Papa M and Entrance

It might be the deal to beat in 2003: two eccentric, slightly hair-raising singer-songwriters appearing together for the price of...well, two, I suppose, since neither is playing in the parking lot for free. Papa M should be worth the bucks, since with the recent dissolution of Zwan (in which he played guitar), main man David Pajo's probably refocused his energy on his solo stuff, which veers from cracked folk-rock incantation to circular (and very pretty) instrumental post-rock. Zwan's bust-up has been good to Pajo in more ways than one, too: Bassist Paz Lenchantin has joined Papa M, and I'm sure there's a mathematical proof somewhere that demonstrates a relationship between musical quality and tall, long-haired neo-goth ladies. Opener Entrance is not a tall, long-haired neo-goth lady; he's a white guy from Baltimore via Chicago perfectly named Guy Blakeslee. But his recent The Kingdom of Heaven Must Be Taken by Storm is second only to Devendra Banhart's celebrated 2002 disc in terms of creepy blues-folk atmosphere and remarkable album-title length. So scare up your favorite neo-goth lady or man and unwrap this pre-Halloween treat.
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Mikael Wood