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Posts Tagged ‘Of Monsters and Men’

I haven’t done a “…She’d Love My iPod” post in a long while, so long that I wasn’t sure where to pick up from.  There have been quite a few songs added to my iTunes since the last update…

But a month ago was my BFF‘s birthday, and when we got together for lunch I brought her a CD I’d burned for her with songs I recently downloaded that I thought she’d like… and that seems like a good frame for sharing some recent additions to my catalog.  Let me know if you like any of these too, especially if you’ve never heard them before, I always love turning people on to new music!!

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Of Monsters and Men

Of Monsters and Men

So recently I got to check off one item from my bucket list:  getting to see the amazing song Little Talks performed live by Of Monsters and Men.  I just love that song so much; from the moment I first heard it I just swooned.  Every part of the song just brings a goofy smile to my face– the music, the singers, the lyrics– and just etched into my soul the need to see it, feel it, and bathe in the performance.  So when I saw the announcements months ago that they were going to come right here to Richmond to play, I prepared to snap up tickets the moment they were available.

I’m glad I did– the show sold out weeks ago!  But I had my tickets…

Unfortunately, I couldn’t seem to find anyone who wanted to go with me to the show, so I ended up selling the extra ticket.  Thankfully, I did know two friends who already had tickets so I was able to sit with them and enjoy the show in friendly solidarity rather than having to be alone in a crowd like when I went to see the last show (Neko Case).  While I loved getting to see Neko Case live, it was a mixed blessing… being alone in a crowd of people who were all in groups of two, three, or more really kind of emphasized the rather lonely situation of being an older divorced father who’s friends are mostly all paired up and settled down.  Which makes me a bit of a oddball who doesn’t seem to fit in with anyone socially.  I left the show feeling both elated and melancholy.

Thankfully for the Of Monsters and Men show I had two friends to sit with, which made all the difference in the world.  We are really such social animals, and the security of being part of a small group within this huge, sold-out crowd gave me the ability to just lose myself in the music and the energy of the live performance.

This is an actual pic from the show that my friend Tommy took from where we sat

This is an actual pic from the show that my friend Tommy took from where we sat

And oh, what a performance!  Of Monsters and Men is a seven-piece band of some really talented musicians, and they had a joy about them, an obvious love of playing music for a live audience that was infectious and riveting.

The drummer was electric– so full of energy, it seemed to be an effort for him to keep seated and pound on the drums (and quite often he would leap up and run to the front of the stage to get the crowd pumped up before rushing back to his kit).  He was dressed in a suit, along with the base player beside him, though they were just in vests without the coats.  Like most base players, he held down the beat in a low-key way.  The lead guitarist was surprisingly not flashy or looking for attention– he spent most of the show to the side, working his guitar and producing a lot of interesting sound effects via a whole host of effects pedals on the floor at his feet.  He gave me the sense of being a quiet maestro plying his art.

On the other side of the stage from the drummer and base were a man and a woman at two keyboards, though they often jumped up and played other instruments.  The woman played trumpet, accordion, and for one song banged on a huge base drum; the man got up and played accordion on a different song.

Last but not least were the two lead singers, who also played acoustic guitars.  The man was short, round, and red-haired, and reminded me of a gnome.  He had a cool and real interesting singing voice.  The woman was short, dark-haired and waifish, and sung like the Icelandic angel that she is– her voice reminded me a lot of Björk from the Sugarcubes, a high-pitched lilt, but without Björk’s weirdness.  The two singers’ voices were different but sounded great both solo and harmonized together.

The band not only demonstrated great musicianship but great showmanship as well.  They obviously subscribe to the notion I do as well, that art isn’t just what is being produced by the artist, but it’s what’s found in that space between artist and the audience.  They got a real charge out of getting the audience singing along, clapping along, stomping along, waving and cheering.  They gave me a real creative jolt being a part of the experience, and my mind whirled with ideas as I drove home.  I was grateful to be able to experience it with my friends Tommy and Amy, to be part of a little group within the crowd, so I could both experience the thrill and the joy of the music without feeling lonely, and also have someone there who I could talk to, smile with, and just share in the performance.

If you ever get a chance to see Of Monsters and Men, I heartily recommend it!  Below the cut I’ve got a link to a Youtube video of them performing live (in a more intimate location), as well as lyrics to the song Little Talks — I really love the words to the song, it strikes me as a ghost story, with the girl’s part being the living person, and the guy’s part being either a ghost or maybe a voice in her head.  What about you?     (more…)

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I was pretty stoked the other day when I saw on Facebook that The National  had booked Of Monsters and Men to play November 26th.  I mentioned recently that Florence + The Machine is one of the bands that I most want to see perform live right now; Of Monsters and Men was another one.  I’m so in love with their song “Little Talks” — the music, the vocals, the lyrics.  The lead singer’s got a beautiful voice that’s similar to Bjork but without trying too hard to be weird.  The other singer looks like a gnome.  I love that they have someone who plays accordian and people who play horns.  It’s just a total package of awesome.  Here’s a video of them performing it live:

Anyway, I went ahead and bought two tickets.  I don’t know who I’ll be taking with me yet but I’ve got time to hopefully find someone. 

I’M SO STOKED!!

Ahem.

Anyway… then this past Monday I get an email newsletter from the local rock station telling me about this big promotion they’re giving away called The Ultimate Ticket.  You and a friend get to go to Voodoo Experience featuring Green Day, Jack White, AWOLNATION, Silversun Pickups and MORE in New Orleans October 26th-28th.  As if a trip to New Orleans wasn’t sweet enough, but when I checked out Voodoo Experience  there’s like a zillion bands playing.

And if that wasn’t enough, the winner also gets tickets to every show at The National for a year– in the sweet VIP section!  I suspect that might make for pretty good date bait, eh?

Anyway, it sounded so good I set up alarms on my phone all week to make sure I turned on the radio and listened for my shot to win.  And Monday I heard the call-out, dialed and dialed and dialed… and I won on the first day!  No, I didn’t actually win The Ultimate Ticket– I qualified to win.  Once each day last week they qualified a person to be entered into a drawing to win The Ultimate Ticket.  The promotion is being sponsored by a local car company, and you can drop your name into a hat there at the car dealership, and I think they’re drawing some names from there to add to the mix.  I’m not sure how many people will ultimately qualify– I’m guessing it will be somewhere between 10 and 20 people — but then those people get some sort of prize (we’ll be getting a call this week to tell us what the prize is), and we get to go to “a big shindig” the radio station is holding, and they’ll pick the grand prize winner there.  I figure I’ve got a 5-10% chance of winning the big prize, which is much better odds than winning the lotto, right?

So… I’ve got two tickets to a “big shindig” held by the local rock station to go to, tickets to Of Monsters and Men, and the possibility of tickets to a big music festival in New Orleans… and no dates for any of ’em– yet.  Not a bad problem to have I suppose, though the trick is to find someone willing to both go out with a 45 year old man and also want to go see a new rock show and go to a rock station party?  If I’m lucky enough to win the trip to New Orleans it’ll be nice to have the problem of finding someone to go with me there 🙂

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