Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Mates of late

Play it: Mates of State Bring it Back
Play it: Coupling Duos (Romantically linked duos of Indie Rock)

Released last week (but not dropping in Rhapsody until this week) is the new album from husband and wife, drums and organ duo Mates of State. Where in the past, they came off as a curious act (lo-fi, minimalist, no guitars, and no backstage bettys;) they've now fleshed out their sound and have embraced the studio and come back with a richer soundscape. With Bill Racine (Rogue Wave) behind the board, the Mates' (Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel) sound is punchier, the harmonies tighter, and they've even added some bass and guitar here and there. One thing that's changed is they've added another member - their 1 1/2 year old daughter, who appears sweetly on the song "Nature and the Wreck" (Play it.) The husband-wife dynamic played a role in some of their past lyrics, so it's no surprise that the mother-father dynamic should make an appearance.

Magnet recently did a piece on the band, and listed musical duos who were formed with significant others. Quasi (not in Rhapsody) is comprised of Sam Coomes (formerly in Heatmiser) and Janet Weiss (also of Sleater-Kinney,) who were married when they were in the band Motorgoat together. Handsome Family features married couple Brett and Rennie Sparks, who make sweet old-timey music together. Royal Trux featured the couple Neil Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema, and they played Southern Punk/Blues that could send an audience either dancing or running from the room. Their relationship (and band) crumbled in part because of their drug problems. Herrema currently plays in the band RTX (almost like an abbreviation of their former band) and Hagerty has since released two solo albums. Matmos are an S.F. electronic duo that are comprised of partners Drew Daniel and Martin Schmidt. Last but not least, Damon & Naomi are Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang, who were both in the seminal group Galaxie 500, and have played together under the Damon and Naomi tag ever since.

I've pieced together a playlist of the bunch for you here (Play it.) Are their any others you can think of? (Sorry J, no Captain & Tennille ;)

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drake leLane said...

Mates of State Bring it Back

1. Think Long
2. Fraud In The 80's
3. Like U Crazy
4. Beautiful Dreamer
5. What It Means
6. For The Actor
7. Nature And The Wreck
8. So Many Ways
9. Punchlines
10. Running Out

drake leLane said...

Coupling Duos

* "Punchlines" - Mates of State
* "Jet Pet" - Royal Trux
* "I Hear A Sweet Voice Calling" - The Handsome Family
* "Freak N You" - Matmos
* "A Second Life" - Damon and Naomi

Robert 0f The Radish said...

Coupling Duos

A couple o my fav Indie-rock married folk

The Rosebuds
Over The Rhine

drake leLane said...

Thanks Robert, those are two great examples of indie rock married folks... will have to put together a playlist of that sometime (which will start with Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon.)

Unfortunately, neither band is actually a duo, so they don't meet the criteria on this list.

Robert 0f The Radish said...

hmmm.. not sure what your definition of a duo is. Does it mean that only two people play all the instruments? Or if two people are the songwriters, but utilize sidemen, are they still a duo?

drake leLane said...

Duo meaning two people share the risk and reward (not just songwriting) in an incorporated group.

First off I'll apologize for shrugging off both bands so quickly, but The Rosebuds were formed as a trio and Over the Rhine as a foursome, so me calling them bands is based on their history. I didn't know that they'd recently pared down to just two people.

So my rejection was based on false knowledge, and for that I apologize.

If I'd known that they'd since become duos, I would have (gently) rejected them based on the fact that they weren't formed as a musical duo (which is part of the gist of the list - forming a musical duo with your significant other.)

I still plan to use those bands in my 'married in a band' list coming up, though!