Arts Desk

Photos: Janel & Anthony @ Iota

Janel Leppin and Anthony Pirog have been fixtures in the D.C.-area experimental music scene for some time, and the release of their new record, Where Is Home, on Silver Spring-based Cuneiform Records seems like a partnership that should have happened long ago.

I was first introduced to Janel and Anthony at the second Avant Fairfax festival back in 2009; the guitar-and-cello duo, with their brooding melodies and occasional forays into noise, were my favorite act on the bill. At last night's CD release show at Iota, they opened with an upbeat, jazzy number, "Big Sur," before exploring much more pastoral scenery for most of their set. This mirrors the structure of Where Is Home (on which "Big Sur" is the first track)—it opens with high energy and then shifts for the rest of the running time into a much more introspective mode.

Last night, the duo did close with a surprise, though: a track from their next record, a slow-burning rock-based piece with some great looping and layering effects. Nice to see they're hardly resting on their laurels after releasing an excellent record on a highly respected experimental music label—quite the opposite, in fact.

For more photos, check out the full slideshow.

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