The Badlander hosted guests from Minneapolis, on Memorial Day. Themes and Mute Era proved there are other music scenes around the country creating new sounds. Both bands admitted it is getting more difficult to travel to gigs and get home, as gas prices continue to rise. I had not considered how bands would be impacted by that problem. Once more, let me say turn off the TV and get out to a local venue for some live music. If you like what you hear, buy band merchandise. You can support the arts, feed starving artists and help someone get home by that simple action.Kelsey Crawford, on the keyboard, and Jacy McIntosh formed Themes and stayed together, as other members came and went through live gigs and studio sessions. Their website is here, with links to their travel blog and a myspace site, where their music can be sampled. When I told them I had moved to Missoula from the armpit of America, Kelsey immediately guessed correctly I came here from Arkansas.
And now for something completely different. Sho Nikaido augments his wailing vocals and guitar strokes electronically, producing a singular sound, while Jessica Driscoll drives the drums. Together, they form Mute Era, a spellbinding duo. (Sometime I will have to do a post featuring duos who produce bigger music than expected by just two people.)
The electronics combined with Sho's style makes Mute Era totally modern, while at the same time, something primal. The sound harks back to the first drummer picking up a stick and striking a hollow log, hoping to scare away the wolves he hears howling.