Localized Appreesh: The Jaunting Martyrs

Pub date September 13, 2011
WriterEmily Savage

Localized Appreesh is our weekly thank-you column to the musicians that make the Bay. Each week a band/music-maker with a show, album release, or general good news during those seven days is highlighted and spotlit. To be considered, contact emilysavage@sfbg.com.

The Jaunting Martyrs were chosen for Localized Appreesh because the seven-piece band has a great, thoroughly San Franciscan in spirit, show this week and it could use your attention: Kimo’s tonight (Tuesday) with Fierce Bad Rabbit, Wesley Woo, Halftime Heros.

Plus, have you heard its music? It’s like an Eastern European circus took a folky Appalachian holiday.  It’s both quiet, classical bedtime story and traveling, rambling, carnival party.  The song “Surfin Tzigane” off last year’s self-titled EP is probably the most telling. With initially delicate Spanish-style strumming, it leads eventually to rowdy wet reverb –  not out of place within a true-blue American surf rock Dick Dale track – and, laid over that, Bulgarian drumming and Turkish horn. It’s world traveling from the ground-pillow comfort of your own intimate local music venue.

Year and location of origin: 2008, San Francisco, Calif.
Band name origin: Originally, it began as the random name of the track of space music Justine was sending off in the mail when she met Brendan on the BART train, but has come to mean something deeper, communicated in some of the characters in our songs, such as Mickey, Lila, and Bonnie Blue. Basically, A Jaunting Martyr is one who has moved past anger and angst into acceptance of their plight, and is able to laugh and dance in the face of hopelessness.
Band motto: “Never mind the baby faces, this is a savage band.”
Description of sound in 10 words or less: A sound that tells a story, fluttering from intimate to intense.
Instrumentation: Electric guitar, bass, banjo, mandolin, trumpet, tapan (Bulgarian drum), fiddle, charango, kaval.
Most recent release: A self-titled self-released, self-mixed self-published EP.
Best part about life as a Bay Area band: This is simply the most beautiful, spiritually powerful place in the world. We are all natives here, we all consider it home. (Except for Ivan, he’s from Bulgaria, which I’m sure he digs as well).
Worst part about life as a Bay Area band: Those folks with the tightly crossed arms at shows.
First record/cassette tape/or CD ever purchased: The Mermen – A Glorious Lethal Euphoria.
Most recent record/cassette tape/CD/or Mp3 purchased/borrowed from the Web: Spirits of The Red City – Hunter Moon.
Favorite local eatery and dish: Lucca Foods on Irving and 20th.  Best deli in SF, baby. Get the Billy Filly. (You can only get it when Billy’s working).

With Fierce Bad Rabbit, Wesley Woo, Halftime Heros
Tues/13, 9 p.m., $6
1351 Polk, SF

Try not to fall in love: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOC31u1GzxU&feature=related