In 2008 I was lucky to come across a copy of A Picture of the Three of Us at the Gate to the Garden of Eden by These United States in my mailbox. I loved the melding of quirk and classic, and the mouthfeel of lines like “quietly calculating the logistics of lust” left me with something I just couldn’t shake. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the band a couple times over the years, and now you can too. Friends in Madison, Wisconsin can catch the band this Friday, July 20th at the Memorial Union Terrace for free(!). Click here for more cities, and scroll down to enjoy a five-song mix from the road.
From These United States: We played 2 weeks ago in 100 degree heat on the waterfront in downtown Louisville. Last week, it was 106 degrees in Charlotte, also outdoors, also in front of a body of flowing water. In atlanta, it was 110, no H20. I’m sittin’ in the woods way far north near the Canadian border now, and this remote lake house has as its living room centerpiece a motion-activated talking bass (the fish, not the instrument), who has presumably just been caught and therefore croons “Take Me to the River” (think closer to Al Green than Talking Heads). It’s poetry. And it’s cooler out now. And still, all I can think about is water. Here, then, is a mix for all of us — Caught, in the Heat, trying to make the Best of it (the final song carries no water, per se – but it is the OTHER tune crooned by my new best friend, the ever-inspiring and insightful robot who awkwardly swishes his animatronic fins and tail when you pass his way…)-Jesse Elliott
LEAVE THE WATER RUNNING
01| Take Me to the River by Al Green
02| The River is Hot by Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Reasons
03| You Left the Water Running by Wilson Pickett
04| Water by Birdie Busch
05| Don’t Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin
We first heard These United States in 2008 and really dug what Jesse Elliott was doing. We finally got to see him (now with a full band) a couple years later and had a great time. We wanted to give you the opportunity to see them, too – for free! These United States will be coming to the Majestic Theater on October 27th*. For a chance to win a pair of tickets to the show and a copy of their album What Lasts, leave a comment (with valid e-mail – we’ll only use it to contact you if you’ve won) telling us what song you’d like to hear TUS cover**.
Contest ends at 12 noon CT on October 25th, and the winner will be notified via email that evening!
*These United States are opening the show, so make sure to be there by 9!
**Just for fun, playing your request isn’t part of the prize.
Jesse Elliott, aka These United States, is a descendant of Johnny Appleseed. Much like his famed forefather, Elliott takes a creative approach in disseminating his art. Unexpected instrumentation, poetically-approached lyrics, and interesting quirks pervade the tracks on These United States’ new release, A Picture of the Three of Us at the Gate to the Garden of Eden.
Throughout the album, Elliott combines elements from the 60s and 70s with modern sensibilities to create a new brand of experimental folk. “Kings & Aces” is an updated saloon anthem, while “First Sight” is fed by interesting electronic elements. “The Business” offers up a laid-back twang. Crisp vocals make it seem like Elliott is whispering in your ear on “Sun Is Below & Above”, and dynamic, fanciful instrumentation comes to the forefront on “Remember Dear”.
A Picture of the Three of Us at the Gate to the Garden of Eden is unique and well-crafted. Expertly mixed, it provides listeners with an experience rather than just a means of distribution.
Click the player below to listen to “First Sight”.
A Picture of the Three of Us at the Gate to the Garden of Eden drops 03.04.08.
Check out the These United States website here.