Music, City Picks

Murder by Death w/ Fake Problems, Buried Beds

When: Sun., March 13, 8 p.m. 2011

As the air burns with the acrid stink of brimstone and hellfire rains down from the heavens like a meteor storm, you’re wondering, “Just who should I get to play my End of the World party?” Put Murder by Death on speed dial. The Indiana quartet’s apocalyptic style couldn’t be better suited for the rapture. Sarah Balliet’s cello keys the ominous mood abetted by frontman Adam Turla’s booming voice and the dark, brooding nature of his songs. Their gothic, country-tinged rock recalls the Pentecostal fury of 16 Horsepower, and so it’s no surprise to discover Turla was a religious studies (and English) major in college. Both deeply inform his writing. “I’ve always been interested in religion,” Turla says. “I just like the idea of freewill, and people being able to choose what they do. Yet, sometimes it just seems like they’re set on a path of destruction, while others try to be as good a person as they can. I’m very interested in what makes people do what they do.” Last year, the band released its fifth album, Good Morning, Magpie. It was recorded on the heels of an unusual project creating a soundtrack for Jeff VanderMeer’s sci-fi detective novel, Finch, an experience that led them in new directions. While tracks like “Kentucky Bourbon” and “As Long as There is Whisky In the World” mine a familiar hard-living vibe, others, like “Foxglove,” offer their brightest, catchiest moment to date. The album also represents a break from their prior narrative style, as Turla wrote a lot more songs in the first-person, though many still possess their signature dark overtone.

Chris Parker

Price: $10

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