to me as sounding as if it could be the song playing over the end credits of a film, perhaps a non-lighthearted young romantic film that ended on a decidedly ambivalent note.

The video below is far less plot-centric, with the entirety of the film centered around burning objects. Stuff on fire is always cool, of course, but what makes this Celluloid Bachelor-worthy is what it is that is actually going the way of Jacques de Molay. What you see getting the Shadrach/Meshach/Abednego treatment are the bands prized organs, the ones they'd played while recording their new release, Almanac. Apparently the dudes were intent on some rebirth kind of action. I'm down.

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