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The Incendiary Second Part of The Real Anthony Fauci Documentary Goes Live

“People don’t want to compare the Holocaust to anything else. Why?” asks Holocaust survivor and medical rights crusader Vera Sharav in the second part of Jeff Hays‘ stunning documentary The Real Anthony Fauci, which just went live about a day ago, hot on the heels of the first half. This latest installment is ostensibly going to VOD in two days, but you can watch it for free now – and you should, even if you’ve read Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s bestseller. The conclusion is only about an hour long, and if Hays is involved, there’s a good chance it’ll be up for viewing for longer…or will make a mysterious return to the web in a few days.

If you don’t have the time to watch this relatively brief movie, Sage Hana is cutting up part two into easily digestible excerpts just as she did with the first segment. If you see just one of her clips, your best bet is her second segment from part two. This is where the really juicy history kicks in.

Kennedy provides a shocking insider account of Operation Northwoods, the false flag CIA operation targeting American civilians, which served as the prototype for 9/11, and, arguably, the plandemic.

If there’s any doubt that Bill Gates has power over Presidents, the newly released footage here puts that to rest. The funniest of many blackly amusing moments is an artfully sequenced series of Anderson Cooper CNN clips, where a little Pfizer money seems to go a long way.

Dr. Sherri Tenpenny – one of the first physicians to speak out about the lethality of the Covid shot campaign – gets considerably more time in the spotlight in part two, succinctly tracing how deep state and big pharma laid the groundwork for a slow walk to fascism in 2020: “SARS, MERS, H1N1: same playbook, different virus.” In between, she touches on how the childhood vaccines were weaponized as a cash cow for big pharma: “When they vaccinate those kids, they basically become customers for life with their allergies, asthma, eczema. ADHD. diabetes.”

Kennedy, who also gets more screen time here than in part one, unpacks how the Pentagon turned to Fauci as a conduit for shady gain-of-function viral research. As he did in the first part of the film, Hays unflinchingly connects the dots between the 2001 anthrax attacks, 9/11, the military germ warfare establishment and the fateful rollout of the PREP act, which set up the Emergency Use Authorization for the lethal Covid injection scheme.

Dr. Robert Malone, the controversial mRNA researcher who is widely seen as controlled opposition, makes some chillingly revealing comments here that are too central to his role in the operation to spoil. You have to make up your own mind.

Fauci the individual is subject to considerably more scrutiny than he was in part one, which is more of a history of how the AIDS crisis of the 80s and 90s was a soft launch for the plandemic. He comes off as part arrogant twit and part coldblooded sociopath. Without giving anything away, you could call this Kennedy and Hays’ Godfather 2. Commentary from investigative journalist Celia Farber  and  Dr. Pierre Kory, the ivermectin pioneer and hero of the early treatment movement, is witheringly funny and spot-on. Fauci’s whiteboard game with the other NAIAD functionaries is just plain creepy.

Whitney Webb adds important context on anthrax, as does UK doctor Tess Lawrie on how Fauci took remdesevir, a failed and terrifyingly lethal ebola drug, and repurposed it as a Covid “cure.” At the end of the film, we get a parade of familiar faces in the freedom movement, and a searing coda from Kennedy and  Mark Crispin Miller, the world’s leading expert on propaganda. If you have to choose between seeing part one and part two, see part two (Sage’s clips will help). But you should really see them both while you can.

Musically, the first film has a better and more sparse score than the second, although it’s good to hear that uneasy string quartet theme again as the credits roll for the final time.

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The Ragas Live Festival 2022, Part 2: Hits and Misses

This year’s return of the 24-hour-plus Ragas Live festival of Indian music and related sounds was so epic that it requires two parts to reasonably digest. The frequently rapturous first half was reviewed here yesterday. The second part was also often transcendent, with some issues.

Let’s tackle those and then get to the good stuff. You’re never going to see fusion jazz on this page: with rare exceptions, good jazz is basically acoustic music. So if you enjoyed the tropical midnight act and the interminable Moroccan fusion interlude yesterday afternoon, glad you had a good time.

It would have been fun to catch sitarist Abhik Mukherjee‘s set to begin the second half of the marathon. Who knew that a trip for coffee a little earlier in the morning would also have turned into a marathon, a much less enjoyable one.

