Drum kits crash and explode; uncontrollable feedback erupts; random, screeching wraiths arrive and disappear with an equal lack of warning; relaxed fits of laughter compete with measured, stentorian cable-news reportage. Understandably, Eric Earley can't quite hear me, and I'm having just as much trouble understanding him. "You're breaking up. I'm catching every third word or so," the Blitzen Trapper frontman says. It's an evening in late January, and Earley's speaking via cell phone from the band's practice space, where the sextet's gearing up for a spring tour, his laconic mien transmitted cross-country with a hurricane of noise pollution in tow. Our signals are twisted, jammed, and fricasseed, making communication... More >>>