Monday, May 17, 2010

Acts of man

Midlake has been around for about ten years, but their folk rock sounds like it comes from the 1970s. I've been enjoying their latest album The Courage of Others, but I can't say I know much about the band. So I was a little surprised to see seven guys take the stage, four of them with guitars (plus one with a bass).

The cover to their current album served as the backdrop. It kind of gives me the creeps, but that matches the haunting music. With most of the songs in a minor key, there's something insidious about these ornate songs in which the natural world is so vividly evoked.

Midlake bears some similarities to Jethro Tull, a comparison that, if I'd known, probably would have steered me clear of these Texans. (Yes, it was the flute solos, although I suppose "Bungle in the Jungle" and "Locomotive Breath" are all right.)

Midlake busted out a flute on occasion. Actually, there were a couple times when two flutes were going AND another when a third wind instrument joined in, but the songs were so impeccably played that I sort of get how flute can be incorporated into rock 'n' roll. Of course, there was plenty of guitar and vocal harmonies to compensate for whatever bias I may have previously held against this element.

Anyway, good concert, great vantage point. (I meant to take my camera but forgot it. Still, I grabbed a couple decent shots with my phone. I was certainly in a good enough spot.)

I couldn't find any official videos of songs from the new album, but there are some terrific unofficial ones that someone put to classic films. "Acts of Man" to Murnau's Sunrise and "Rulers, Ruling All Things" to Tarkovsky's Stalker are pretty stellar.

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