Tonight at the Andy Warhol Museum

8 May

The Middle East

The Middle East are a band from Australia who play really beautiful & languorous folk pop. Imagine if Norfolk & Western made a lovechild with the lovechild of The Acorn and Tulsa, and then add a bunch more percussive elements, a lapsteel, and a heavenly set of singing voices–then you’ll maybe come close to the kind of music that The Middle East create. If you’re still not convinced as to the band’s musical merits, they’ve supported Grizzly Bear during their tour dates in Melbourne last year and are currently on their US tour.

In their seven-minute song, entitled “Lonely”, a blues-tinged guitar works over soft drums, acoustic guitar, an organ, trumpet, and heart-breaking lyrics that describe the current state in which people live. It’s always impressive when musicians write lyrics that can keep up with the emotional caliber of their songs, and this song is really no exception. In the first two choruses their singer laments that:

We have material minds and restless hands,
Longing hearts and lonely beds,
But we purchase stuff and work too hard,
Use our heads and fill our beds.

What’ve we done?
What’ve we done?

And we’re left with wretched hearts and mangled minds,
Concrete feet and beggars lies,
But we live our lives on broken earth,
We need repair our eyes to kiss the dirt.

It’s a message that really speaks on a global level and addresses a first-world obsession with materialism, rather than recognizing–I suppose–the natural beauty around us that’s slowly dying from our negligence. I appreciate the cathartic crescendo towards the end of the song and the subsequent harmony of voices that bring it to a close.

The Middle East – Lonely (17 mb)

They will be opening for British songbird Laura Marling (!!!!) tonight at the Warhol, which is pretty exciting as Marling herself is a stupendous musician. Great pairing I think. Tickets are still available as well, so definitely go check it out unless you’ve got a ticket to the Pens game, in which case…
More info:

Laura Marling w/ The Middle East
The Andy Warhol Museum
Saturday, May 8th
8 PM, $15

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