These Wicked Things (lp)
These Wicked Things is the fourth release from the determinedly eclectic Boston-based band Beat Circus and the final installment in singer/multi-instrumentalist/composer Brian Carpenter’s “Weird American Gothic” trilogy. The record bridges a number of disparate genres including experimental music, cowpunk, post-punk, Mexican folk music, mariachi music, and “spaghetti western” and giallo film scores. The cover and booklet include an 18-page graphic novelette by renowned Croatian artist Danijel Zezelj, best known for his live paintings, multimedia, and collaborations with DC Comics/Vertigo. These Wicked Things began after Carpenter was commissioned by the Berkeley Repertory Theater in Berkeley, California to compose music and lyrics for Dominic Orlando’s play The Barbary Coast in 2014. Based on the true crime book by Herbert Asbury (Gangs of New York), The Barbary Coast detailed the violent rise of San Francisco in the late 1800s. The play centers around Joaquin Murieta, a Mexican who went on a revenge spree after his wife Rosita was killed by gold miners. Two versions of “Rosita” and some incidental music from the play are included. After recording These Wicked Things with Beat Circus at the legendary Q Division Studios in Boston, Carpenter flew out to Tucson, Arizona to mix the record with es-teemed producer Craig Schumacher (Calexico, Neko Case, Giant Sand.) Carpenter worked with Schumacher previously on his singer/songwriter outing The Far End of the World (2015, Accurate.) Special guests on These Wicked Things include trumpeter Jacob Valenzuela of Calexico, bass saxophonist Dana Colley of Morphine, and guitarist Stephen Ulrich of the NYC guitar noir trio Big Lazy.