Thursday, February 20, 2014

How to Make It in Hollywood by Curtis Eller's American Circus

Having spent a decade toiling in the musical sweatshops of New York City, banjo player and songwriter, Curtis Eller uprooted his family and resettled in some faded, tobacco town in the  North Carolina Piedmont to begin the arduous task of assembling a new version of his band, The American Circus. The latest version of the band is a brutish and inelegant rock & roll outfit, known to haunt the beer halls, burlesque houses and underground theaters of the eastern seaboard. They specialize in banjo music for funerals, gospel tunes for atheists and novelty dance fads for amputees. A lavish, Hollywood, dance sequence unfolding on the floor of a Chicago meatpacking plant in 1894.

Eller's numerous compositions describe a dreamlike vision of American history where all points in time have collapsed into one. Past recordings have seen a ghastly parade of historical luminaries, from Abraham Lincoln and Buster Keaton to Amelia Earhart and Joe Louis, sharing the spotlight with a host of Civil War generals and corrupt 19th century politicians.



Curtis Eller's American Circus

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