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As the frontman for Dang Head, Boulder recluse Jamie Smith pens songs of heartbreak, devastation and occasional joy, crafting punk-informed rural music that's as suitable for the back porch as for the garage. He calls it "noise folk" -- a nifty term that shortens the distance between modest creature comforts and an ever-encroaching wasteland. Playing everything from banjo to clarinet, Smith (late of Lords of Howling, Granfaloon Bus and Lillium) enlists fellow multi-instrumentalist Shane Trost (Wovenhand), plus bassist Jeff Davenport and drummer Ben Depasquale, for a dark and rootsy gathering that oughtta take precedence over putting your goddamn taxes to bed.
The band's sound falls somewhere between Bill Monroe and Sonic Youth by way of Camper Van Beethoven -- not that any map guarantees one's whereabouts in such godforsaken terrain. On the eco-primitive outskirts where amber waves and buffalo go to die, the prolific songwriting Smith mediates on territorial disputes ("Hands Off the Moon") and ponders interplanetary survival ("Left on Mars"). He even pokes around in Grandma's dusty attic, blending somber sound washes, atonal invention and concise storytelling. Dang Head sets the table for Black Heart Procession and the Bartender's Bible on Tuesday, April 15, at the Bluebird Theater. The ensemble's impressive new CD, Shipwreck, launches Shovel Records' maiden voyage down the uncharted bloodstream of gut-driven Americana. Anchors away.