Strangled Darlings perform Jan. 3 in Richland

Dori O'Neal, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 1, 2014 

Strangled Darlings

COURTESY STRANGLED DARLINGS

Strangled Darlings will liven up the Emerald of Siam on Jan. 3 with music that's laced with a dark kind of humor.

"Strangled Darlings is a very unique duo that blends Americana, punk rock, bluegrass and other flavors in their music, a dark Americana if you will," said Dara Quinn, owner of the nightclub.

The Darlings are George Veech and Jess Anderly, who play a slew of instruments between them: mandolin, banjo, guitar, cello and violin, just to name a few.

The two met at a punk rock show a few years ago and have been playing together ever since, Veech told the Herald.

"(Jess) was selling T-shirts for the band Circus Jerk, and I think I made a comment about how I think she's a better violinist than a T-shirt salesgirl, so she joined the band," he said. "Jess plays the cello more like a bass."

The duo, from Portland, took their name from author William Faulkner, who wrote about how in writing "you must kill all your darlings."

"What he really meant was as a writer, or in any creative process, strict editing of unnecessary prose can be quite traumatic to young or undisciplined writers. Removing a favorite chapter or verse can feel like, well, strangling your darling, or something like that," Veech said.

Much of the band's music is politically motivated, with plenty of sarcasm blended in the mix of lyrics, which Veech said is meant to be humorous.

One of their songs is about the marriage of 85-year-old Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall and 25-year-old Anna Nicole Smith.

Quinn hired the duo because they fit her criteria for providing Tri-City music lovers original music from all over the country.

"I like eclectic, unique and original music that is executed with a high level of professionalism and talent regardless of genre," Quinn said. "This band definitely fits the bill. Plus, their music is danceable and inspiring, the lyrics a bit sarcastic and dark at times, but accompanied by the happy tones of mandolin."

Veech said the Strangled Darlings bring a punk intensity to their work, like taking a cello and making it a hip-hop bass, or getting the mandolin to sound like a stubborn mule.

"It's a matter of shaking out a dark spell of intelligent groove," he said.

Showtime is 9 p.m. Jan. 3. There is no cover.

-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @dorioneal

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