Back at Pioneer Works, bansuri flutist Jay Gandhi took an absolutely harrowing detour, running variations on a haunting, wary chromatic theme with Ehren Hanson on tabla for what seemed the better part of an hour. Beyond Gandhi’s breathtakingly liquid, perfectly modulated sine-wave attack, the somber mood was impossible to turn away from. These are troubled times: nobody has channeled that with such subtle power in recent months as these two. Which made their clever and allusive permutations on a bouncy nursery-rhyme-like riff afterward such a stark contrast. And yet, the darkness lingered, if at a distance.

Trumpeter Amir ElSaffar, whose most recent specialty has become oceanic Middle Eastern big band jazz, followed with about an hour of brooding electroacoustic sounds. Starting off on a labyrinthine rack of analog synthesizers, he rose from enveloping ambience to an achingly gorgeous, regal solo trumpet fanfare in a moody Iraqi maqam. Next, he looped an austere, baroquely churchy organ processional, then employed it as a backdrop for a constellation of santoor riffs which echoed Gandhi’s pervasive angst. He wound up the set on vocals with a similarly cautionary clarion call, more or less.

Another santoorist, Vinay Desai kept the angst at redline with a saturnine tribute to the late, great Shivkumar Sharma, who left us this past spring. We don’t know for certain if the lethal Covid injection took him out. With Vivek Pandya on tabla, the two musicians developed an absolutely gorgeous, elegaic, allusively chromatic theme and variations. Remaining mostly in the midrange, Desai rose for the great beyond with a somber glimmer before bringing it down to a dirge and the tabla entered. As the hour went on, Desai’s ripples off the walls of the space echoed into a galactic drift. Eventually, the duo took the theme skipping into the stars, a sober but energetic farewell to a pioneer.

ElSaffar returned for a second turn on santoor, joining percussionist Zafer Tawil and violinist Sami Abu Shumays behind impassioned veteran Iraqi crooner Hamid Al Saadi. After the sober, stately initial march, the maqam singer would begin the rest of the set’s expansive numbers with darkly dynamic, rubato intros, one leading to a surprisingly subtle call-and-response with ElSaffar. A little later, the group made their way into a swaying, ebullient major-key tune with a starkly contrasting santoor-and- violin break. They closed with undulating, biting chromatic theme with even more lusciously intertwined santoor and violin and a machinegunning coda.

Violinist Arun Ramamurthy gets credit for the festival’s most pyrotechnic performance, a role he’s become accustomed to. This time out he had his Indian jazz trio with bassist Damon Banks and Sameer Gupta on drums. This was the symphonic Ramamurthy: in the boomy space, with the natural reverb bouncing off the walls, he was a violin army. Banks would typically shadow him, Gupta inventively doing a nimble churning groove with tabla voicings on his kit, as the bandleader made his way through a rising and falling epic in tribute to his ancestors, to moments of icy ambience as well as frequent excursions through the bluesy raga riffs that he likes to mine in this context. Nobody knows how to draw an audience in with foreshadowing and judiciously spectacular slides and stabs better than Ramamurthy.

After that it was dance time. All-female Moroccan trance-dance ensemble group Bnat el Houariyat, featuring New York’s Esraa Warda took over the stage and then stomped and twirled and spoke power to male hegemony.

In her New York debut, singer/dancer and mystic Parvathy Baul brought ancient archetypes to life in a fervent but utterly unselfconsciously spiritual set of Bengali ritual songs. Showing off a soulfully soaring, meticulously melismatic, carnatically-infused voice which took on a grittier edge as her set went on, she sang innumerable mythical metaphors and cheerily translated them for the English-only crowd. Moving from ecstasy to tenderness and then an acerbic insistence, she cut loose and reminded that crowd that the truth is like a lion. All you have to do is set it free. Or words to that effect. Let’s hope there’s a Ragas Live festival in 2023.

