Sometimes you miss an album. An album that suits you so well, you wonder why friends haven’t beaten down your door, music in hand, forcing you to listen. Since starting this blog, my friends have developed a tendency to constantly test my knowledge of the latest bands, despite my willingness to admit wholeheartedly and unabashedly that I do not know everyone. Nor will I ever. The endless opportunity for discovery remains one of the most beautiful aspects of music, or any art form for that matter.
My ability to “keep up” with the latest and greatest, if anything, has been hindered by the launch of Thought on Tracks. Writing takes time. I fail to understand how Sean Moeller has time to accomplish even half of the work that drives his phenomenal music project Daytrotter. Thank you for your lack of sleep and dedication, sir. We are all indebted.
A 2010 release from Brooklyn’s Partisan Records recently slipped beneath my ocular radar. Mountain Man’s Made the Harbor. Holy shit, y’all. Don’t let the band’s name cause confusion. This trio is all woman. Three glorious voices weaving impeccably as they break new ground upon song structures that have a timeless, almost religious feel. Had the church choir sounded anything like Mountain Man, I may very well have entered the priesthood.
I missed Mountain Man’s July 23rd performance at Radio Radio. Out of town for a wedding, I hadn’t bothered to look into a group that I heard nothing about. Then a few days ago, LaundroMatinee released a couple of videos from a private recording at Big Car Gallery. Mountain Man’s songs hit like lead bricks, weighted with fresh takes on traditional American parlor music. They play like a more intimate Typhoon, a Portland band that has recently found my affection.
Download Made the Harbor. Spin it on vinyl. Steal it from your neighbor. Do what you must, but do not let this album pass you by. I already regret the few months that it escaped my ears. Also be sure to download Mountain Man’s stunning Daytrotter Session taped last October, available for free HERE.
Written by Rob Peoni
My Morning Jacket brought their traveling circus to Indianapolis’ White River State Park on Sunday night. The band played a mammoth 23-song set just a day after headlining Chicago’s 20th Anniversary Lollapalooza festival, adhering to the motto: You don’t take nights off while conquering the world.
The concert was a homecoming for the band’s long-time guitarist Carl Broemel. A graduate of Pike High School, Broemel grew up playing in local band Old Pike before studying guitar at IU. My Morning Jacket picked him up in 2004 after two of the band’s members had quit. He has since carved out an important niche in the Jim James led outfit, lending his talents on guitar, saxophone, vocals and lap steel.
Tracks from My Morning Jacket’s latest summer soundtrack Circuital dominated the setlist Sunday night. The band looked a tad drowsy on the first few songs of the evening but throttled into high gear shortly thereafter. By the time they played “Mahgeetah” from 2003’s It Still Moves The Lawn had reached full-on party mode.
This is a band that displays clearly its ten years of experience. They hit on every cylinder with a catalog of songs that span an astonishing range of genres—the mish mash of sounds are all bound together by James. His vocal influence can be felt on so many of today’s hottest acts.
James stands alone in his natural born ability to entertain. He has learned over the years when to push an audience’s buttons. When to dance like a mad man. He wears his heart on his sleeve, constantly offering an emotional earnestness to the crowd that often seems false or contrived with other performers. It is James’ ability to constantly appear genuine that allows My Morning Jacket to frolic so boldly from style to style without alienating their audience.
A decade in their rear view, these guys are fucking rock stars with serious chops. This ship will continue sailing as long as the band can tolerate each other. If Sunday night was any indication, they are all having entirely too much fun to hop off the bus any time soon.
Written and experienced by Rob Peoni
Top photograph courtesy of Sam Kowal.
Inset photograph courtesy of Michael Stephenson.
End of Run Thru