New year, new shows

by nathanbontrager

Performance calendar updated, January is a full month already!  It gets started this Wednesday at Audubon Strings in New Haven when Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps plays with Jakob Battick (Portland, ME) and the Book Slave (CT).  The Book Slave is great live and everything I’ve listened to from Jakob has been fantastic.  Dr. Caterwaul’s, despite its recent inception, is already expanding the genre palette.  Expect to hear everything from Chilean ballads to Thomas Mapfuno-inspired mbira tunes and more geographically similar blues numbers.

Wednesday, January 5th will be the first ever New Haven performance of Portland, ME’s nightfolk eccentrics Jakob Battick & Friends. After having become celebrated experimentalists on the diverse Portland scene the group has begun to make a point of traveling out into New England’s further reaches. Musically, Battick & his cohorts have come a long way through slowcore and shoegaze influences to begin creating their own nightmarish and atmospheric world out of dramatic and layered vocals both whispered and howled, and sharply composed layers of less-is-more instrumentation. On this, the ‘Prayers & Curses tour, the group will be playing brand new compositions scheduled for release on their next full-length, showcasing a newfound grace and maturity alongside their trademark intensity and spaciousness. A free release featuring polished home recordings of these new songs, entitled ‘Prayers & Curses Vol. 1,’ will be made available to all attendees for absoluely free.

Hosting them is Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps, featuring Brian Slattery on banjo and fiddle, Nathan Bontrager on Cello, and Adam Matlock on accordion. Everybody howls about murder or other types of death and occasionally something a bit more twisted. Doc C’s performs intuitive, flowing improvisations on folk music of various sources, getting at the jagged heart of your murder ballads, your sorrow ballads, your uplifting ballads with a sad ending, etc. CT.

The Book Slave is tense surrealist guitar harmonies and desperate screamed vocals. Dan and Joe Katz lock into angular harmonic movements channeling shoegaze, hardcore and post rock while maintaining a singular energy. Tonight they’ll play an acoustic set that shows the strength of their songwriting in a different light