Music Reviews
Winter Family

Winter Family

Red Sugar

Sub Rosa

Read the website before you journey down this road to psychic ruin. Ruth Rosenthal and Xavier Klaine (he’s from Jerusalem, she from Paris, or maybe the other way round) form Winter Family, and it’s the sort of project you might engage your lover in if you want to absolutely, positively never get invited to parties. Rosenthal collects odd, droning instruments like the harmonium and the celesta. These are not instruments to get your toes tapping; rather, they stick your feet to the floor like one of those cruel glue traps you use on mice. Rosenthal weeps depressing poems into the microphone and you feel like your trapped in a transcontinental flight between a Jehovah’s Witnesses and recovering alcoholic. And that is the problem: Everyone means well, but if you’re not sucking from their Sorrowful Sippy Cup, this music isn’t terribly entertaining.

But now let me play Devil’s Advocate. In “Come” a small bird twitters away in a cage, its hearing range too high-pitched to notice what Winter Family bemoans. And maybe you ARE sucking from their Sippy Cup of Sorrow, and it’s filled with neither tequila nor hemlock. Your candidate lost the primary, your lover ran off with a homeless person, the doctor took one look at the lump and left the room. Maybe life IS that bad. Maybe you are in the Center Seat of an eternal holding pattern. Maybe you DO need your soul pressed and dry cleaned. Then, perhaps, you are in familiar company. The music you crave abhors melody; the singer must despise her vocal coach, the poetry drops like rabbit pellets from a hole in the ceiling. Winter Family could move you. It could inspire you, it could bitch slap you out of your funk and make you want to hug that alcoholic and join the Jehovah’s Witnesses and stop cutting yourself and spill it all on Post Secrets. You…need… CATHARSIS. Then dig in. Relish “Tea and Lies with Theodore.” Chant along to “Searching Donkeys.” Put “Omaha” on your car stereo and pump up the bass and drive around the ‘hood until you can make the hiphopsters and the low riders cower in fear. Then you have found the essence of Winter Family.

But don’t look for me, I want to go dancing. Boogie On, Garth.

Winter Family:

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