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Band of the Month Nominee Spotlight: Tu Fawning

Band of the Month Nominee Spotlight: Tu Fawning


To put it mildly, Tu Fawning is a force of nature - a pulsing, bubbling, organic quartet of able-bodied musical sponges wading in the suds of Portland's post-rock puddles. To get serious about prodding their muses and defining their sound would take the combined efforts of a self-writing quill, an encyclopedic understanding of synergy and the language of trees, and the tears of a Cherokee raindancer. So I'll try to keep it mild.

Tu Fawning is the spawn of Portland musical luminaries Corrina Repp (of Corrina Repp and Viva Voce fame) and Joel Haege (the explosive force behind art-punk-funk trio 31 Knots). The duo recently became a foursome, inviting in the key-tinklin' talents of Liza Rietz (also a popular PDX fashion designer), and multi-instrumentalist/mostly brass-ist Toussaint Perrault. The quartet unhinges a fluid, tribal, melancholy melange using tambourines, samples, shadowy percussion, modest guitar, trumpets, layered vocals and more to stitch together a hollow, holistic version of minimalist orchestral rock. It's hypnotic, to say the least; and a goddamn religious experience live. 

Here, Haege's spastic, choppy guitar squalls - so patented within the carnival realm of 31 Knots - are replaced by plaintive, subtle notation. His secondary presence is due foremost to the equally engaging aura of Repp, whose fluffy-gruff vocal melodies drive the songs to parts unknown, while Perrault's brass and percussive elements mix with the shaky-hands of Rietz and her generous key contributions.

"Multiply A House" sounds like a neo-Squanto day trip recorded in an empty jail cell with Glenn Miller's Orchestra tripping on LSD and playing the same, echoing lines forever and ever. For clarification: This is amazing.

Go see this band right now. Even if they're not playing. And vote for them in our Band of the Month poll to the top right of this blog if you dig.

- Ryan J. Prado

Published: February 11, 2010 |

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