the secret lives of prothros.

September 29, 2010

ACL Roundup: Bands that Start with the Letter M

Filed under: ACLfestival — prothro @ 11:50 am

My goal is to knock a few letter out today so that I can catch up. Then get this behind us all and enjoy the mess out of ACL next week.

As always, bands are ranked by my likliness of seeing them at ACL.

On a side note, I’m trying not to look at the schedule in advance and compare bands until the end. I think it keeps things pure.

M.I.A.-As with most R&B artists, I really love some of her songs and then others just seem like fillers between the hit songs. The songs I like I really like, the beats combined with her British accent and the Indian influence is just like little else. I adored the sounds and imagery of Slumdog Millionaire and I know some of her songs were a big part of that. Ultimately, I’d love to get to sneak over for a few good songs but I’m a bit worried because I read a comment about her not being great in concert and after some research it seems to be a popular opinion.
My Vote: 2

Manchester Orchestra: I’ve been enjoying listening to Manchester Orchestra. I haven’t heard much from them but everything I’ve heard is good. Their songs are clean and tight, as opposed to some other indie rock groups where I feel like things blow up into a minor chaos every time they hit the lyrics and guitars harder.  I don’t know much about producing. Or anything for that matter but I’m sure that could also be the mark of good production rather than a good band. I certainly think they could be worth a listen though.
My Vote: 3

Martin Sexton: Martin has a smooth, versatile voice with lots of meat to it. He’s got vocal range and beautiful falsetto backed up by good ol’ finger pickin’ guitar, and I have a special kind of love for that. Oh, and did I mention he beatboxes? That is another one of my soft spots. I’m a sucker for a really great beat boxer. Really the more I listen to him, the more impressed I am and he’s purported to be even better in concert. Bands that are better live than recorded? Another soft spot. That is a trifecta.
My Vote: 3.5

Matt and Kim: Yes! Yes! Yes! Ever since my lovely Lyndsey Hefer sent me a surprise mix cd in the mail including a few of their tracks, I have been obsessed. I’ve even determined a newly coined genre all my own to categorize Matt and Kim and it is clap rock. You may have experienced clap rock before, perhaps from Ben Lee. It’s generally very upbeat, with simple beats, simple music and it will give you the uncontrollable urge to clap (even though it wouldn’t sound right with the song at all!) and dance in a circle with a smile on your face. And I will.
My Vote: 5

Maxim Ludwig and the Santa Fe Seven: I had to look harder for his music that for most of the other bands but I wasn’t disappointed. He sounds like a folk singer that lives in a little country town. He’s not country per se but the sounds surrounding him are and his voice is standing up in opposition. This isn’t true because I’m pretty sure he’s from California but it’s the imagery I get. I have a strong feeling that I will be pleasantly surprised. If not, I’ll go get a chicken cone. It’s a win-win really.
My Vote: 4

Mayer Hawthorne and the Country: I first heard Mayer a few days ago when Wes gave me the assignment to listen to Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out and then look at a picture of him to see how it compared to my mental perception. Pretty funny really. I also decided that he kind of looks like Dwight. Neither hear nor there though. He has a 70’s soul vibe to him, with a good back-up horn section and beats a la peppy keyboards. Oh and he makes heart shaped vinyls.
My Vote: 4 (bumped from a 3 on Wes’s recommendation)

Midlake: Should I have heard of them already? They’re from UNT, right here in Texas. They were jazz students there. I didn’t know that was even a thing. They’ve got a lot of musical prowess. I’m probably paying extra attention because I know they’re music students but their mix of instruments and sounds is astute, which I’d guess is tricky when mixing delicate synths with the occasional 80’s style guitar jams.
My Vote: 3

Miike Snow: This band is made up of people with lots of experience producing hits for other people. So they definitely know what’s involved in making hit songs. It’s refreshing to see that making hits isn’t their main goal, it’s more about making music they enjoy. All that to say, it’s a far cry from Britney’s Toxic, it’s much more toned down and esoteric, appealing to an entirely different audience.
My Vote: 4

Monsters of Folk: This is a combo of members from indie bands that had all already made successful names for themselves: Bright Eyes, She and Him and My Morning Jacket. I like them but I’m having a hard time because any time I hear one of them singing I start wanting their old band. That’s my bad. I don’t love change. As I listen I can tell they’re great, and that I would love them if I’d heard them first. I just need some time.
My Vote: 3

Muse: Oh.dear.sweet.goodness. This may be the one I am the most excited about. I am a lover of variety and new things so it’s odd that I’d be most excited about a band I had already seen but it was the best concert I think I’ve ever seen. They’re amazing in general and only better live. I was in utter awe of Matthew Bellamy and his Kaoss pad. Awe. They are the one band that always make me run faster the second their tracks hit my ears. I find this to be their most impressive accomplishment of all.
My Vote: 5

MyNameisJohnMichael: I tried to look for them on wikipedia since I hadn’t heard of them before and wiki said their page was deleted in 2008 due to lack of “importance or significance”. Ouch. Well I guess this New Orleans band is showing wiki what’s up, booking gigs at Lollapalooza and ACL. His band started based on a resolution to himself to write and record a new song every week for a year. Reminds me of someone else I know who starts big projects for no real great reason. They’re a little bit of New Orleans style Arcade Fire and apparently were hailed as one of the top 5 bands to see at the CMJ music festival. Take that wikipedia! (Just kidding, I love you.)
My Vote: 4

Okay, the big letters are really getting to me. I think I’ll have an aneurysm when I hit T. Also, I’m not checking for typos. I don’t usually catch them until weeks later anyways.

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