Music News

Skeleton Key

Eric Sanko's avant-garde rap sheet could damn near wallpaper New York's Knitting Factory: In addition to collaborations with Yoko Ono, John Cale and Basketball Diaries author Jim Carroll, Sanko spent seventeen years in the rhythm section of John Lurie's acclaimed Lounge Lizards. Still part of the Big Apple's subterranean scenery, the experimental bassist has helmed Skeleton Key for more than a decade -- including a brief major-label stint on Capitol that garnered an unlikely Grammy nomination. (For trivia buffs, 1997's Fantastic Spikes Through Balloon lost the esteemed prize for Best Packaging to Titanic: Music as Heard on the Fateful Voyage.) Sanko's sinking feeling improved five years later when Mike Patton's Ipecac imprint gave Skeleton Key the freedom to create Obtanium, a quirky exploration into falsetto-driven funk, space pop and junkyard racket. The band's unorthodox, ever-changing lineup now includes guitarist Craig LeBlang, drummer Sean Sankey and trombonist/percussionist Benjamin Clapp, whose scrap kit consists of propane tanks, film reels, pots, pans and assorted debris. In other words, tonight's bill with Mood Syrup guarantees plenty of bang for your buck.
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John La Briola