Music News

John Wilkes Booze

If the name of its new CD, Telescopic Eyes Glance the Future Sick, makes John Wilkes Booze sound none too enamored of tomorrow, there's an easy explanation: The Indiana-based group is obsessed with history. Formed in 2001 by singer Seth Mahern -- nephew of Paul Mahern, leader of the legendary punk outfit the Zero Boys -- the group released a series of handmade discs called The Five Pillars of Soul that paid homage to pop-culture fringe-dwellers like Patty Hearst, Melvin Van Peebles and T.Rex's Marc Bolan. Compiled by Kill Rock Stars in 2004, Five Pillars was followed earlier this year by the vinyl-only release Heliocentric Views and Telescopic, a volatile distillation of garage rock and jazzy post-punk that basks in the influence of everyone from Pere Ubu to Blind Willie Johnson. The band's beer-soaked, sax-blasted live show is not to be missed. When it comes to getting stuck in the past, there's no time like the present.
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Jason Heller
Contact: Jason Heller