words may not come so close
stars like fleas is a band who deserve more attention than they've been getting. while several avant-folk artists such as the excellent akron/family and devendra banhart have been more widely discussed, stars like fleas have garnered some serious respect by setting themselves apart from the pack. their music draws extensively from jazz and experimental improvisation, yet utilizes and contains electronics that would put off most purists.
the band is a loose collective of ultra-talented musicians centering around composer/arranger/multi-instrumentalist shannon fields and other members, several also in orchestral pop band the silent league. the wild card is singer/lyricist montgomery knott, who also runs the very cool monkeytown series of shows/installations. he reminds me of michael stipe singing in jeff buckley's range with the fractured imagery and emotions of thom yorke. but frankly even these are weak comparisons which fall away when listening to the band play live.
ok, full disclosure time. i have the privilege of being asked to play on the next SLF record. how much i end up on it is entirely up to them and how well what i did fits in with their vision. i won't give away too much of the process, but shannon and i share a love for both the extremely experimental and massively anal-retentive approches of music-making. we met when my band was looking for artists to play a show with us (and the aforementioned a/f) at the tank last year. this also led to our playing a show with keyboardist ryan smith's project a million billion.
if you're in nyc and like music that is delicately violent and out of the ordinary, make it a point to go to tonic this coming friday to see them and the intriguing support acts they've personally lined up.
the title of this post comes from a song on the last SLF album.