This is a delightful discovery for your friendly neighborhood Austin Music Minute maven. What we have here is a band that basks in black humor, embraces the extraordinary, and can make a song called “Raise the Dead” so full of hand-clapping, foot-stomping life. Plus, how on earth could I resist a band that has a track called “I Can’t Behave” on their 2012 release The Funhouse? Inconceivable! Quite happily, Caravan of Thieves just happens to not be your ordinary quartet.
Things started out rather simply for these self-proclaimed “gypsy swingin’, serenading, firebreathing circus freaks.” Husband and wife Fuzz and Carrie Sangiovanni were performing as a duo with a penchant for building on vocal harmonies and raising a ruckus with all manner of non-traditional percussive instruments – meaning hubcaps, frying pans, or metal trashcan lids (really, anything thump-able, smash-able or jingle-jangly) was fair game. The Sangiovannis brought on violinist Ben Dean and double bass master Brian Anderson to make a full band, and with that expansion came a multitude of mystical musical creations blending gypsy swing with folk, pop, jazz and rock, combined with an unusual assortment of theatrical tales populated by the fantastic, the eerie, the absurd. Imagine an Addams Family soundtrack composed by Django Reinhardt and The Beatles, guest-starring Vincent Price.
Something wicked this way comes. Don’t miss Caravan of Thieves at their show tonight at the Cactus Cafe, at 24th and Guadalupe in the Texas Union, located on the UT campus. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the music begins at 8 p.m. This one comes highly recommended.