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Sunglasses – Stand Fast
Megafaun – Volunteers
Kathryn Calder (The New Pornographers) – Slip Away
For A Minor Reflection – Dansi Dans
Olafur Arnalds – Tunglid
Will Knox – Buckled Knees
Neverever – Young and Dumb
Sunset – The World Is Waiting
Light Pollution – Oh, Ivory!
Holopaw – The Art Teacher and The Little Stallion
Josiah Wolf (of WHY?) – Ohioho
Wolf Parade – Ghost Pressure
Wolf Parade – What Did My Lover Say (It Always Had to Go This Way)
Sometimes live music has the ability to be bigger than itself. Bigger than the band, bigger than the audience, bigger than what’s happening right before one’s eyes. At the Majestic in Madison, WI, Wolf Parade managed to do just that on November 10, 2008.
Throughout the evening, Wolf Parade whipped out jam after jam, keeping the energy consistently high. The Majestic was packed with rabid fans, each opening note eliciting an impassioned cheer from the crowd. The five gents of Wolf Parade were clearly enjoying themselves, often thanking the crowd and graciously accepting the adulation. Adulation that was well-deserved – “Language City”, “I’ll Believe in Anything”, “Fine Young Cannibals”, and “Kissing the Beehive” were all absolutely ridiculous in the best possible way.
Be you a huge fan or curious newcomer, Wolf Parade has the chops and panache to elevate the evening into a transcendent experience. Live, the songs are utterly danceable and more multi-dimensional than their canned counterparts (which are, by the way, quite lovely). It is not often a performance can make your heart feel at once completely filled and impossibly light, but as was proved yesterday, is something that is entirely possible.
Wolf Parade’s At Mount Zoomer is weird and nuanced and filled with bizarre energy. For the most part this works for them, but occasionally it works against.
At Mount Zoomer starts strong with the synth-accented 3/4 swirl of “Soldier’s Grin”, which builds to an impassioned release. The skipping piano march and hollowed-out vocals of “Call It A Ritual” continue to please. Zoomer also ends strong with the reigned-in 80s vibe of “Fine Young Cannibals” that would do Hall & Oates proud, and the grandiose epic that is “Kissing the Beehive”.
Though their quirkiness is part of their charm, Wolf Parade gets a bit too weird for the less-adventurous listener. Misplaced pop (“The Grey Estates”), a lengthly retro organ jam (“California Dreamer”), and an odd dance (“Bang Your Drum”) work together to make the middle of the album a little off-putting for the more sober among us.
This murky ground can be ignored, however, by the inclusion of “Language City” – a track that is earnest, stark at points, but still teeming with movement and warmth – and “An Animal in Your Care”, which begins relaxed and pretty but grows into a fierce declaration.
At Mount Zoomer dropped 06/17/08.
Get downloads and more from Wolf Parade’s Sub Pop page.