Boom Box: Dawn McCarthy of Faun Fables

The Oakland, Calif., group Faun Fables has explored the connection between folk music, performance, and avant-garde composition since 1997. Founded by Dawn McCarthy, the group released the ambitious rock cabaret Transit Rider in 2006 and toured with a complete theatrical production. The group issued the sparse four-song EP A Table Forgotten in July.

Wovenhand, Mosaic (Sounds Familyre, 2006)

This is really lush and wonderful. He has a really intriguing voice. I'm new to hearing his stuff. We were overseas last year and a lot of folks were playing this and they burned me a copy, but I finally got a real copy at the store yesterday. This is a band I think Faun Fables could do something with, do some shows together.

In Gowan Ring

The singer is named B'eirth. They're from Utah, Salt Lake City. They make beautiful records. He's a true wandering minstrel. It's gorgeous and pastoral. If I could think of something that sounded like nature in its most beautiful, reflective state, this would be it.

Charming Hostess, Sarajevo Blues (Tzadik, 2004)

They used to be a trio of a cappella singers, but now they have horns and percussion. Sarajevo Blues is based on research [Jewlia Eisenberg] did into a poet, Semezdin Mehmedinovic, writing about the city during the worst part of the Bosnian War.

Roky Erickson, The Evil One (415 Records, 1981)

It's got studio versions of "Cold Night for Alligators" and some others, and a lot of good ones I hadn't heard before. I love his singing, the clarity of his voice, and his wonderful, ranting lyrics.