Sunday, June 6, 2010

Remember Your Friends

I don’t know how long it will take, but somewhere down the road there will be a writer who chooses to undertake all that gave birth to the music climate as we understand it in 2010. Who interrogates the terminology of competing segregation and understands why they have always existed. Who can concisely define all of this on both a micro and macro scale, and then goes on to provocatively narrate why we care so much in the first place.

I bring this point up because the Mynabirds have got me thinking about the importance of nostalgia. Bands like Yo La Tengo and My Bloody Valentine just to name a few, were part of a culture that opened the floodgates on a story that still presides with us today. I have a growing hope that instead of namedropping bands, critics years down the line will look at the labels who believed in them.

Saddle Creek is one of the labels that will have to be mentioned. A part of the watershed to be sure, but love it or hate it they served as a gatekeeper to many, and anyone who denies it has got some skeletons to deal with. Why is this relevant you ask? The most obvious reason is this entry is about the Mynabirds, who are signed to Saddle Creek. The better point is that when I listen to What We Lose In the Fire We Gain In the Flood I feel transported to when there was a whole lot of people who were hearing Rough Trade and Sub Pop for the first time and growing into something new. Another young generation, with revolutionary access, as naive as they were passionate and looking to play a part, looking for acceptance.

The Mynabirds do Nebraska right. They play a little slide guitar twang on songs like “Good Heart,” and kill you with a smile on “Give It Time” and “LA Rain.” On “Let the Record Go” and the title track they flirt with southern rock and drive home a heavy handed piano. Laura Burhenn is front and center in this band and delivers a dramatic and soulful presence. She takes the time to look you in the eye, boldly speak her heart, and isn't afraid to make a stand. What We Lose In The Fire has got a will of it's own and thanks you kindly for tagging along.

If there is something that The Mynabirds got me to do, it was dust off the shelves and make room for a whole lot more. I don’t know if a critic should ever accept the idea that they have transcended naiveté. Insight often requires alienation and I believe the most personal, challenging, and important memories have this at its heart.

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