The Ragas Live Festival 2022, Part 1: The Magic Is Back

It was great to see the Ragas Live festival of diverse Indian and Indian-adjacent sounds return after a two-year absence. The Brooklyn massive at Pioneer Works last night wasn’t overwhelming, but by the time the concert was over this past evening, a raucous crowd had packed the house. That so many people would come out to the fringes of Red Hook on a raw, unwelcoming afternoon to see what by any standard would be considered niche speaks volumes about what audiences in this city have been missing since March of 2020. Whether that need will be filled in 2023 is a loaded question.

Since the all-night concert was such a feast, this first part concerns the past evening, with part two here. It’s been ten years since the all-night marathon first began in a radio station studio and quickly spread to a series of venues around town. Previous incarnations have been more jazz-oriented: this was a mix of frequently rapturous traditional sounds juxtaposed with more modern ones. Some of the segues were jarring, and the location was suboptimal: if you thought trying to score a cup of coffee at five in the morning in Manhattan was tough these days, try Red Hook, never mind Carroll Gardens. But the performances made the trip worthwhile.

Veena player Saraswathi Ranganathan, backed by Sriram Raman on mridangam and Shiva Ghoshal on tabla, was a fantastic choice of opener (she got a rave review here awhile back for her show at a venue which has since been weaponized in the ongoing mass murder campaign). She dedicated her bouncy, cheery first raga to the men in the house, alluding to how it’s time for the dudes to speak up, stand up and be counted. After the trio built to an immutable, imperturbable drive, there was a wry high/low exchange: the girls schooling the guys on what time it is, maybe?

She followed with raga Mohanam, which she described as an antidepressant: as she put it, releasing the gunk all the way up as the notes rise to the heart chakra. And her attempt at a singalong with the crowd actually worked! Parsing the theme from shivery, steady melismas to a fleeting, thorny complexity and a distant, starry sense of longing, the trio channeled a bustling, determined cheer into an equally imperturbable stroll: it was impossible not to get swept up in Ranganathan’s momentum. There was a wry sotto-voce duel with the mridangam; her interpolation of a call-and-response into the final charge out was masterfully subtle within the volleys of notes and bracing, hold-onto-your-seat ornamentation.

Kora player Kane Mathis and tabla player Roshni Samlal followed with an often celestial set. Samlal grew up in Queens listening to the Ragas Live broadcasts as a kid, and was psyched to be playing now as an adult (actually, she shows up pretty much every year). Mathis delivered feathery, harpsichord-ish waves with an effortless, weightless precision while Samlal drove the occasional unexpected crescendo up to the rafters.

A liltingly dreamy, syncopated number built around a circular kora riff featured the occasional striking polyrhythm by Samlal, who incorporates grooves from her Trinidadian heritage into the mix. Then they picked up the pace with the Mathis tune Rue du Jardin, set to a scampering. cumbia-esque beat.

A little after one in the morning, sarod player Manik Khan and tabla player Sudhakar Vaidyanathan played a tribute to the former’s father, the iconic Ali Akbar Khan to celebrate the centenary of his birth. Their first tune was a serioso evening raga which began with a searching alap built from the simplest ingredients. Khan dipped to a pensive interlude where he parsed the low strings, then subtly rose to an allusive stroll. This was raw magic.

From there he hung allusively as the pace picked up, landing on a chugging, moody theme. Hints of a heroic ballad punctuated by a few downward slashes and then a somber, low tremolo-picking interlude followed in turn He ended it it cold and sudden.

Next was Raga Kirwani, another evening piece, this one a theme imported from the south of the Hindustani subcontinent. Khan let this biting pavane of sorts resolve a lot more than the first number. Again, he hung in the lows for the most part, saving his upward stabs and a fleeting bluegrass flatpicking motif for dramatic effect. The two finally picked up – those slashes were real foreshadowing, but ultimately this was more about brooding intensity than pyrotechnics, even when Khan went pirouetting through an understatedly undulating groove. It made for a great segue.

Dawn of Midi’s Qasim Naqvi was up next with about an hour of Eno-esque electronic ambience. It didn’t have the slightest thing to do with Indian music, but it was pleasant and cocoony.

