It's difficult to hear the Tom Waits influence in their music now. But Mickens's cool, quivering voice definitely harks back to the dramatic, unsettling paranoia of David Byrne. His sound has also been shaped by listening closely to pop singers such as Michael Jackson and Prince. "Whether or not it's evident, it's been creeping into our music a lot," he says.
On the trio's latest, Frost Giant, there are lulling, whispered intros that build into catchy, rocking melodies. Then there are disjointed moments when Nick Tamburro's precision drum fills take the band back to its jazzy and experimental past. Past and present will collide today when the band takes the stage at Super Happy Fun Land. The set comes between headliner ex-Geraldine Fibbers vocalist Carla Bozulich and opener Anni Rossi.
Fri., July 7, 8 p.m.