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The snarling interlocked horns of The Budos Band are unbelievably nasty, dizzyingly wonderful, and sometimes totally disruptive, in that it's hard to figure out this group until you properly decode them. After starting as a younger, wilder version Staten Island analogue to Antibalas, they linked up in the mid-2000s with the leading Luddites at retro soul and funk label Daptone Records and promptly started filling old-school analog tape tracks with megaton melodies that launched them away from their Afrobeat roots. Baritone sax player Jared Tankel got to watch everything from the inside.
The Hook: Your horn arrangements in particular seem really aggressive, and I know you attribute a lot of that to Black Sabbath. What other metal bands are good for inspiring horn charts?
Jared Tankel: There's Iron Maiden, Slayer to a certain extent, older Metallica. We all went and saw a Pentagram show somewhere recently– old doom metal guys.
The Hook: Would it be overly simplistic to say that it's a matter of mapping guitar riffs in the metal bands to horn riffs in your band?
Jared Tankel: I think our guitar and bass arrangements have become more and more riff-oriented as well. And certainly the [horn] lines themselves are more funk or soul influenced, but they're also...
Bethany Pierce is one of those people who make the rest of us— okay, I’ll just speak for me— look like talentless slackers. Not only is she the author of two critically acclaimed novels, but she’s also an accomplished painter. That she’s pretty, married to a physician, and so nice you can’t dislike her for any of it only adds insult to injury.
But returning to the second and fourth points, Pierce’s recent painting series, inspired by medical investigations of the human body, is currently on view at Chroma Projects in the exhibition, “milieu intérieur.” The 10 large and 6 small oil-on-panel works initially seem familiar, resembling electrical readouts, x-rays, and slide samples viewed through a microscope, but upon closer examination, they become elusively abstract and filled with mystery.
When I spoke to Pierce at the show’s opening, I asked why she’d omitted two pieces I’d seen in her McGuffey Art Center studio. She said, “Oh, they’re here,” and pointed to two vertical works by the door, noting, “They’ve changed since you saw them last week.” Resembling x-rays of a pelvic bone and a spine, the images had gone from having electric blue backgrounds to floating in a sea of black, an indication of Pierce’s skill at working and re-working color layers to create depth and subtle effects.
Her images may seem photo-realistic at a cursory glance, but a few minutes of study revea...