“Exit Music (For A Film)” - Informal quintet comprised of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra musicians, March 19th, 2013
(originally by Radiohead, of course)
You know how you were wondering how it might sound if 5 talented guys from the MSO played Radiohead songs on two violins, a viola, a cello and a double bass in a tent one night in front of 300 very appreciative fans, but as recorded through the low-fi Voice Memos app on an iPhone? Wonder no more! It sounds like this.
Yes, the low fidelity recording gives this an AM radio feel (I didn’t think to record this as an audio-only ‘video’ until it was too late), but it’s incredible anyway. If you don’t listen to all of it, please at least start from the 2:00 mark.
Turns out that when the MSO puts on a free “Secret Symphony” at the Spiegeltent, there’s a chance you’ll get to hear them playdestroy (but in the good way!) 8 of your favourite Radiohead songs on violin, viola, cello and bass.
I may have to go to every other “Secret Symphony” just in case it’s Radiohead again.
(and if you were asking, they played I Might Be Wrong, Creep, The National Anthem, Exit Music, (which I’ll post), , Karma Police, No Surprises, A Wolf At The Door and Paranoid Android. Did I mention it was incredible?)
This is MUTEMATH @ The [tiny] Corner Hotel in Melbourne, Australia.
It’s shot on an iPhone, handheld from within a crowd, then compressed down to 720P, so in no way does it properly represent how great these guys sounded etc. It’s a sampler rather than a full set, obviously - the show went for almost 2.5 hours - but there’s a setlist and timecodes on the Vimeo page.
If you have any opportunity to see these guys live, forget this video and go see them live. You won’t be disappointed - they’re incredible. If you don’t have that opportunity, though, or you don’t know them at all, this video might give you a taste. Easily the best concert of my life.
Plenty of live bands can be loud - that part’s pretty easy, I’m guessing - but so many are somehow boring, predictable, one-dimensional. Mutemath are certainly loud, but I have never seen a band so completely mesmerise an audience with a perfect mix of unbridled energy & showmanship, honest and engaging songwriting, infectious rhythms and ridiculous, ridiculous talent.
Four guys at the very top of their craft, musically, from Roy & Darren’s crazy basslines and frenetic, tape-the-headphones-to-your-head drums, to Todd’s dazzling guitar work, to Paul’s amazing vocals and keytar and Rhodes and lilo-surfing and whatever else. Through so much of the show I found myself grinning and shaking my head in amazement, thinking just how amateurish so many other bands sound by comparison.
I’ve been an avid fan for 5 years (I “discovered” them in March 2007, according to a post on my old blog), but this was their first Australian tour and my first opportunity to experience their legendary live show. I’m sure that The Corner Hotel in Richmond, with it’s tiny, cramped stage and capacity for all of about 200 people - was a far cry from what they’re used to back home, but they played like they were performing at a venue ten times the size. They seemed to want to make up for lost time, too - as if they owed this long-neglected part of the world a setlist chronicling their entire back catalogue - and we were given an almost 2.5 hour set comprised of - by my count - 27 (27!) tracks from the last 3 records. They didn’t let up from start to finish.
If you love music and you ever get a chance to see Mutemath live, please do. They were - they are - incredible.
If you’ve never heard them or heard of them - wha?! - here’s Allies, Blood Pressure, and Chaos to give you an alphabetical first sampling. If I decide it’s not too douchey to do so, I may also post a video shot with my iPhone from about 4 rows back in the crowd (yes, I was that guy at this concert - but in my defence my wife and niece weren’t able to make it and Mel had been waiting 5 years for the opportunity, so this ‘sampler’ was for their benefit…).
For my birthday gift (don’t worry about missing it - it was months ago, and how would you know? You’re forgiven…really) my little sister took me to see Alan Davies’ stand up show at the Athenaeum in Melbourne last night. Alan [QI, Jonathan Creek] Davies, that is. I haven’t yet seen Jonathan Creek, but I love QI.
I won’t do it justice with my brief precis, but here’s at least a sampling of his conversation that I can recall this morning: Being an 11 year old forced by your Father to help your 77 year old grandfather use the toilet. Being made to wear a uniform - that your Father created - to a school that has no uniform. Health & Safety in the 80’s. Trams. Lesbians. Facebook. Pornography. The sting of daylight in your eyes as you’re kicked out of the pub in the afternoon. Not-at-all-sociopathic parental advice. Interpreting your baby’s screams. Which kitchen utensils are best for scooping baby poop out of the bath. Chuggers (Charity Muggers). The London Riots. 2012. Worst case scenarios. Dealing with the loss of your Mum as a schoolboy. A Father for whom “There Are No Accidents”. Accepting that you’ll be largely ignored once children arrive, and the futility of trying to mimic your baby to seem adorable (it’s not nearly as cute when you fall asleep in your food, urinate on your own face etc). Burying your underpants in the backyard.
If you get a chance to see him, you really should. If you get a chance to hang out with my little sister, you should really do that, too.