The Curious Mystery
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The Curious Mystery

Seattle, Washington, United States | INDIE

Seattle, Washington, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Avant-garde


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




The Curious Mystery
10 p.m. -- Mr. Spot's Chai House (21+)

I hope that when the Curious Mystery's album drops on legendary K Records that the critics have enough tact to avoid simple blanket statements that critics love to make. I pray that they do not simply get clumped in with whatever the new indie crowd calls "Americana." I hope that the references to Cat Power are few and far between. The Curious Mystery's brew is organic, dark, and heartfelt. Shana Cleveland's brooding, disconnected vocals are offset by some genuine rock & roll stage antics and multitasking on guitar, banjo, autoharp, and melodica. Nicholas Gonzalez plays eerie slide and prepared guitar, sometimes running his axe through a contraption that looks like he converted some baking utensils into a pre-amp. Drummer Faustine B. Hudson is a mop of hair and zoned out groove on the drums. Manic post-apocalyptic Appalachian rave-ups, film-noir doom, and Velvet Underground-esque folk-prog are all to be expected. - Reverb Fest - Jared Nelson

"Sound on Sound"

REVERBfest was a blast. A lot of good people, a lot of, sometimes free beer and a fair number of surprisingly good bands. I’m going to be giving a shout out to a few of them over the next week here at The Daily Choice, but today I want to focus, briefly, on the band that shocked my shit the most - The Curious Mystery. I’d pretty much counted Mr. Spots Chai House as a dead spot after being bored to tears by Husbands Love Your Wives and having painful flashbacks of a near-fight at a reggae concert many REVERBfests ago.

Nonetheless in a dull period when the free beer had dwindled, the pizza was reduced to cheesy scritlins, and I waited for The Moondoggies to blow me away, someone whispered “Curious Mystery” and I was on my way. Psych-rock is sort of one of my things and Curious Mystery filled my gap like no other. Aside from a lead singer donning an autoharp, a banjo, and a harmonium, The Curious Mystery had a drummer, named Faustina, who played the skins like no one I’ve ever seen. She changed tempos on a dime, used every mallet conceivable, stalked over tables banging a gong, and at one point hit me in the chest with a thrown drumstick. I can’t help but say I was a wee bit smitten.

These badasses were just signed to K Records, and though I couldn’t find an .mp3 of there music, this weird world called “Myspace” seems to be hosting a few of their tracks. They’re opening up for The Pica Beats on Thursday, and I implore you, get on over.
- Noah - Sound on Sound

"KEXP - Sonarchy"

Sonarchy Radio is a live performance broadcast that is a showcase for the many northwest artists who are pushing the limits of their music. Each week Jack Straw Productions in Seattle's University District hooks up it's non-profit recording studio to KEXP and sets the stage for you to sit in the middle of unique performance. The Curious Mystery recorded an hour long program of live music Aug. 8, 2007. It is scheduled to air in Nov. 2007.
- KEXP 90.3 Jack Straw Productions



The Curious Mystery
Sugar Skulls
Delta Hymax
$6, Doors @ 9 p.m.

I generally don't recommend the Crocodile Cafe (due to lack of cheap beers, over abundance of Stranger-loving hipsters, and a hideous confiscation policy executed by their thick-necked security). But tonight the Curious Mystery and Sugar Skulls make it worth stopping by. The Curious Mystery play spaced out folk rock (kind of). The lead singer strums autoharp and banjo while cooing away in a voice filled with innocent bloodlust and intrigue. Sugar Skulls bring the joy-prog with a line-up featuring violin, bass, keyboards and drums. "We don't live in a world that was made for us/We live in a world that was made for them!"


"Portland Mercury: Up and Coming"

Newly added to the K Records roster, Seattle's the Curious Mystery plows a furrow of drowsy, bluesy psych. Nicolas Gonzalez sets up a drone either on guitar or one of his homemade instruments, while Shana Cleveland plucks banjo, autoharp, or guitar; meanwhile, drummer/whirling dervish Faustine B. Hudson shifts tempos as the band's lengthy patchwork songs unfurl. Their zen country is a strong, surprisingly effective combination of Eastern drone and Western roots music, with a weird and woolly connection to nature. The Curious Mystery recorded their debut album, Rotting Slowly, with Calvin Johnson, and it's full of gently rumpled psychedelic tunes that are perfect for zoning out�but it's worth paying attention. NL - Portland Mercury

"LA Weekly: "Rock picks""

The Curious Mystery are from Seattle, and make guitar rock with meandering structures, a fearless willingness to wander into extended instrumental passages, and at least two guitarists who like to explore the fretboard. They like to jam, basically, but not in a navel-gazing way; more like in a Television/Tom Verlaine/Richard Lloyd kind of way - La Weekly

"Pitchfork: Rotting Slowly album review"

