Sunday, February 07, 2010

Spitzer Space Telescope

“A folkloric renaissance folk bard”

Download "Spitzer Space Telescope - Graknils and Gerkins" (right click, save link as)

Gather round the crackle of the fire for Dan MacDonald to tell stories from a time long ago about incredible voyages to the edge of the world and deep into the netherworld. Tales of unicorns and phoenixes and a slew of other fantastic creatures like Graknils, Gerkins and Mynocks. This modern day minstrel masquerades under the name Spitzer Space Telescope and he’s released a full length self-titled vinyl LP.

The music has a fresh sound for the present folk resurgence. Its part old world acoustics, part sea shanty and part episodic folklore, all with a slight Irish flare. Folk is a pretty traditional format for war protest songs. However, when MacDonald sings of battles in “House of Seven Sisters,” you know it’s got to be a completely different kind of war. The kind where soldiers have to march for days over foggy, lush hillsides and fight with antique weaponry. Then there are tunes that are so strangely upbeat and erratically silly like “Song of Voyage” and “Graknils and Gerkins” that you may be compelled to laugh or get up and do a jig while listening to them.

Performing live, MacDonald is a sight to be seen. With a guitar strapped on and maybe a harmonica around his neck, he has an otherworldly energy. He strums erratically, making goofy facial expressions, running all around the stage and occasionally raises his guitar neck high into the air as if it were a cannon out of which he fires dangerous sounds.

Spitzer Space Telescope’s first release is an archaic journey with an unmatched talent for creating expansive mythic places with a few words and chords.

// Boston, MA //
// Released on Good People //
// August 2009 //
// Recorded by Dave Suchanek in East Lansing, Michigan //
// Mastered By Carl Saff at Saff Mastering in Chicago //

Published in Performer Magazine, April 2010 issue.

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