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Roselit Bone, thugs in harmony 

The band performs at Circle Bar and One Eyed Jacks July 8

click to enlarge roselit.jpg

Photo by Brook Dillon

Roselit Bone snuck into New Orleans last year on an early-August Monday at the Circle Bar, which means the gig came and went without many more than local regulars bearing witness. They heard most, if not all, of the self-released 2014 LP Blacken & Curl, as well as "Dreamless Sleep," a strum-along, waltz-time lullaby from 2016's split-single with Jenny Don't & the Spurs — at the time, the only music disseminated by the Portland, Oregon-based, Mexi-Cali noir-country outfit. This return engagement, 11 months to the day later, falls during another hibernating stretch, but it presents a somewhat different Roselit Bone: swollen to a nine-piece big band with witheringly florid arrangements to match, further bolstered by the June issuance of its label debut, Blister Steel (Friendship Fever), whose various guitars, trumpets, flutes and violins all dovetail like the restless ghosts of the Polyphonic Spree on a vampiric, South-of-the-border blood-drive detour, backed by a moaning chorus of fallen angels and led by a "Don't Be Cruel"-era Elvis Presley parroting the coyote howls of an inarguably cruel world. This time, too, the band is calling its own encore: The 10 p.m. calavera literaria at One Eyed Jacks follows a 7 p.m. sundowning at the Circle Bar, allowing both happy-hour and after-hours revelers to get their reckoning. Guts Club opens at Circle Bar (admission $5). Esqueleto and Blind Texas Marlin open at One Eyed Jacks (tickets $12).

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