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QQQ - Unpacking the Trailer

Unpacking the Trailer


New Amsterdam Records - NWAN015

Available from New Amsterdam Records.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

I didn't expect this at all. QQQ is a four piece band making marvelously, wonderfully, deliciously weird, quirky, inventive music sitting squarely in a number of genres but often breathtakingly neoclassical. And so much sound! With just Beth Myers on viola, Dan Trueman on hardanger fiddle, Monica Mugan on guitar, and Jason Trueman taking up the percussives & melodica, what results is an arresting blend of Penguin Cafe Orchestra, ECM free jazz, Jasun Martz, the jazzier Groon through Lark's Tongue period King Crimson, 5UUs, Kurtag, Kanchelli, Kremer, and…well God only knows what all.

Unpacking the Trailer is almost obscenely mature and innovative. How dare four young musicians be this knowing and eclectic? I wouldn't have been a bit surprised had the CD emerged on the aforementioned ECM, New World, Naxos, or any of the ultra-sophisticated indie labels dedicated to superior, modern, classically-moded works. The entire enterprise is complexly instrumental, progressive like nobody's business, and hardly needs song titles, as everything flows into everything else as one huge spacious concept. The oscillations and transmutations the group goes through would make Bill Frisell dizzy—plenty of roots music channeled through Martian intermediaries alongside intelligent rock inflections and atonal squonking by post-Schoenbergians.

This is not a CD for the timid or catholic. Those who wallow in chartbound treacle will find precious little to titillate them—will, in fact, probably go into gasping arrhythmia—but music hounds baying for something new will ululate in ecstasy the moment that little laser beam hits the first set of encoded bits and bytes. Describe it all? Ha! Are you kidding??? What I've just put forth only scratches the surface. Check into the label website click on the sample, and see if you can find the right adjunctives, prenkpunsitions, cabverbs, and dangling particorpuscles for this killer work.

I dare ya.

Track List:

  • Toykey Joykey
  • Spring
  • Swimming Under the Moonlight
  • Runaway Puppy
  • Sister Sorrow
  • [t]His Land
  • Beth's Springar
  • Al or Nothing
  • Happy 'Til You Hurt Yourself
  • Orton's Ode
  • Unpacking the Trailer
  • Rocolocosmokotoko
  • Ghostwalk

Edited by: David N. Pyles


Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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