New Hotness: Mute Math

!{border:1px solid black;} (Mute Math; photo from their Virb page)!

About a year ago, Lara Fahey (photographer and DC101 producer) was telling me about a bunch of the bands she was excited about. Some of them I figured I wouldn’t like just by the names (e.g. 36crazyfists. Good band, just not my thing) but one of the group was a band from New Orleans called Mute Math [ official | wikipedia | myspace | virb ]. I picked up their Reset EP [ no longer available ] and was quite impressed. It had elements of electronic and rock with a guys voice that was reminiscent of Sting in some places (especially on the track “Peculiar”).

I listened to it on and off for most of the year, but then I picked up the full length record, and that’s when I really started listening to the band heavily. While my band was at SXSW last month, it shared the top spot with Brian Eno and my own studio demos.

The songs “Typical”, “Noticed”, “Control” and “Picture” all stood out as great hooks with wonderful textures. The rest of the record is a rich soundscape full of dynamic shifts and juxtaposing textures that are reminiscent of post-OK Computer Radiohead.

!{border:1px solid black;} (Mute Math live in concert; photo from their Virb page)!

The Video Blog

The band is dedicated to, if not obsessed with video blogging. They’ve been posting short snippets on their YouTube account for almost two years now. Some of my favorite video snippets are Paul’s discussion of the previous night’s opening act or the show in a nutshell.

The most interesting thing by far is their new video for Typical which features the band performing the song backwards and then having the tape reversed for the audience.

The Live Show

So Lara called me right when I got back from SXSW and reminded me that Mute Math was playing the 9:30 Club that night. I ran over after work and made their set (the doors were at 5pm!) and it was by far and away one of the best shows I’ve seen in the last few years. The show started with the drummer affixing his headphones with a roll of gaffer’s tape (a black cloth variation on duct tape used by electricians and sound engineers). Then the lead singer jumped on top of his Fender Rhodes a few times. Then he did a half-handstand on it. There was an upright bass solo. There was a percussion and pedalboard solo. A PEDAL BOARD SOLO And then in the last song there was a custom made instrument that was passed into the audience towards the end of the song, and was played by various people, and was returned unharmed to the lead singer.

All of this occured in the middle of their performance as if it was standard procedure!

According to Lara, and from the looks of the live videos on line, most of it is. That’s a great live show. A perfect performance. It’s simply inspiring to see a band with so much diversity and de facto geekiness doing well (the lead singer plays a keytar for pete’s sake).

Further Listening

Reset EP [ Amazon ] (No longer available in the iTunes store)

Mute Math [ Amazon | iTunes ]

Typical Video [ YouTube | Reversed ]

  1. Hana says:

    Awesome picture Kari I am falnilg in love with your work. You are my no. 1 favorite photographer and I already told my bf that we are using you for all of our photos when we get engaged! I love music too.. it keeps your soul movin. <3

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