The Winter Pageant
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The Winter Pageant

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"WANING/WAXING REVIEW"

"..The music is filled with atmospheric textures, shimmering guitar, breathy vocals, and calm melodies; it's almost as if the album floats by on a cloud. Waning/Waxing is hypnotic without being boring, spacey without being mindless."-FRANK VALISH, UNDER THE RADAR (ISSUE 7) - UNDER THE RADAR (ISSUE 7)


"'Tis the Winter of Our Content"

LIKE THEIR name suggests,
The Winter Pageant’s music
is the perfect soundtrack for
these crystalline days of
winter.
Their songs have a haunt-
ing slowness, a crisp beauty
that remind you of snowy
nights when the hard and
fast days of summer are all
but forgotten.
But like a warm spot in
the midst of a cold spell,
their new, self-released LP,
“Waning/Waxing,” projects
an unmistakable fragile
warmth.
This is in part thanks to
singer Byron Westbrook’s
breathy, sotto voce voice, but
the other musicians — Mike
Bigel on guitar, Paul New-
man on bass and guitar,
Jared White on keyboards
and glockenspiel and John
Thomas Robinette on drums
— all help to make this band,
well, glow.
Strong debut
Although a bit on the repe-
titious side, “Waning/Wax-
ing” is a strong debut from
the indie group. The LP’s
seven songs reveal their keen
musicianship and knack for
making their somewhat odd
instrument choices (um,glockenspiel?) relevant to a
rock audience.

For example, the guitars
are played like violins, while
blurry tremolo pickings
interweave the reedy drone
of an electric organ with the
tinkle of the glockenspiel.
Cymbals crash softly in the
background and give it all a
hypnotic,
syncopated
rhythm.
Although
originally
recorded in the relatively
temperate locale of Austin,
Texas, “Waning/Waxing”
received some Brooklyn lo-fi
chill when the band pol-
ished it up and finished it in
New York.
The boys are supporting
their release with a tour of
the East Coast. So before the
spring starts and the ironic
T-shirts come out of storage,
bundle up, hop in a cab, and
make a point to enjoy The
Winter Pageant.

-Dorothy Robinson, Metro NY - METRO NY


"from Feb 24, 2004 issue"

"The Winter Pageant balances its ice-crystal creations with a welcome shot of gentle human warmth... The Brooklyn band's upcoming EP is hypnotic." - Time Out New York


"from Apr 22, 2004 issue"

"The Winter Pageant is an intriguing new band whose spacey, gauzy rock trades on moody hooks and floaty vocals." - The Onion


"from Mar 18, 2004 issue"

"The Winter Pageant crystallizes swirly dream pop influences similar to the Autumns, Eaves, or Stills--only with more of a visceral edge." - Austin Chronicle


"Sup Magazine"

"The Winter Pageant insist that they don't follow any rules. They make their own.

I met Mike Bigel of The Winter Pageant on 2nd Avenue in the East Village over a year ago. After running into each other at a bar one night he slipped me a burn of an EP from his Brooklyn-based band, The Winter Pageant. I didn't ask any questions, just tucked it into my bag.

When I pulled it out and gave it a whirl, I was pleasantly surprised to hear something I wasn't expecting - something that didn't really sound very New York and something that I actually liked. The Winter Pageant's music has no backbeat and no choruses; it's laced with lush instrumentation created by a vibraphone, keyboards, guitars, drums and bass. Their expansive sonic arrangements are paired with whispered, sometimes strained vocals to create a very ethereal vibe - but a sound they swear isn't 'shoegaze.'

The band names local favorites Black Dice, Animal Collective and The Double as a few of their contemporaries and throws a big kiss to Talk Talk - a band they credit as a huge influence.

As The Winter Pageant holds out until June for the mastering of Waning/Waxing (their first proper release on a yet-to-be-determined indie label), they continue to play out locally, wowing people with their beautiful sonic fuzz rock." - 'Sup Magazine, issue 13


Discography

Waning/Waxing LP 2005

much airplay on WOXY.com
college radio airplay after the release of Waning/Waxing in Jan 2005

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

The Winter Pageant definitely does not adhere to the conventions of typical bands who play in rock clubs. If one were to venture to hear them perform with particular expectations of anything resembling a standard guitar-bass-drums rock band, you would be sorely disappointed. You would find a band that rarely faces the crowd, hardly moves at all, and plays in almost complete darkness save for lighting of their minimal, colorless video projection. There is a drum kit that never plays backbeats. There are no distorted guitar chords, no thick riffy basslines, no familiar chord progressions, and every instrument takes on a character or identity that is beyond what is typically expected of it. Guitars are either burred beyond recognition by delays or playing minimal piano-esque tones/drones. The whispered voice is an equal instrument to any other, and lyrics (if there are any) are virtually indiscernable. The forms of songs are not verse-chorus, they are complex and nearly prog-like. Rather than predictability, you will find detail, depth and a rarely original sound that produces sonic landscapes which are fleshed out as much as any epic film.

The band was formed in 2003 by composer/sound designer Byron Westbrook from Austin, TX under heavy influence of Steve Reich and late-era Talk Talk. Shortly after completing basic tracks for an album, he moved to Brooklyn, NY. The Winter Pageant began playing shows as a 5-piece with 2 guitars, bass/baritone guitar, farfisa organ/glockenspiel, and drums. They began building a strong following in NYC, opening for a list of who's who. The band has featured a rotating group of musicians including members from Sufjan Stevens’ Band, Paul Newman, The Silent League, Fischerspooner, On!Air!Library! among others. In late 2004, the basic tracks started in Austin were completed and released as Waning/Waxing. The band toured and played a number of sold out shows in 2005. Waning/Waxing was well received by press, garnering comparisons to Sigur Ros, Explosions in the Sky, Blonde Redhead, and American Analog Set. The live band has recently expanded to a 6-piece, and they are currently writing and recording a full-length follow up to Waning/Waxing to be released sometime in 2006.

The Winter Pageant has played shows with: American Analog Set, Stars, The Clientele, The Dears, TVon the Radio, +/-, Mobius Band, Mazarin, VietNam, I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness, French Kicks, Inouk, The Ponys, The Double, Asobi Seksu, Architecture In Helsinki, Explosions in the Sky, Adem, Tarantula A.D., Mono, Eluvium, The Hold Steady, The Rosebuds, Prosaics, Dirty Projectors, Two Gallants, Diamond Nights, Elf Power, Blood On The Wall, Early Man, Psychic Ills among others.