STEVE AND PIXIE, the two members of Knoxville's W-S Burn, are a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde. For a while now they've lived off radar for reasons we won't print; they got married on the run, they travel in a whale of a van, and the lifestyle suits them perfectly. So far they've released five glorious lo-fi recordings, and only after endless pleading from folks like Weird Weeds frontman Nick Hennies have they finally recorded something on actual microphones in Austin, which will be released soon.
Guitarist Steve Gigante describes their very earliest recording, 2004's Candy Striper, as "hot and homeless summer in the van, all first takes, left in the mistakes, cheapest Radio Shack hand-held cassette recorder they have ($25, batteries included), wandering around Kroger supermarkets at 3 am eating the free samples, recording in their parking lots, in the park, parked on the side of the road, in love."
The four albums that followed fit the same mold: lo-fi, trippy as hell, dark, gorgeous songs that sound like ghosts wandering the forest. And the ghost voice belongs to Pixie, the enigmatic singer/writer of these melodies (who recently found out she has perfect pitch despite no formal musical training).
I was able to speak with them from the road on their current tour, right after they left Texas. "Texas has the most insane drivers per capita of any state in the Union," Steve said. "No fucking contest. I believe it's because they are being subconsciously chased by the tortured ghosts of death-row victims and the very excited, excitable, and exciting Angels of the Apocalypse. Just a theory, mind you."
Pixie captured the life of DIY touring weirdos pretty well, too. "The road has been great," she wrote. "We only had to sleep outside twice so far, once at a baseball field and the other time on the ledge of the Lawrence public library until it began to rain, then we moved on to the porch of the Little Theatre. Most excited about new ecosystems; went tubing for the first time today, saw a muskrat... Being on the road allows for a spiritual opening of self that is not so easy in a stationary environment," she added.