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Painted Saints

Something of an all purpose, genre-juggling utility man, Paul Fonfara has played an integral part in several roots-driven acts of local renown, including the Denver Gentlemen, DeVotchKa and Munly De Dar He. Following a recent European tour as a cellist for David Eugene Edward's solo project, Woven Hand, Fonfara has turned his attention toward fronting his own ensemble, Painted Saints, which performs with Portland's pub-torching Dolomites on Friday, September 27, at the Gothic Theatre. Along with a few Hungarian folk songs and an adventurous cover of the anonymously penned "St. James Infirmary," the band aims to blend chamber-based rock and drums with avant-garde, Dixieland stylings. "Right now, it's kind of a mix between spaghetti Western, Portishead and Louis Armstrong," notes Fonfara, a natural baritone who mostly strums a six-string guitar in his current incarnation, in addition to warming the clarinet. With a quiet side to its sound, the experimental quintet boasts the talents of cellist Tom MacKenzie, violinist Kelly O'Dea (Tarantella), upright bassist Mike Brown (Room 40) and drummer Andrew Warner (Hellmen). Primitive but precise, the group is in the midst of scoring original music to accompany Luis Buñuel's pioneering 1928 surrealist film, Un Chien andalou (co-written by Salvador Dalí), with the intention of one day using black-and-white projections as backdrops to its performances. Trompe l'oeil!

 
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