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Roger Miller echoes psychedelic age

Posted by Scott McLennan  May 5, 2013 10:26 AM

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Roger Miller HIREZ (photo by Bill Ellison).jpg
Roger Miller brings Trinary System to T.T. the Bear's on Wednesday (Photo by Bill Ellison)

Making a record every two years with Mission of Burma isn't enough to satisfy Roger Miller. And it appears that even his work with Alloy Orchestra, M2, and Sproton Layer weren't enough to contain him, as he readies the Trinary System for a show Wednesday, May 8, at T.T. the Bear's, 10 Brookline St., Cambridge.

Burma's post-punk architecture and Miller's emphasis on keys with Alloy Orchestra and M2 are not sufficient for every Miller idea, as evidenced by "Big Steam" and "Dream Interpretation," the single he released last year on Good Road records.

"Big Steam" is a spooky blues with Miller playing a guitar that has a fork laced through the strings, while "Dream Interpretation" finds him playing guitar and organ to conjure an homage to Pink Floyd's "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn."

"I wanted an excessive amount of reverb," says Miller. "In Mission of Burma songs, there's no reverb."

Drummer Larry Dersch collaborated with Miller on the recordings. The two have worked together before in the Binary System. To bring this guitar-driven music to life, they added bassist P. Andrew Willis and dubbed themselves the Trinary System.

While the band was created to draw attention to the single, Miller has already written new material for the project, pointing to "Bike," which he says is "an imagined alternate-take, revved-up psychedelic version of 'Walk Don't Run' by the Ventures."

The Trinary System also has arrangements of Morphine's "Like Swimming" and Miles Davis' "Black Satin" ready to deploy in its only area appearance of the year. The show begins at 10 p.m. with the band Eula.

Miller hopes to record more of this lava-lamp and black-light rock, though has a few other projects that he is juggling, including summer shows with Burma and Alloy Orchestra. He also has shows later this summer with Sproton Layer, the psychedelic band he formed with his two brothers in the late 1960s and has not performed live with in 43 years.

Miller says Brian Coleman of Good Road "ordered" him to make a video for the dream-derived "Big Steam." This is how Miller follows orders:

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About the author

Scott McLennan is a Boston Globe music correspondent and previously wrote a music and entertainment column for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette for 15 years. After seeing the band Boston in the Boston Garden as a teenager he never looked back and eventually figured out how to be a professional fan. Scott is very good at writing in the dark. This blog is an ongoing discussion about music happening in and around Boston. Scott will be leading the trek across genres looking for new releases and hot shows as well as just checking in with the people who make Boston such a great place to listen. More »
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