Sarangi player Suhail Yusuf Khan and tabla player Pranav Ghatraju went back to the fifteenth century for a couple of timeless pieces, the first beginning with an acerbically resonant, swoopingly ornamented alap. While it underscored the eternal appeal of the endlessly otherworldly microtones in Indian fretless string music, the set was also very riff-driven. The two made their way up to a rather stern, stark stroll, methodically building to a triumphant, heroic coda. They launched into a rather solemn processional with the second number, which they could have continued for twice as long, and nobody would have complained.

It was five in the morning when sax-and-synth loopmusic act Kroba built echoey, dystopically warbling soundscapes that went on for almost two hours. A little after expressive singer Samarth Nagarkar took the stage with Khan and tabla player Shank Lahiri, it became clear that despite the quality of his set, it would be impossible to get through the rest of the marathon without more coffee. More on that and the rest of the show in part two here.

See The Real Anthony Fauci – The Movie – For Free

The most stunning moment in Jeff Hays’ film version of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s book The Real Anthony Faucistreaming on demand for free for the next few days – is not where Fauci confesses on camera to crimes against humanity. That sequence epitomizes the banality of evil. To give away the film’s most horrific images would be a spoiler. A spoiler which deserves a reveal here is that this film has a sequel: if this is any indication, part two will be even more of an indictment.

Fauci’s biggest confession (so far) is a dry if damning one. Maybe out of sheer cluelessness, maybe out of sheer hubris, he equates remdesivir to the deadly cancer chemotherapy drug AZT. Fauci spearheaded the repurposing and deployment of both drugs. As he explains, in 2020, he was behind the drive to incentivize hospitals to employ remdesivir, a failed ebola treatment, as a lethal inpatient protocol for Covid. AZT killed over three hundred thousand gay men diagnosed with AIDS in the 80s and 90s after Fauci fought doctors and scientists to promote it as a standard of care.

Thirty years later, it’s still being used to kill people in the global south.

Even if you’ve read the book – a million-seller which has also been circulating as a PDF since last summer – you should see the movie. It’s a lot different, and has a lot of new information. If you’re feeling pressed for time (the movie runs at about an hour and fifty minutes), Sage Hana has cut it up into easily digestible excerpts which will probably lure you into watching the whole thing (her episode 7, which includes the entire televised Tiffany Dover collapse, is particularly searing).

One by one, a formidable and ferociously articulate lineup of visionary scientists, writers and doctors speak truth to power in a narrative which begins with the final, fall 2019 rehearsal for the 2020 plandemic, Event 201. From that instant, it underscores how Kennedy – whose infrequent appearances serve as a Greek chorus – has researched the film as rigorously as the book.

Fauci is less a central character than he is connective tissue in a sinister and deadly global pharmaceutical cabal, dating back to his appointment at NIAID four decades ago (Kennedy and most of the contributors here only touch lightly on deep state’s part in the plandemic). As with the book, Fauci’s role shaping the AIDS narrative, from the suppression of off-patent drugs, to the creation of the AIDS-industrial complex, is succinctly and piquantly documented.

Hays switches between individual testimonies with the mastery of a great guitarist blending textures with his effects pedals throughout a sizzling solo. Pairing Mark Crispin Miller – the world’s foremost expert on propaganda – at his most concisely professorial, with Holocaust survivor and medical rights activist Vera Sharav, pays off mightily.

Likewise, Celia Farber – arguably the most important journalist to cover the AIDS crisis of the 80s and 90s and its aftermath – is regal, and radiant, and simmering with rage as she connects the trail of the dead that Fauci has left in his wake, highlighting his role as plandemic point man. “Fauci’s reign begins in 1984, everything changes in 1984…Fauci is essentially a social engineer. He reeingineers how people think about human interaction: touch, human intimacy…not only sex, but all forms of human contact.”

Other crucial resistance figures who contribute here include investigative journalist Whitney Webb, cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough, ivermectin maven Dr. Pierre Kory, Daily Clout’s Naomi Wolf, emergency room physician Dr. Paul Marik and Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, one of the earliest fighters to emerge in the summer of 2020. We also learn from RFK Jr. about how the CIA outsources its spying on Americans to foreign intelligence agencies, and how, on the night of September 12, 2019, the Chinese military went into the Wuhan lab, took 21,000 samples of coronavirus that have never been seen again and then changed the locks.

