The Indiana-based indie imprint Secretly Canadian has quietly grown into a powerhouse over the past couple of years, with signees as illustrious as Magnolia Electric Co. and Antony and the Johnsons. But a considerably lower-profile act on the roster, the Impossible Shapes, was responsible for one of the label's best releases in 2005: the lysergic pop opus known as Horus. Chris Barth is the mastermind behind the Shapes, but he's striking out solo in support of his new pet project, Normanoak. Combining the acid-etched songcraft and wobbly melody of Syd Barrett, Roky Erickson and acoustic-and-bongo-era Tyrannosaurus Rex, Normanoak's debut full-length, Born a Black Diamond, has just been followed up by Songs for the Seven Sacred Planets, a handmade EP that Barth is selling to fuel his psychedelic trek across America. In tow are fellow Hoosiers Seth Mahern (who screams and tweaks noise under the name Lord Fyre) and Dorey Fox, the violist of Mt. Gigantic -- both of whom also play with Barth in the blazing art-garage collective John Wilkes Booze. The bill is sure to be a trip, in more ways than one.
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