20070816

Mae-jor Label Debut


My dad has been in radio since before I was born so I've been actively listening to music my entire life. The roots of all the music I've come to appreciate spring from that early development listening to Jellyfish, Dada, James Taylor, Del Amitri, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Jeffrey Gaines, and Thrillcat in the car as we drove back and forth between Salem, Eugene, and Portland, OR. Wherever he was living in relation to wherever I was living with my mom and they'd meet in the middle every second week. From all those glimpses of great music, my musical brain has been molded. They were all distant snapshots though, no matter how many spins we gave those records. Just sounds through speakers, into ears, out of mouths.

Mae is one of my favorite bands, but I'm probably biased. They're the only band I've watched grow from a studio project to a major label release with my own eyes. The only band who's taught their new guitarist how to play new song in my friend's living room the day before a show. The only band who's lead singer has publicly humiliated me on their message board for no reason that I could diagnose. The only band who have a member married to an ex-girlfriend of mine. The only band I've seen in 5 states and one District of Columbia.

It's been bittersweet, but I wouldn't change a thing. It's been a privilege to watch them grow and stretch over these years. And now they're here, in Norfolk tonight, pushing their Capitol debut. It's probably a moment they've been waiting for since the very first day they decided to make a go of this whole "band" thing. I know I have been.

Singularity is different, and after listening to it a lot, I can say with confidence that it's a good kind of different. Howard Benson (My Chemical Romance, Saosin, All-American Rejects, but also Daughtry, Papa Roach, and Crazy Town) was brought in to produce, resulting in guitars that sound positively epic and drums that kick like a mule. Vocalist/Guitarist Dave Elkins evokes more emotion than ever, taking his voice places even he probably didn't know he could go. Lyrically, Singularity is stripped down to the core of what makes us human. The mistakes, the rebounds, the relapses, the questions we all ask ourselves to find meaning. It's simultaneously deep and simple and ultimately more cutting than anything found on the Everglow. And while I don't fully agree with the single choice (the highly decent "Sometimes I Can't Make It Alone"), I hope it gets played enough to make way for a second single (hopefully "Brink of Disaster" or "Crazy 8s"). Request it on your home rock station. Ours is 96x.

I'm out. Mae is playing with As Tall As Lions and Dear and the Headlights tonight @ the Norva. 8pm. See you there...

Listen:
Crazy 8's
[from Singularity|buy]
This is the Countdown
[from The Everglow|buy]
All Deliberate Speed
[from Destination: Beautiful|buy]

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