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What's Up Magazine

Listen and Be Merri

Aug 10, 2011 11:50PM ● By Anonymous

The closest one is this Friday. Louisville rockers My Morning Jacket are making their way to Columbia. And, what's more, singer-songwriter Neko Case is opening for them. Now, I've seen MMJ a couple times in the past. And, I don't think their live show is anything like their albums. They manage to take music that's been laid down, mixed, and recorded, and turn it into something completely different. On CD, they sound thoughtful, wondering, and at times wistful. Live, they're a powerhouse of sound. Front-man Jim James stomps around the stage like a metal star, shaking his long curly hair, and yelling at the top of his lungs. It's certainly something to see.

If you're interested, doors open at 5:30 for their Merriweather show. Tickets range from $35-$45.

Next on my indie hit parade are The National with Yo La Tango and Wye Oak. Oh. Em. Gee. If there's one concert I had to pool all my funds towards--it'd be this one.

I've never seen The National Live. But, I do have all of their albums on my iPod. Overkill, you say? Ha!

I just love tones of singer Matt Bernniger's voice. It's deep yet warm, gravely yet firm. And, it's what first got me into The National.

After listening to their debut album, though, I began to appreciate the rest of the band. The almost country-esque guitars make their sound at times folky, and at others Americana. The frequent strings contributions of Padma Newsome from sister-band Clogs, and the occasional inclusion of horns, though, take it a step further.

The National are remarkably versatile, which I guess is what places them securely in the indie-rock circle.

Now for Yo La Tengo. Sometimes soft and pensive, and at other times hard and challenging, they're just too cool. There's no other way of putting it. I know they haven't achieved much main-stream success, but they deserve it. Their vocals come together beautifully, and even though they maintain that their guitar playing is simple, it's perfect for their sound. They never push boundaries to extremes. Instead, they rest on well-put together music. As rolling Stone's Stephen Thomas Erlewine once said when reviewing their album, Painful, they're "subtly addicting."

Now, throw Baltimore-based folk band Wye Oak on as the opening band for this set, and you've got a great show.

If you'd like to see all of these guys on September 6th at Merriweather, tickets are $30-$40. Doors open at 5 p.m.

Thirdly, I have to draw your attention to Fleet Foxes, who'll be in Columbia on September 23rd at 6 p.m. If you haven't heard of Fleet Floxes, Youtube them now! They're incredible. Talk about harmonies. Not only do they actually pull off intricate ones, they do it beautifully. They pile layer layer of contemplative, mournful, curious male vocals on top of one another. The result is simply haunting.

Pile on some sophisticated lyrics and refined instrumentation, and you've got an indie folk power group. Go see now! Tickets are $25-$40.

Lastly, I'd briefly like to mention Wilco. They're my favorite band. I'm seeing them. You'll hear more later.

If you'd like to check out Merriweather's full schedule, visit their website. Now get going!