I said of laughter, It is mad; and of mirth, What doeth it?

The album cover is a reference to Tarkovsky's 1966 masterpiece, Andrei Rublev.

Though the days are growing longer, we are not done with winter yet.  Around this time of year, some among us get restless, they pace and cry out for violent spring like wild things when they’re bound.  Not me.  At least not recently.  Instead, my seasonally-affected mind starts thinking gentle, apocalyptic thoughts.  Not like a zombie apocalypse or a global flood (well…occasionally like a zombie apocalypse), but like the slow, inevitable quietus of universal entropy.

The album that lately has been suiting my late-winter mood is Midlake’s recently released The Courage of Others.  If the book of Ecclesiastes had a soundtrack, this would be it.

I’d never heard of these guys until about a month ago (unlike Jason Lee, who apparently took such a shine to them that he directed this weird video starring his baby’s mama, Beth Reisgraf, for a song from their second album) but the five former jazz students from the University of North Texas that form Midlake have already gone through several musical phases: from Herbie Hancock-inspired fusion to something like a less rocking, less experimental version of the Flaming Lips, to finally what they are on this album.  It’s undoubtedly my favorite incarnation, a sort of 1970s-sounding folk-psych that reminds me of The Byrds but way better.

They’ll be making a stop in Philadelphia to play a show at the TLA on April 10 before heading to Europe. But by then it will be Spring.

Midlake, “Acts of Man”

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2 Responses to I said of laughter, It is mad; and of mirth, What doeth it?

  1. David G says:

    “I’d never heard of these guys until about a month ago.” Really, Chris? Not even when I posted “Roscoe” on sunburymusic.com? This is a pretty great jam, actually, though, so I’m glad you didn’t listen up the first time. I have a couple of their albums, and they’re packed with filler. I’ll have to give The Courage of Others a shot.

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