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Jesse Gallagher - Creating Musical Reactions "In A Cloud"

Posted by Jonathan Donaldson  June 30, 2012 02:36 PM

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Music is sometimes like the iced coffee that I am sipping on right now as I hide in my apartment from the heat. The chemical reaction caused by the combination of elements. Hot coffee. Cold ice. Sugar clumping on ice cubes, then melting into a dewy confection.

Earlier this Spring I saw Apollo Sunshine luminary, Jesse Gallagher, play the Lizard Lounge with his new combo Da Burdz. Featuring members of Creaturos and Sunburned Hand of the Man, Da Burdz is a wonderful psychedelic-confection of optimistic noise and melodic child's play--a little bit '67 Beatles and a little bit Can. One particular song that stuck out for its beauty was "In A Cloud," a bubbling, joyous groove with a sun-kissed melody and just a little bit of tom-foolery (in addition to mixing electronic trumpet into their sound, Gallagher is also pretty prodigious with the use of various pedals and home-made electronic gadgets).

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I was then knocked out recently to catch Gallagher playing "solo" at Middlesex, in a one-man band configuration that was quite unlike anything I'd ever seen before. Aside from playing guitar (with the associated pedals and effects that are linked to his sound), Gallagher created noise/percussion loops with a drum machine and a delay pedal--or so it appeared from five feet away--that he even used to make changes in the middle of his songs. What really sold me was a set of foot pedals from an organ that had been modified to be a portable instrument, which Gallagher told the crowd formally belonged to his musician father. So not only was Gallagher playing guitar, while making drum loops, but doing so while playing the bass with his feet. Pretty awesome.

This one-man-band version of "In A Cloud" was a soft and sweet duet with girlfriend Anna Rochinski of Quilt (whose Mexican Summer debut was produced by Gallagher). Now with its melody pronounced and echoed, bathed in the warmth of the bass foot-pedals, "In A Cloud" appeared to be much more of the puffy cirrus cloud variety than the heady stratus brew that was kicked up by Da Burdz.

While I'm pretty sure that it's not even properly recorded or released, "In A Cloud" is one of my new favorite songs. It lives in my memory and I hope to pass it on to you with my words.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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About the author

Jonathan Donaldson is a Boston-based musician, writer, and second-generation music junkie. An Ohio native who moved to Boston in 1998, Jonathan's musical loves include R&B, psych, punk, bubblegum, country, electronic, More »

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