Many of the creepiest Bill Gates moments which have achieved memetic infamy since March of 2020 are included here. There’s also the infamous photo of EcoHealth Alliance head and CIA spook Peter Daszak with his arm around Fauci, along with plenty of other equally juicy pieces of evidence. Over and over, we get to see political and corporate figures contradicting themselves and engaging in hypocrisy with reverberations on both a symbolic and real-world level.

The music direction, credited to The Griffiths, is spare and unobtrusive but packs a wallop when utilized for effect. A cartoonish vibraphone theme behind images of Fauci flip-flopping on the use of surgical masks in the spring of 2020 is reprised as an even more uneasy string quartet  as the closing credits roll. Although there are important issues here that Kennedy does not spend much time on – notably, central bank digital coupons and prison planet surveillance – this is as important a film as anyone has released since the fateful days of March, 2020.

Apparitions Waft In With Gritty, Dystopic, Drifting Sonics

One of the best album titles of the year is Eyes Like Predatory Wealth, by Apparitions. Is the record – streaming at Bandcamp – an expose of BlackRock, or Vanguard, or central bank digital coupons? That’s open to interpretation. The trio of guitarist Andrew Dugas, keyboardist Igor Imbu and drummer Grant Martin play the kind of genre-resistant instrumentals this blog loves so much. Is this postrock? Horizontal music? Industrial soundscapes? A dystopic film score? Maybe a little of all that, available on limited edition cassette!

The album consists of three long tracks. Martin takes centerstage with his judiciously tumbling drums over slowly shifting, gritty, droning tectonic sheets of sound as the band make their way through the first soundscape, Ecstasy Through Self-Destruction. Differentiating where the individual guitar and keyboard voices are doesn’t seem to be the point of this music. At high volume, the rattling distortion is abrasive; at low volume, it’s actually quite soothing, until the very end when somebody seems to blow a fuse.

The second track, River of Fundament, is twice as long, with roaring, crunchy low-register guitar textures emerging to contrast with wafting keyboard ambience. Guitar drops out, drums take over, then the calm/agitated dynamic returns.

The closing cut is a full half-hour that starts so imperceptibly you have to turn up. It’s the most calmly lingering, ambient interlude here, at least until the band turn it into a more animated synopsis of everything that’s come before. Stick with it for the payoff.

The Essex Serpent Original Score: A Haunting Playlist For Halloween

Dustin O’Halloran and Herdís Stefánsdóttir’s low-register orchestral score to the web tv series The Essex Serpent – streaming at Spotify – is a perfect example of how much this blog looks forward to the annual October-long Halloween celebration here. Sometimes it pays to push the concept outside the box, but in the case of this soundtrack, it’s hard to resist its relentless, cumulo-nimbus appeal. This is as Halloween as Halloween gets – in a vivid, evocative, no-nonsense way.

The first track on the album is Estuary, an allusively chromatic string piece anchored by a murky pulse which sounds like a digeridoo: it will prove to be a memorably recurrent texture. The two composers choose their spots for intrigue in this music, as befits the soundtrack to a so-called “gothic romance.”

The title theme, in 54 succinct seconds, is a glistening rainy-day variation. Low, sometimes almost imperceptible drones reappear throughout the rest of the score, usually over variations on a pulsing wave motion. Some of the embellishments, like the shivery violins and O’Halloran’s spare piano, are predictable. The duo’s use of subtle glissandos, or keening high harmonics are unexpected and very effective when they pop up. Likewise, the occasional wafting woodwinds or harp accents

Pizzicato cello and upper-register piano dance elegantly in tandem; low strings swoop and dive like shorebirds in the mist. Most of the interludes top out at about two and a half minutes; several are much shorter. The action seems to be unfolding pretty fast.

A longer sequence, The Devil Will Come For You, begins with enticingly slithery cello glissandos, then follows a very steady rhythmic drive: this particular satan seems to fit the World Economic Forum technocrat model. The longest track here, The Gilded Cage, is an achingly crescendoing waltz with some apt Grieg references.

Maybe most importantly, a score this vivid makes you want to check out the series: if this is any indication, it’s a good story!

