Golden Cities
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Golden Cities


Band Rock Avant-garde


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This band has not uploaded any videos



" Show Review"

Ramon Medina at 10:34 am on February 22, 2010

The Husk (that space beside Khon's) has turned into quite the hang-out for a certain nerdy music set (and I mean that in the best possible way). It's the kind of place where Lance Higdon will tell you how he and a few other people are scoring a classic Greek play at the University of Houston later this year or where Paul Connolly will explain in detail how he used Wiimotes to control pitch and volume of sampled cellos on his Mac. The Resonant Interval sound series is another example of this with its celebration of all things experimental and jazzy. So it's no surprise that shows at the Husk also tend to lean toward music where musicians challenge both themselves as well as their audience.

Saturday's quadruple bill was no exception with Motion Turns It On, Golden Cities, Solanae, and Austin's Honey and Salt. The bands had their differences in style but all seemed to be united by a similar sense of adventurousness. To give you some idea, let’s just compare the drummers and guitarists.

First the drums. Danny Mee of Honey and Salt (also of Houston's The Jonx and a music writer whose work appears on 29-95 on occasion) approaches the drums with a kind of punk-rock Martin Scorsese-like thoughtfulness that made for a nice contrast with Golden Cities' Lance Higdon whose approach is more of a wide-eyed François Truffaut; bursting with a youthful energy. Motion Turns It On's Steve Smith? We'll just say he was the Russ Meyer of the evening and let you figure it out.

Then we had the guitars. Honey and Salt's guitarist, Wade Allen, would make these wonderfully fast melodic runs on his guitar juxtaposed with angular yet pretty chord changes. It was brainy and expressive but it also had the (I would say unintended) effect of making the vocals a mere afterthought. That's in sharp contrast to Solanae where Meghan Hendley's vocals and keyboards are front and center. Guitarist Mike Blackshear and bassist Jeff Price (of the very proggy, show-stopping Tambersauro) played a supporting role here where they would drive the music into the massive emotional crescendos without ever overshadowing Hendly. Golden Cities’ guitar duo of Marcus Gausepohl and Brian Smyth have grown into one of the best shoegaze duos in Houston. The two mesh together so well that at times it's hard to tell where one guitarist ends and the other begins. My favorite thing is how the band has no bassist but you never ever miss it thanks to Gausepohl's clever use of an octave divider to drop low notes when the songs call for a low-end oomph. It's a band that, with the addition of percussionist Scott Ritter, has hit its stride and the result is a dual percussion/ dual guitar psych shoegaze trip that would stand side-by-side with many a Terrastock band.

"Lost In Space Review"

From Space City Rock, Lost In Space Fest Review
Jeremy Hart

Yes, yes, yes. Golden Cities, more than any other band playing, were who I came
to see. I've known drummer Lance Higdon and guitarist/festival-runner Marcus
for a little while now and was heartily bowled over by the band's self-titled
debut from last year. The roaring/surging guitars, the threatening, foreboing
feel, the complex, avant-garde drums -- it all worked, y'know?

So, with that in mind, I was a little surprised when the band set up not only
drums, guitar, and bass, but, um, congas? I knew the lineup had expanded from
the original trio of Higdon, Gausepohl, and original guitarist Nathan Heskia,
but this seemed a little off-kilter even for that.

But nope, the congas were in there, most definitely, and they served to ground
the whole thing nicely, bringing what could've been overly math-y, cerebral (mostly)
instro-rock down to a more "human" level. Percussionist Scott Ritter
kept pace admirably with Higdon's wild-yet-controlled drumming, the combination
further upping the ante in the aforementioned Battle of the Mindblowing Badass
Drummers (sorry, Hennies, but they've got you outnumbered).

The end result was like a jazzier/more prog-rock version of instro-metal dudes
Pelican, but with far, far better drumming and an oddly world music-y vibe
snuck in on the side. Then there was the funky, nu-New Wave groove thrown onto
the track Higdon announced as a new song, and the tribal abandon when the band
dragged "auxiliary" member (and other festival organizer) Meghan
Hendley up to pound away at a drum in front of the "main" kit.

To sum it all up: my favorite performance of the night, from any band. The
Golden Cities crew played like their lives depended on itwhile having a blast,
and they definitely expanded my own estimation of what they could do. - Jeremy Hart

"Dryevetyme Review"

“This ambitious trio has crafted a self-titled, seven-song project that is filled, on one hand, with droney, ambient spaces and, on the other, swirling mixes of over-driven, reverberating guitar and keyboard swells, while being perpetually guided by powerful, syncopated drumming. What truly makes this record work is how it actively defies a track-by-track examination and instead provides the listener a great continuity of flow, mixing together moody and shiny without bowing to either.”

- Dryevetyme Onlyne

"The Skyline"

“This is the perfect record for contemplating the deeper mysteries of deep earth or deep space, or for contemplating nothing at all. Either way, Recommended. “


"Space City Rock"

“[T]here's a menacing, foreboding tone to the music, like it's a warning. It definitely paints some gorgeously sky-like imagery, to be sure, but Golden Cities aren't about pretty clouds drifting across the moon -- rather, this the sound of a looming, threatening storm, one that's likely to do a ton of damage before it moves on out to cripple some other community.”


"Golden Cities @ Death By Audio—13 June 2009"

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009-Houston-based Golden Cities was a pleasant surprise at Death By Audio’s Saturday-night show, which seemed tailored mostly to underage rave kids. This band hearkens back to the early ’90s ambient shoegaze epitomized by My Bloody Valentine. They filled the venue with a beautiful roar of guitars and keyboards and help from the ubiquitous Apple laptop. The keys and vocals provided by Meghan Hendley, a newer member of the band, were especially gorgeous. The 30-minute set left me wanting to hear more.-Written by Rebecca Wilson, Filed Under EF Was There, Live Shows - Ear Farm-Rebecca Wilson


Philokalia, 2007
Golden Cities, 2008
Golden Cities Tour EP, 2009



Longtime friends Marcus Gausepohl, Nathan Heskia & Lance Higdon started Golden Cities in 2007. After releasing the Philokalia EP as part of John Sears' Grey Ghost series in August 2007, they released their self-titled debut album in October 2008 on Esotype records. With Nathan departed for Boston, the band recruited Brian Smyth to play guitar. Golden Cities has shared the stage with such acts as Maserati, These Are Powers, Dark Meat, Militia Group artists Appleseed Cast, Inoculist, Windy and Carl, & Jana Hunter. This past summer, Golden Cities completed a midwest/East Coast tour that included dates in Brooklyn, Boston, and Chicago which also included a release of an exclusive tour EP. Golden Cities has also collaborated on a video piece with world-class visual artist John Palmer, which will be featured in John's future gallery works. Currently, Golden Cities is writing material for their upcoming album (due out in early 2010) along with collaborations with video/visual artists.