Friday, March 13, 2009

New Music: An Horse

It's no secret that we love live music around here, and a lot of times our perspective on a given band is almost entirely defined by the live experience. Sure, there's a lot to be said for making great records, but if you can't bring that greatness to the live environment, then it certainly loses something for us. That being said, the reverse can also be true. A record that might not grab us right away can really gain a new foothold after an amazing live experience. It's happened to us with Radiohead with Kid A and U2 with All That You Can't Leave Behind, just to name a couple. This week, it definitely happened with An Horse.

We had been marinating on the Australian duo's upcoming record Arrange Beds for a while here. While it certainly is an enjoyable record, it didn't manage to rope us in for the fully-addicted-to-this-record-and-cannot-stop level of interest. Still, it delivered enough that we had that innate vibe of "it's got potential". So on Tuesday, when we saw that the band was going to be on Letterman, we decided to stay up past our bedtimes and see what the band had to offer. We're extremely glad we did.

On the show, the band played the first track from their upcoming record, entitled "Camp Out". On the record, the track is a rocker with a steady beat, and an easy going vocal. In the live environment, however, the whole delivery is kicked up a notch. The drums were more aggressive and urgent, the guitar more chunky and distorted, and the vocals more stained with blatant vitriol. The performance was very, very good.

And therein lies the interesting part about live performance: now when we head back to the record, we can hear all those pieces that drew us into it. They were certainly always there, but it took the forthright live delivery to "wake up" the recognition in our brain. There can be little doubt that the live experience hold a huge amount of value, but it's always nice to see it validated in such a direct and real way.

So being that we were so stoked up by An Horse's live performance, you've got to be wondering when you can catch that live show, right? Well, you're in luck: the band is mounting a North American tour that started in Canada last night. Check the dates below - we'll be seeing you at Hotel Utah!

Meanwhile, you can check out the Letterman vid above.

An Horse Spring 2009 Dates:
12 Guelph, ONT University of Guelph
13 Toronto, ONT Canadian Music Week - Tranzac
15 Chicago, IL The Abbey
16 Covington, KY Mad Hatter
18 Austin, TX SXSW - Maggie Mae's (mindnight)
19 Austin, TX SXSW - Friends on 6th (1:30pm)
19 Austin, TX SXSW - Red River (4:30pm)
21 Austin, TX SXSW - Emo's JR. (9:00pm)
24 Los Angeles, CA Echoplex
25 San Francisco, CA Hotel Utah
26 Portland, OR Lola's
27 Seattle, WA The Vera Project

9 Nashville, TN The End
10 Atlanta, GA Masquerade
11 Orlando, FL Back Booth
12 Jacksonville, FL Jack Rabbits
13 Chapel Hill, NC Local 506
14 Washington, DC DC9
17 Poughkeepsie, NY The Polish Club
18 New York, NY The Mercury Lounge (7:00 PM)
18 New York, NY The Mercury Lounge (10:00 PM)
19 Hamden, CT The Space
20 Boston, MA Middle East
22 Mt. Pleasant, MI Rubbles
24 Columbia, MO Mojos
25 Kansas City, MO Record Bar

Rearrange Beds is out March 17th on Mom & Pop Music