Darkly Propulsive, Unpredictably Cinematic Instrumentals From Under the Reefs Orchestra

One of the most enjoyably uncategorizable albums of the year is Sakurajima, the latest release from the Belgian group Under the Reefs Orchestra. The trio of guitarist Clément Nourry, saxophonist Marti Melia and drummer Jakob Warmenbol blend elements of suspense film music, horror surf, crime jazz, postrock and shadowy instrumental rock from Morphine to the Dirty Three. John Zorn’s surfier adventures also seem to be an influence.

Melia’s baritone sax alternates between melody and punchy basslines. The opening track on the album – streaming at Bandcamp – is Heliodrome. It comes across as the missing link between Friends of Dean Martinez (or Big Lazy in a slide-driven moment) and Morphine, with a careening slide guitar solo and then a propulsively smoky one from the baritone. The group join forces in an increasingly savage ride to the end.

The album’s second song, Ants, is a moody, syncopatedly vampy quasi-surf tune with a crescendo that goes from droll, to feral, to unexpectedly skronky. The trio build the album’s title track out of a steady, gloomy, Morphine-like theme to a hypnotically pulsing backdrop for Nourry’s flaring psychedelic wah-wah work and squirrelly surf riffage.

Galapagos is a cheeky, metrically tricky tropical tune with a sinister undercurrent, Nourry shifting between balmy slide and jaggedly rhythmic lines, with an elegantly baroque-tinged counterpoint as the song winds out.

How invasive is Kudzu? This is a killer plant! Warmenbol provides a suspensefully tumbling drive for a dark vamp that dissolves into dissociative psychedelia before the band get back to furtive business.

The band take a dubwise, catchy strut up to a shrieking peak in MIR and follow with the album’s big epic, Soleil Trompeur, melancholy sax wafting over spare guitar jangle. Deep down, it’s a soul ballad, with a long build to a payoff that’s too good to give away.

They close with Mendoza, an Ethiopian-tinged take on Morphine. Every single song on this record is full of surprises: this band seldom go in the direction you expect. One of the most intriguing and original albums of 2022

Minibeast Open a Dark, Gritty Twinbill in Bushwick This Sunday Night

As this blog celebrates Halloween month, there aren’t a whole lot of particularly dark shows around town coming up. But there is one on Oct 9 at 9 PM at Our Wicked Lady, where Minibeast – the latest project from Peter Prescott, of Mission of Burma and Volcano Suns – opens for the explosively theatrical A Deer A Horse, who have gone in a more grittily postrock/industrial direction lately. Like a lot of trendier venues, the club seems oblivious to #cashalways and has embraced the nickel-and-dime electronic ticketing fad. That presumably means that cash customers will have fork over $14 even at the door.

Prescott got his start behind the drumkit in Mission of Burma, so it’s no surprise how percussive Minibeast’s new album, On Ice is. Their pounding, minimalist, icily noisy posrtock brings to mind Can, Savage Republic, Mogwai and Saucerful of Secrets-era Pink Floyd. There’s surreal spoken word in places behind the steady, hard-hitting, often hypnotic forward drive of bassist Niels LaWhite and drummer Keith Seidel. The album also features sax cameos by Either/Orchestra’s Russ Gershon on a surreal, uneasily drifting, loopy organ piece and Morphine’s Dana Colley on a funkier mid-70s Can-style jam. The best song on the record is a long, undulating noiserock raga.

But more apropos to this month here is Prescott’s solo album Horror & Suspense Themes For the Hole Family, which he put out last year and is also up at Bandcamp. It has a similarly loopy quality, but there are more darkly lingering, drifty cinematic tableaux as well. Shards of reverb guitar flit into the mix or mingle with simple, forebodingly circular synth or fuzz bass riffs. One interlude sounds like an early New Order instrumental; others are more dystopically ambient. They’d make good between-song segues at the Bushwick show.

A Gorgeously Drifting, Lynchian Album With a Tragic Backstory

New York instrumentalists SussNight Suite album, released earlier this year, was a gorgeously evocative, drifting travelogue akin to the recent Freedom Convoy, tracing a highway trip from New Mexico to the California desert. The equally picturesque sequel, Heat Haze – streaming at Bandcamp – continues the journey in a similarly southwestern yet less gothic vein. Tragically, one of the band members only appears on this road trip in a metaphorical sense. Keyboardist Gary Lieb died suddenly in March of last year shortly after wrapping up recording, just as so many musicians have in the wake of the lethal Covid injections. It’s not known what role, if any, that may have played in his untimely death.