The Curious Mystery aren't from the desert. They're from Seattle. Doesn't matter. As soon as Shana Cleveland starts in with that smoky drawl-- "If I go blind/ Hangin' out by a riverside/ Just stay with me"-- we're at the base of a rusty gorge with Cat Power on a Mazzy Star-ry night. (By the time Cleveland breaks off for an enigmatic chuckle, 10 tracks in, you're wondering whether she's really a safe person to stay with alone by a riverside on a night such as this.) Nicolas Gonzalez is a javelina-charmer on electric guitar and homemade Theremin. Add drummer Faustine B. Hudson and bass player Bradford Button, and you've got a four-piece doing unhurried psych-blues, autoharp ghost songs, and Area 51 garage-Americana, with plenty of that old frontier promise. Their debut LP might not be exactly what Kurdt Cobain used to expect from K Records-- you noticed the title's Rotting Slowly, right?-- but the Curious Mystery are well within the spirit of former Come frontwoman Thalia Zedek's unsentimental smolder. And when you get right down to it, who's the bigger outlaw: Calvin Johnson, or some schmo who can't drive just 55? Why is Sammy Hagar the one with his own brand of tequila?

Nobody ever tells the Grand Canyon to get to the damn point, and at times the Curious Mystery's slow-burning expansiveness helps set a nice acid-Western mood. Instrumentals undergo shifts both rhythmic and dynamic, showcasing Gonzalez's stormy leads, while even at Rotting Slowly's most lyrical, on vivid and forceful standout "Black Sand" or the tenderly wasted "Go Forth and Gather", the Curious Mystery are rarely far from Beach House's druggy languour. - Pitchfork

"Seattle Weekly: Record release recommendation"

Listening to the Curious Mystery’s K Records debut, Rotting Slowly, is like taking a hit of the purest sonic LSD. Frontwoman Shana Cleveland croons languid vocals that flow thick and slow like molasses. While her voice is definitely the icing on the cake, Cleveland, the child of country and blues musicians, plays banjo, guitar and autoharp proficiently as well. Guitarist (and maker of original, homemade instruments) Nicholas Gonzalez sometimes takes over the vocals, too, while bassist Bradford Buttons and drummer Faustine Hudson — whose complete absorption in her task and seductive hair-tossing makes her one of my all-time favorite drummers to watch live — fill in the rhythm section. Something like a cross between the Velvet Underground, Earth and Black Mountain, the Curious Mystery’s transcendental songs owe their intoxicating effect to a seamless stitching of honky tonk country, gospel, ambient post-rock drone and Eastern sounds. But while the band cherry-picks elements of sounds from artists all over the world, it’s the way the Curious Mystery patches those elements together that makes them stand out. - Seattle Weekly

"Exclaim: album review"

Move over, Steve Miller, there's a new band of space cowboys to contend with and they come from… Seattle? Actually, Shana Cleveland, she of the Cat Power drawl and spooky autoharp, is a transplanted daughter of Midwestern country blues musicians. The yang to her yin is Texas drifter Nicolas Gonzalez, who knows his way around both the astral blues guitar and homemade Theremin. They approach Americana like Exene Cervenka and John Doe gone walkabout in the Area 51 desert after a Cinco de Mayo piss up. Their debut for K has the wonderful slinky sloppiness that a few tequila shots will loosen from already good nights. Drummer Faustine B. Hudson's mallet and tom work keeps the rolls rolling as Cleveland and Gonzalez trade turns swaying over the microphone. Worldly, weary and more self-possessed than expected from first-timers, the Curious Mystery are on a psychedelic journey to brighten your Mazzy Starry nights. (K) - Exclaim (CA)


*"Go Forth And Gather" Full length CD - self-released, 2008
*"Rotting Slowly" (KLP 206), K Records. Charted on CMJ top 200.
Coming March 8th: *"We Creeling" (KLP 225), K Records



A junkyard band with a heart of dirt, smoke, and wires; the Curious Mystery blends Sixties-style psychedelia with American country-blues and garage experimentalism . Cool night air, slow burning heaviness, impregnation by blackberry, Captain Beefheart, late night crawlers, native fowl, dinner, river blindness; these are some of the things the Curious Mystery bides its time thinking about. They began in 2005 in Seattle where Shana Cleveland, a Midwestern daughter of Blues and Country rock musicians met Nicolas Gonzalez; an experimental instrumentalist from Texas enamored with Polvo, Morricone, and Eastern drones. Today the band features Nicolas on guitar, vocals, and homemade instruments; Shana on vocals, guitar, and autoharp; Adam Kozie on drums; and Johnny Goss on the bass guitar. In 2008 they met up with Calvin Johnson and recorded "Rotting Slowly" (KLP 206). The stellar new full length album "We Creeling"(KLP 225), recording with Karl Blau, will be released March by K Records in March 8th.