The Old Ceremony – Tickets – Cat’s Cradle – Carrboro, NC – September 13th, 2013

The Old Ceremony

The Old Ceremony

Shark Quest, Curtis Eller

Fri, September 13, 2013

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

Cat's Cradle

Carrboro, NC

$12.00 - $15.00

This event is all ages

The Old Ceremony
The Old Ceremony
The Old Ceremony plays lush, literate rock.

With ten years of touring the US, Canada, and Europe and six albums under their belt, the Durham/Chapel Hill, NC band occupies its own darkly lit corner of the musical world. It is a corner filled with ominous rumblings and world-weary but hopeful characters.

They have played with lots of well-known bands. Rock critics have written about them in their publications. TOC's last album, Fairytales and Other Forms of Suicide, was released Aug 21, 2012 on Yep Roc Records. Their newest record, produced by Mitch Easter and featuring a guest appearance by REM's Mike Mills, will be released in 2015.

TOC is led by songwriter Django Haskins, and includes drummer Dan Hall, vibes/organist Mark Simonsen, bassist Jeff Crawford, and violinist/keyboardist Gabriel Pelli.
Shark Quest
Shark Quest
Like any community, a local music scene is a convoluted organism. In an area as artistically rich as the Triangle, this is doubly true: Musicians play with each other in short- and long-lived projects that bud new bands with amazing quickness. When each act disbands, the members reinvigorate the creative pool around them. Around here, there might be no better example than Chapel Hill's Shark Quest.

Originally active from the late ’90s through the mid ’00s, the instrumental rock outfit started playing some infrequent reunion gigs a couple years ago. In the years since their initial run, the group's members have served as a seed of indie rock talent that has gone on to sprout other similarly lush and tangled projects. Sara Bell, one Quest multi-instrumentalist among many, went on to lead the charming folk-pop outfit Regina Hexaphone and play with the strung-out rock outfit Lud. Guitarist Chuck Johnson has gone on to avant-garde greatness, playing hypnotic blues under his own name and producing other-wordly noise as Pykrete. That’s just the tip of the artistic iceberg.

Still, as fruitful as the group's subsequent work has been, the music of Shark Quest remains every bit as interesting.

Spread across five full-lengths, their rich, adventurous abstractions manage to harness a swath of styles that rarely share the same space. The angular riffs point to slacker greats like Pavement and Built to Spill, but the acoustic elements add a nervy spaciousness reminiscent of John Fahey. Their entrancing arrangements indulge in the drawn-out tones of desert rockers such as Calexico. They unite funk and hard rock in a way that will clearly appeal to fans of Pink Floyd, but they also relish in multicultural elements, apparent in interludes that lean toward Middle Eastern or Oriental sounds. Despite the far-reaching palate, Shark Quest unites influences into a striking sonic tapestry that retains a distinctive flair even as it constantly evolves. —Jordan Lawrence
Curtis Eller
Curtis Eller
CURTIS ELLER is New York City's angriest yodelling banjo player. He sings about pigeon racing, performing elephants and Jesus, all of which he has seen with his own eyes. He started his show-business career at the age of seven as a juggler and acrobat in the Hiller Olde Tyme Circus in Detroit, but has since turned to the banjo because that's where the money is. His biggest musical influences are Buster Keaton, Elvis Presley and Abraham Lincoln.

Mr. Eller and his band, The American Circus stubbornly perform and record in New York City. They have appeared at funerals, horse races, burlesque revues and punk rock dumps. Haunted by the ghosts of silent film and wearing a dead man's clothes, Mr. Eller and the band have staggered their way into the hearts of audiences from London and Amsterdam to Los Angeles and Montreal. 2008 promises to see them touring extensively on both sides of the Atlantic ocean.

Along the way, they have shared the stage with strippers, contortionists, glass eaters and folksingers. They play more waltzes than any other band I know of, but nobody ever seems to feel like dancing.

On the lastest American Circus CD "Wirewakers & Assassins" Mr. Eller presents songs about John Wilkes Booth, Joe Louis, Fidel Castro, Jack Ruby and Richard Nixon (as well as the usual tales of Civil War generals and Elvis Presley). As always, sporadic yodeling and some strong language should be expected.

Mr Eller's tune "Alaska" was voted "2003's most Popular" on NPR's All Songs Considered. The music has the unmistakable sound of a pistol being fired in an abandoned salt mine: lonesome and violent.

The bands three previous CD's, "Taking Up Serpents Again" (2004), "Banjo Music for Funerals" (2002), and "1890" (2000), prove The American Circus capable of being recorded magnetically. On them you will here true stories about snake handlers and Coney Island, lies about P.T. Barnum and Amelia Earhart, and all the banjo playing and yodeling anyone can reasonably expect in these dark times.

All of the group's recorded output is available at live performances and online at The American Circus Souvenir Shop. Digital facsimiles of these artifacts can be downloaded from I-Tunes and CD Baby. Confederate currency will no longer be accepted.

Onstage and in the recording studio, The American Circus has attempted to capture the spirit of the Harford Circus Fire of 1944. Although there are sure to be many acts of heroism by performers and crew alike, ultimately it will prove to be the greatest disaster in circus history.

Liisa Yonker, Marilee Eitner, Joseph "Joebss" DeJarnette, Chris Moore, Gary Langol, Rima Fand, Gerald Menke, Amy Kohn, Michael Plunkett, Tim Kiah, Elizabeth Walsh, Adam Budofsky
Venue Information:
Cat's Cradle
300 East Main St.
Carrboro, NC, 27510