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Giant Cloud with Empress Hotel and the Hawks (of Holy Rosary) 

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Park the Van's sixth annual Holiday Soiree forsakes the ghosts of Christmas present and future for a blast from the not-so-distant past. Giant Cloud, the charming, harmonizing husband-and-wife psych/pop band, effectively replaced the Peekers when the latter closed its harmonizing husband-and-wife psych/pop act in 2009. Early last year, Giant Cloud issued Old Books, a five-track EP that felt both dreamed-up and wide-eyed, beating the sweetly reminiscent Peekers at their own waltz-timed game; by mid-2011, the Ruston, La., natives had suffered their same fate, disbanding six months in advance of debut LP Bloom & Decay. The digital release, which arrived on the backs of pallbearers in November, shows no signs of a struggle. Singer/pianist Julie Odell (who is now recording solo) and singer/guitarist Ben Jones (a fixture in David Vandervelde's band) have never sounded more in sync as on nesting duets "Every Window Holds the Truth" and "Swan/Bull/Swan," and second guitarist Preston Whittenburg steps out front with the shape-shifting centerpiece "Animal Inside," a seven-minute stunner that stitches together at least as many unforgettable vignettes. Look closer at the lyrics, though, and you can see the seams splitting. While "Blooming and decaying in a fragile shell" may be the objective and poetic take, "You've forced too many seasons on me" probably gets closer to the truth for this talented, tangled gang. Blossoming in the spring and saying farewell in winter, they lasted long enough to not only see their funeral, but to score it. Empress Hotel and the Hawks (of Holy Rosary) open. Tickets $10. — Noah Bonaparte Pais

Dec. 17

Giant Cloud with Empress Hotel and the Hawks (of Holy Rosary)

10 p.m. Saturday

One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., 569-8361;


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