"Beat Circus has created a singular intriguing sonic identity by filtering certain bizarre old-time American and European pre-jazz styles through a progressive contemporary fearlessness."
- Weekly Planet
"Brian Carpenter’s narrative songs evoke cabaret, Wild West saloons, circus sideshows, and Old World gypsies...but the prodigious musicianship and stylistic miscegenation is all modern; the results, refreshingly entertaining."
- All About Jazz NY
"A fantasy locale of carnival nostalgia and Victrola nightmares..."
- Philadelphia City Paper
released January 29, 2008
Brian Carpenter-vocals, pump organ, harmonica, trumpet
Käthe Hosletter-violin, viola
Alec K. Redfearn-accordion, jawharp
Brandon Seabrook-tenor banjo, mandolin, slide guitar
Matt McLaren-drums and percussion
Beat Circus was formed in 2002 by singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Brian Carpenter. Beat Circus delivers Weird American Gothic stories of children, dreams, fatherhood, revenge, redemption, and murder. Dreamland is their second album and is a uniquely fierce record of dark narrative songs and instrumental works, which is loosely based on historical events associated with turn-of-the-century New York and Coney Island. Brian leads a nine piece ensemble with a unique and exciting instrumentation.
You can hear echoes of Tom Waits, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Kurt Weill, Carla Bley, Hans Eisler, Bernard Herrman and much much more here, but what it all combines into could only come from Beat Circus! Included is a really nice 12 page, full color booklet with lots of historical (and creepy) imagery!
I was losing hope in finding new music that I would like. This was very pleasantly refreshing.
Richard Larcombe's guitar work is great, love the atmospheres, which are somewhat dark at least to my ears - in spite of the funny lyrics, which without a booklet I unfortunately cannot fully appreciate, not being a native speaker and not having the best English listening skills.
They instantly became one of my favorite bands. Gold. ale38
Some things in this world are just depressingly incredible. Piniol's Bran Coucou is certainly one of those things. Packed to the brim with restless brilliance, and a compositional focus that inspires and beguiles. Charlie Anderson