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Mother Falcon at BSP Lounge

Room at the Top

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Mother Falcon brings it s chamber pop to BSP Lounge in Kingston on January 14.
  • Mother Falcon brings it s chamber pop to BSP Lounge in Kingston on January 14.
When Mother Falcon performed on NPR's "Tiny Desk Concert" earlier this year, the series' name took on a more literal meaning. The April appearance saw the acclaimed chamber pop band—whose ranks have at times included as many as 20 players—go down as the largest act thus far to cram itself into the cramped confines of host Bob Boilen's storied office-cum-studio. Luckily for the members of the Austin, Texas, outfit, however, they'll have a bit more elbow room when they set up on the stage of BSP Lounge on January 14 for the ensemble's first Hudson Valley visit. But, still, it begs the question: While its novel-for-a-rock-band scale and diverse instrumentation—three cellos, six violins, various horns, bassoon, acoustic guitar, mandolin, pianos, glockenspiel, and more—give Mother Falcon its uniquely sprawling sound, one might guess that touring with such a mammoth lineup does bring along its share of craziness.

"Oh yeah, the whole thing is crazy," says guitarist Matt Puckett with a laugh. "We tour in a 15-seat passenger van with the last seat taken out to make room for our gear, so it's pretty tight. It's definitely a challenge sometimes."

Mother Falcon was formed around multi-instrumentalist and singer Nick Gregg when the players were still teenage music students. The band, which composes collectively and includes several other multi-instrumentalist-vocalists, followed the trail blazed by fellow Austin symphonic-indie unit the Polyphonic Spree by playing local rock clubs and DIY spaces in lieu of the auditoriums and concert halls normally associated with classical-tinged music—although Mother Falcon's rapid ascendency has since seen the orchestral crew perform at stately venues of the latter variety. Gregg, guitarist and pianist Claire Puckett, accordionist and pianist Tamir Kalifa, and percussionist and saxophonist Issac Winburne make up the creative hub of Mother Falcon, which released the debut EP Still Life (Independent) in 2010. The record's bewitching single, "Marigold," became a cult hit on regional radio and set the scene for the success of the band's 2011 follow-up, Alhambra (Creme Fraiche Records), a Top 10 album on college radio charts.

You Knew (Creme Fraiche), Mother Falcon's sophomore full-length, took flight this past May, preceding monthlong summer club residencies in New York and Los Angeles. Drawing instant praise from NYLON, Paste, and other in-the-know publications, the set's layered, ethereal tracks include the charging "Dirty Summer," a reworked version of "Marigold," and other sweeping, swelling standouts.

For its current tour the group has pared down to a more manageable 13 pieces, but not at the expense of its live shows. "We've gotten good at presenting our ideas in ways that are engaging and highenergy—which is important when you're playing classical-based music in rock clubs," Puckett explains. "That's the great thing about touring: You get to try something one night and if it doesn't really work you can refine it the next night."

Mother Falcon will perform at BSP Lounge in Kingston on January 14 at 8pm. And the Kids will open. Tickets are $9 in advance and $10 day of show. (845) 481-5158.

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