It's important for a band to have a solid name, one that provides a sense of identity, a visual hint of what to expect musically. Smashing Pumpkins embodies this ideal. Imagine hundreds of turtles emerging from the sea in a full-moon frenzy to lay eggs on the beach but forced to crawl over a person lying on shore. Trampled by Turtles sounds more like a slow, torturous death than a five-piece bluegrass band from Duluth, Minnesota. But maybe the name fits. For some, listening to yet another bunch of ex-punkers going "organic" and playing something akin to bluegrass is a slow, torturous death. Despite Uncle Tupelo comparisons, Trampled by Turtles — acoustic guitar and bass, banjo, mandolin, and fiddle — don't measure up. Sure, they are lyrically strong and whip up a lot of twang, mixing Appalachian-style ballads with breakneck speed-grass forays, but real bluegrass musicians pick fast and precise, while this crew just plays fast — an endearing quality, perhaps. TxT, however, has good taste in covers, including The Pixies' "Where Is My Mind?" Black Francis might be appalled at the high-pitched tenor and washed-out twang of his song, but it's a cool choice — and might make that slow death just a touch more bearable.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.