Hearsay: Wednesday, February 20, 2003
Casper’s Corolla

The musicians who make up Ghostcar are free-heads who’ve learned that breaking the bonds of linearism requires no concessions to people on acid just looking for trip soundtracks. A somber muted trumpet that ebbs and flows in ripples, a heavy electric bass, twinkling percussion instruments — these potentially wily, unruly phenomena patiently conform to the group’s pseudo-loosey-goosey, vastly accessible sonic blueprints. What with this band’s willingness to create moods as contemplative as love or loss and sheer talent for evoking quietude through music, Ghostcar is a quartet of artful improvisationists. The only trip you’ll be taking while listening to their performance this Saturday at the Black Dog Tavern is from tension to release and then back again. Keep your illicit means of mental transport at home, please.

Ghostcar’s latest work, the easter sunday ep (which, like all Ghostcar c.d.’s, comes packaged in its own unique artwork, courtesy of the bandmembers), is a great introduction to the band and a great representative work of musicians who are able to marshal their talents to create non-linear music that actually swings. Whatever you do, don’t call it “noisy” — it’s more like hard bop as seen through a prism of P-Funk’s flash, David Lynch’s camera, and William Burroughs’ typewriter. The disc moves from unhurried solemnity to nervous noir to euphoria all within the span of a few minutes. This is very private, very introspective music that one could imagine openhearted jazz fans could easily become attached to. Black Dog regulars who also double as Ghostcar appreciators will surely welcome the return of one of Fort Worth-Dallas’ most inspiring outfits.

The reason it’s been so long since Ghostcar’s last Black Dog gig is that trumpeter Karl Poetschke has been away on business. If there’s one thing — other than making non-popular music — that has kept the band from building a solid following around the Metroplex it’s ... the band itself. Having gone through more permutations than a chameleon on a Pollack while also having aligned themselves with national acts like Low and Him has limited the band to only a few gigs in mainstream venues around town. The good news is that (a) there finally seems to be some stability in the line-up, a roster that also includes Clay Stinnett, Chris Perdue, and Daniel Huffman, and (b) these guys will be performing here this weekend. Catch them while you can. If you can.

Mo’ Black Dog Jazz

Ghostcar won’t be the only adventurous jazz outfit holding it down at the Black Dog this weekend. Bertha Coolidge, HearSay’s favorite fusionesque group that, like Ghostcar, also keeps its local gigs to a bare minimum, will be “opening” for the Sunday-night jazz jammers this Sunday. In other words: Get there early, around 10pm or so — unless you wanna arrive in time to be regaled by 12 different variations of “Satin Doll” (just kidding, Pellecchia!). See you there.

Contact HearSay at hearsay@fwweekly.com.

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