Music News

The Heavenly States

On Delayer, the latest CD by the Heavenly States, Ted Nesseth, who sings, plays guitar and writes tunes for the Oakland, California-bred group, doesn't wait long to demonstrate his lyrical cleverness. The first track, "Morning Exercise," finds him yelping "This goes on the record! And it hurts so bad!" over a melodic riff that causes pleasure, not pain. That musical combination proves to be the saving grace for both the recording and the band, which appears at Bender's alongside Poison Control Center and the Birdwatchers. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, Nesseth, keyboardist Genevieve Gagon, drummer Jeremy Gagon and bassist Masanori Mark Christianson fit it with a new tire, which they over-inflate and send bouncing down the road — and while destinations represented by cuts such as "Lost in the Light" are familiar, the players' exuberance makes the journey more than worthwhile. The album will have listeners joining bandmembers in the Heavenly States.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts