Sueños y pesadillas
Dang. I was all set to go suit up in a Hawaiian shirt, make like an inebriated attorney and bust out the air Telecaster out at last Sunday’s Heritage Fest blues extravaganza at the Sacramento Horsemen’s Club when one of the editors politely reminded me that someone else had covered that angle last week in SN&R. Boo hoo. So, the closest this writer got to the blues that day was at the Sunday-morning farmers’ market under the freeway by Southside Park, where local blues fixture Johnny “Guitar” Knox holds court every week, near the tables where political activists and petitioners set up at the east end of the market. And these days, Johnny’s just as likely to serenade the Green Party prospects and fruit and vegetable lovers with a vintage Hank Williams or Merle Haggard tune.
It’s been what’s hoped to be the tail end of a nasty, nasty late-winter cold, where the desire to rock ’n’ roll gets supplanted by the slightly more sensible impulse to stay home and point and click. And that’s what this recent tissue and cough-drop enthusiast was almost fixing to do before a chance encounter at Temple Coffee & Tea on 10th Street with MothSpyEros mastermind Ruben Reveles, who is putting the finishing touches on a new album of textural music, bedroom techno if you will, before sending it off to LunaticWorks, the Sony BMG-distributed label that will release it in mid-May.
Sueño Rojo, according to Reveles, will be like its title says: a crimson-tinged sonic dream. “I kinda have a lot of dreams, and they’re very vivid,” he said. “My goal is to make it sound like a Mexican or Spanish indie film.” The project, which Reveles described as “half-organic, half-electro,” will feature narration en español and songs in English, with music and poetry from a number of local players, who include Kevin Dockter, a guitarist and vocalist from Spider Silk Dress; and Ruebi Freyja, a singer-songwriter who once waited tables at Luna’s Café (and one of a select number of local femmes fatales who became subjects for gemlike David Houston pop songs). Also featured on the record will be Brianna Lea Pruett on harmony vocals, Low Flying Owls drummer Sam Coe (who also played bass), Spider Silk Dress singer Amber Padgett, singer-songwriter and erstwhile Umbravox frontman Sean Hayashi, and onetime Estereo violinist Veronica Acosta.
Also included on the disc will be some recordings that Reveles made during various travels, including street noises from Havana and the ambient sounds of ancient pyramids in Oaxaca—which runs the risk of being misconstrued as the kind of lysergic weirdness the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia once jabbered about when he said he’d recorded air from the desert and air from the city and then mixed them together to provide a sound bed for the Dead’s second album, Anthem of the Sun, but it kinda makes sense when you’re talking about music that’s meant to be absorbed by feeling consciousness as much as it is by the ears.
And speaking of dreams, or, more precisely, nightmares, props must be given to Las Pesadillas, the veteran mutant Primus-meets-Zappa-in-Ralph Stanley’s-barn quartet that provided a decade of fine music to local fans. While the four band members will be moving on to the requisite projects, the band will be sorely missed in Sactown.