Fauna open for J Mascis, release new EP and custom-built theremin


This Saturday night at the 7th St. Entry, Radio K presents a unique line-up of artists who have made their stamp in the alternative rock/punk scene over the years. And if the return of the coveted J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.), and the recent release of his almost acoustic album Several Shades of Why isn't enticing enough, then why not look a little bit further down the line-up -- you'll be in for a surprising delight.

[jump] Minneapolis's own Fauna might not be as immediately recognizable, but their frontman's influence on the music scene, both locally and internationally, is downright legendary. Zachary Vex (vocals and guitar) is the owner and inventor of Z. Vex Effects guitar gear, located and operated in Minneapolis. Zachary Vex is a sound engineer, and all around music genius.

This Saturday, Fauna will play a CD-release for their new Cellophane EP, featuring four new Fauna songs, plus the release of a special edition of the EP that comes with an electronic theremin crafted out of a CD case. The "Intelligent Theremin," designed by Z.Vex Effects, is being released for the first time anywhere. It is a small self-contained, battery-operated, quantized theremin. This theremin plays in any key, using selectable major, minor or chromatic scales, and plays perfectly in tune.

Theremins are played by moving one's hand in the air near an antenna -- and in this case, over the top of a CD case. Various switches and controls are included inside the case to change aspects of the instrument's sound, such as volume, speed and depth of vibrato, and glissando or glide between notes. The unit has its own internal speaker and a nine-volt battery to power it up. The special EP package with the theremin costs $69, and will be for sale at the show in addition to regular copies of the EP.

Fauna is Zachary Vex (vocals and guitar), Jerry Lefkowitz (guitar and vocals), Peter VonGrossmann (bass), and Todd Lipelt (drums and vocals).  Fauna was formed over 20 years ago and took a 17-year hiatus before reforming last year. Cellophane, their new release, is their first new recording since 1993.

FAUNA play a CD-release show and open for J Mascis and Kurt Vile & the Violators on SATURDAY, APRIL 2, at the 7th ST ENTRY. 18+. $20. 8 p.m.