Boston Not LA Recap – Ghost Box Orchestra + Skyjelly + Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys

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Boston Not LA is an ongoing series of digital compilations created to highlight a variety of local talent – so far it spans three volumes and here’s a look back at artists that participated in the series and their current status.

 

Whether you choose to call them space rock or post rock or shoegaze, Ghost Box Orchestra are true to their name – both LPs that the band released so far demonstrate the skills to create music that is both groovy and ethereal (and also haunting at times). These are the soundscapes that you can dance to and if Mars had nightclubs along with the water then GBOs music would be welcomed there with both arms!

Ghost Box Orchestra contributed Oh The Moon Hangs Low as well as demo of title track off of their second LP Vanished to Boston Not LA series:

Where are they now: Since the release of their debut The Last Light On, GBO played Austin Psych Fest, Deep Heaven Now and Boston’s Fuzzfest, won Best Psych/Experimental act in the Boston Phoenix’s Best Music Poll and shared the stage with countless bands including Wooden Shjips, Psychic Ills, Moon Duo and The Cult.

 

Motorola Monkey – first track that Providence, RI Skyjelly contributed to first volume of Boston, Not LA (and one of the first things recorded by the band) – reveals just how unconventional their approach to composition is. This track (and accompanying video) starts out with vaguely middle eastern intro that gives way to a bouncy bass layered over the bed of electronics. Think soundtrack to a non-existent movie about Arabian James Bond.

Acosta (which appears on Boston Not La Vol.2) is a different beast – unlike Motorola Monkey it features vocals (it kicks off with muffled/distorted chant of “I was playing with my amp…). In the ideal world it could’ve been a radio hit since its melodic, got a wonderful guitar solo and a tinge of melancholy to it:

Finally, there’s 6 Is Silent – Skyjelly’s most recent contribution to the series. Easily the most upbeat of all three it features a colorful video created by Sarah Jane Lapp which perfectly fits the surreal vibe of the song:

Where are they now: Skyjelly released 4-track EP Skyjelly & SUN in 2014 and also played countless shows around Boston and Providence. Skyjelly & SUN, however, represents only a tiny portion of the band’s back catalog as they constantly put out new videos, jams and song sketches online.

 

If you can’t ever get enough of Tiger Lillies perverted cabaret (and I would be very scared of you if that’s the case), then you would surely squeal with delight upon hearing anything put out by Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys!

Led by an enigmatic ringmaster Walter Sickert (most likely not the German painter/printmaker from early 20th century), this 7-member troupe revels in all kinds of bizarre and morbid stories and characters. Heroine pigs, Baba Yaga and Lucifer himself are just some of the character that make appearance on their records and there truly are no limits as to how far this band is willing to go in order to explore the forbidden territories.

Walter Sickert and The Army of Broken Toys contributed Sea Song (Mare Carmen) to the first volume of Boston Not LA:

Where are they now: The band latest release is Shockheaded Peter, “reimagining” of the score originally written by Tiger Lillies for a musical based on Heinrich Hoffman children’s book. As WBUR reports:

Company One productions always feel more like rock ‘n’ roll shows than any other theater’s, even Oberon’s. The current production, “Shockheaded Peter,” not only feels like rock ‘n’ roll; it is rock ‘n’ roll. Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys’steamCrunk, to be specific, but close enough. Sickert looks, plays, acts and writes like Dr. John on steroids while his mischievous melodies suggest the Kinks going to darker places than Ray Davies inhabits. Or as he told ARTery contributor Susanna Jackson, it’s music that he hopes evokes a mood of “Charlie and The Chocolate Factory” meets “Hellraiser.”


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