The Ascetic Junkies [Band]
September 8, 2011 4 Comments
There are far too many great things to be said about this band. I’ve been covering them for years. Ever since I was a shy puppy of a music blogger digging around the internet (on the newly fashionable social networking site Myspace!), I have been a fan of The Ascetic Junkies. Yes, it borders along the lines of obsession, but that is for my shrink, not Trainwreck’d. No matter, it was about high time I put the dear AJ’s in the spotlight once again.
In late 2008, The Ascetic Junkies released One Shoe Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. This political (and Dracula) driven record turned out to be exactly what I was looking for during a period of political revitalization and the return of self-representation. And it still holds up to date with the current shift of, well, damn near everything. Tracks like “A Protest Song” and “Gone Shootin'” are just as relevant. And maybe even more so, my personal favorite, “Windows Sell The House”.
A year later, around the tail end of ’09, and the beginning of 2010, I fell in love with the (then) free digital EP, Don’t Wait For The Rescue Squad. It was a simple and quant lead into the magic that was about to come in the near future, but I was smitten. The two original singles “Jenny Don’t Do That!” and “French Girls” where a phenomenal prequel to the band’s sophomore album that was sure to come. Both of these tracks still sit somewhere around the top of my favorite AJ tunes, and I hope that when the proverbial Best of The Ascetic Junkies is released, they will be included.
And alas, we have the band’s pinnacle of recordings thus far. In late 2010, Portland’s favorite Folk/Americana/Awesome band released one of the finest records to have ever come out Hipsterville USA. This Cage Has No Bottom was a record that is still in my regular playlist. The Ascetic Junkies took their old styling of passionate folk, and merged it with an indie rock feel that is as purely amazing. And while I have always been a fan of lead songstress Kali Giaritta’s tantalizing vocals, it is her cohort (and now, husband!) Matt Harmon on “Water From Wine”, which is undoubtedly one of the greatest songs EVER written. I say this with much ease, and little regret. It is that damn good. Matt has always been heard vocally on the band’s work (see the extremely catchy “Kali, All I Do” from their first record), but he absolutely kills it on this track, and several more spots throughout This Cage Has No Bottom.
The Ascetic Junkies are a non-stop dynasty in Portland, OR and their influence has successfully spread across the land as well. They’ve landed a sweet gig during BIKETOBEERFEST alongside fellow PDX folk royal family, Jared Mees & The Grown Children on September 17th. And Jared Mees and company can also be found with The Ascetic Junkies and other fine groups on the on insanely popular PDX Pop 2011 compilation album. It’s been an amazing road for these amazing folk/bluegrass/punk/pop/whiskeystomp , whatever you want to call them, artists. And the momentum is far from over. Undoubtedly this is a group that will continue to shine brighter than a starlit sky for years to come. Tremendously fascinating music such as this can never fade away.
If you find yourself in the Potland area on September 16th & 17th. Do not forsake your oppurtunity to see The Ascetic Junkies live!
September 16th @ The Christmas Horse w/BELLS (San Francisco)
September 17th @ HopWorks for the 3rd Annual BikeToBeerFest w/Jared Mees & The Grown Children and The Wonderlust Circus
And of course, you can catch them all over the town, somewhere here or there. Keep updated at the band’s WEBSITE.