by Jeff Milo
Justin Walker, (known to me back when we first met and for a long time preceding as "Justin Audio,") would drop two names in our first musical conversation... (really, our first and almost every preceding conversations have been: musical)...but anyway:
Gang of Four, he said.
And Bo Diddley, he said.
Somewhere between those two comparably riffed and rigid curbs stands our Crossguard, J. Walker. He's the next up to bat for the Beehive collective, having his sensibilities for gnarly soul, fuzzed-out funk and shimmied-punk bolstered by the brass and bass of a cool, cookin' Beehive-built band.
Another name Walker dropped in our first music-talk: The Gories.
Indeed, these new Beehive tracks tracks augment Walker's sensibility for stirring together the tinny-twangs of a Lou Reed~ala~"Foggy-Notion" digging Danny Kroha with the swaggering raspy croon of a Sly~ala~"Underdog"-digging Mick Collins. Walker's taste, though probably best tagged as a rubbery strand between the funk and the punk, go all over the map, really, (just like his guitar shreds). He's got a whole other side/solo-project (Brilliant Violence) that goes into more ambient/atmospheric noise, while, more notably, he's got more of an indie-rock rousing quartet called High Speed Dubbing, the latter, if you stay tuned, will be releasing a 7" single about the end of the world, in a matter of weeks.
In the meantime, the Thornbills, that cousin-duo of dreamy/dusky folk and eastern-euro-tinged bittersweet melodies, are coming out of the studio (Ashram up in Clarkston) and flocking down to Ferndale with six new recorded songs ready for release (and, now, live recital). On Saturday, (June 2nd) Tamara Finlay and Jim Weigand (who turned heads a little over a year ago with their debut single on Jack White's Third Man Records) will perform at the (still new-ish) beer-galaxy of premium local brews One-Eyed Betty's -just behind the Ferndale Post Office.
Look for a single to drop (er, stream) soon, online (via Bandcamp) with a full release soon after that (in June).