BAND OF NOTE: My Golden Calf.

You know when you have this relationship with someone that is predicated on mutual fondness, and you think you know everything major about them?  Where they work, where they live, whether they’re vegan or carnivore, whether or not they watch It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, their general attitude toward David Hasselhoff, and etcetera?  
And then, out of nowhere, they shock you with this secret, amazing detail about their life?
That is my relationship with Dabney Dwelle, frontman of My Golden Calf.  He is pictured above on the far right.  And below, as Chewbacca.     

Dabney and I were sitting at my house one day, listening to music, when all of a sudden he puts this  blank CD in the stereo.  The singer had this clear, unusually furtive quality to his voice.
“Whoa.  Who is this?”  I asked.
“That would be … ” he said.

“Yes, Dabney?”


[Stunned silence]

“That’s me.  The one singing.”

I can’t remember exactly what I said next.  But it was something along the lines of:  You sing?  You song write?  You play instruments?  You’re a musical wizard?  
I mean, you have to understand something here.  This was sometime in 2009, and Dabney and I had forged a bond over my short-lived obsession with Gossip Girl, and his impression of Chuck Bass par excellence.  Dabney’s music was a private affair, and when I was let in on the secret, I was shocked.  But happily so.  Because his music is very, very good.

Dabney now has a band, My Golden Calf, whose members include Tim O’Neill (drums), Carlos Cardona (keys and guitar), and Joe Salinas (bass).  Their debut album, Rituals to Make New, is a smart, carefully-layered set of nine songs that play deftly between hopeful and haunting.
That track – Fruit for Our Guest – is my favorite.  It sounds vaguely evil, like something that accompanies the pouring of colorless, odorless poison into a poor soul’s cocktail.  They won’t be around much longer.

 My Golden Calf, “Fruit for Our Guest”

But fortunately, My Golden Calf will be.  I see this as a band with future KUT airplay, especially with a track like this one: Killer Boots.

 My Golden Calf, “Killer Boots”

And, we’re cheerful again!  See what I mean about the interesting, in-between-moods space that My Golden Calf occupies?  It’s quite canny.
One more for you.  I think this song is my second favorite on the album: Feeble David. It highlights Carlos’ deep, dark piano playing, a steady march of sinister chords. 

 My Golden Calf, “Feeble David”

Do you love it?

My Golden Calf has a show at The Mohawk on Friday, November 18, and I think you should go.  It is a benefit for the Texas School for the Deaf, and they will be joined by this illustrious local music talent:
Fresh Millions
Gold Beach
The Pons
One Hundred Flowers
The Great Nostalgic (<— long-abiding band crush)
The Dark Water Hymnal
Minor Mishap Marching Band

good luck to you, my golden calf!
(you’re an idol i don’t mind worshipping.)