In a cruel stroke of irony, Lieb’s floating synth plays a major role throughout the record, mingling with the guitars of Pat Irwin and Bob Holmes and the pedal steel of Jonathan Gregg. It’s often impossible to figure out who’s playing what, beginning with the slowly shifting, tectonic ambience of the title track, at least until Gregg’s steel and a few low, ominous reverb-guitar notes come into focus over the horizon.

Lieb’s keyboards pulse hypnotically behind spare, loopy acoustic and electric riffs in the second track, aptly titled Shimmer. Gregg’s steel takes centerstage over gentle acoustic strums and the occasional low clang in Grace: the group seem to be emerging into more populated territory by now.

Lieb layers calmly circling layers beneath reverb riffs that pan the speakers on track four, Train: this is the real midnight in the switching yard, with a sonic joke or two which are too good to spoil. The most immersively ambient track here is the final one, Pine. If this is all that’s left of the band’s recorded output, it’s a memorable departure.

A Haunter of the New York City Subway Emerges From the Underground

It was past eleven on a raw, gloomy, pretty desolate Thursday night on the Lower East Side of New York in the fall of 2014. Waiting impatiently for the F train, a daily New York music blog owner leaned against a pole on the Second Avenue subway platform after a show by My Brighest Diamond. Across the way, a petite, black-clad woman wearing raccoon-eye mascara played instrumentals on an accordion.

The concert had been underwhelming. Shara Nova’s crystalline voice had soared as high as anyone could have wanted, but the band was a lot more stripped-down, compared to the symphonic lineup she’d had at an outdoor festival the year before. And the swirl and lushness of that performance was conspicuously absent. To the publicist who hooked up that show, this is a mea culpa, eight years late.

But the best was yet to come that night. Stationed in her usual spot on the platform, Melissa Elledge slowly worked her way into an absolutely chilling, gorgeously rubato take of Satie’s Gymnopedie No. 1. And then followed it with an even more spacious, haunting version of Gymnopedie No. 2! For those who have no idea how beautiful Satie sounds on accordion, fast forward to 2:30 of this video of Elledge in her element, five years later. In a split second, that whole night was redeemed.

Elledge also plays the occasional above-ground show, and she’s doing an official outdoor performance on the water behind Battery Park tomorrow, June 21 starting at 4:30. As a bonus, you can catch a more theatrically-inclined, accordion-wielding artist, Mary Spencer Knapp, beforehand starting at around 2 if you have some time in the middle of the day.

Elledge has recorded with groups including folk noir band Thee Shambels but not much as a solo artist. Her Bandcamp page has a single, For Beethoven, with Love and Distortion, a wry rearrangement of a famous theme which she jams out on the platform a lot and is too funny to spoil.

She also has a Soundcloud page. The first track is a steady, ominously pulsing, uber-gothic solo accordion version of Clint Mansell’s Luz Aeterna, from the Requiem For a Dream score. She echoes that ambience a little later on with Radiohead’s Exit Music For a Film.

The rest of the page is eclectic to the extreme, and a lot of fun. Most of this is live. Elledge takes Duke Elington’s Shout ‘Em, Aunt Tillie and basically makes noir cabaret out of it – at least until a train rumbles into the station. She fires off a strutting backing track to the Coolio hit Gangsta’s Paradise, along with a cleverly reharmonized standard that she calls You Must Take the A Train…It Doesn’t Stop Here, Though. That’s a reference to how, for years, the F was constantly rerouted at night, away from Elledge’s regular busking space. Little did we know how that was just a part of a slow lead-up to the divide-and-conquer of 2020.

Elledge comes out of a classical piano background, so the Soundcloud tracks also include a Romantically-tinged take of Philip Glass’ Wichita Vortex Sutra, complete with a voiceover of the Allen Ginsberg text. And if you have the time, there’s an irresistibly fun and unexpectedly tight accordion orchestra version of Terry Riley’s In C, with Elledge leading the ensemble.