Mates of State

Rubber Bands

I only know two people from Lafayette, Louisiana and they are terribly nice and wonderful people. The Givers also hail from Lafayette and recently released their first album, In Light. Their music is something you might hear at a party where you’re not really paying attention to the music, then all of a sudden stop mid-sentence and say, “who is this?” It’s got that hint of Africa that’s been catching on lately and they pop it up right.

Anyhow, they now have a video for their track, “Up, Up, Up”. It’s a pretty simple one and it features tilt-shift and some spaciness, courtesy of a green screen.


Mates of State are just straight-up awesome. They are an awesome band, but also awesome parents and awesome human beings, in general. I still have one of the “rock people” that their daughter, Magnolia, made and sold while they were on tour to raise money for kids who didn’t have stuff. It’s not as glittery as it was when I first got it and the eyes(?) have fallen off, but it’s just another testament to their awesomeness in my book. Their next album, Mountaintops, will be coming out on September 13th and will most likely also be awesome. Awesome.


And in case you were wondering, the future still looks crazy, fantastic and is not as far away as we think. I want to go to there.

The Bandit Queen (live)

The latest in the Twilight saga is out and tweens the world over are all aflutter. It’s got an awesome soundtrack, just like the last one, and here’s the vid for Metric‘s contribution.

Also in the realm of movies, Judd Apatow is working with Paul Reubens on a new Pee-Wee Herman movie. This excites me to no end! I always felt like he got a bad wrap on those “indecent exposure” and “child pornography” deals and I really hope people will give him another chance. I always love watching something, (30 Rock, Blow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer…) and then, all of a sudden, there he is!

I love Mates of State. I love their music. I love that they seem like such fun people and that they are married and, pretty obviously, still in love. I love that they are awesome parents and take their kids on tour with them. I love that their latest album, “Crushes”, is nothing but covers of songs they love. I love that you can get it from their site or through iTunes for only $5.

Speaking of covers, have you been keeping an eye on The Onion‘s A.V.Club‘s Undercover series? 25 bands, 25 set covers. They’ve been releasing one a week since mid-March, and it’s not over yet! They are all really awesome, but some of my faves so far include Ted Leo & the Pharmacists doing “Everybody Wants to Rule the World“, Fruit Bats doing “One On One“, Cursive doing “We Built This City“, Wye Oak doing “Strangers“, and Motion City Soundtrack doing “Cut Your Hair“. So basically, they’re all good, is what I’m saying.

But my giddy factor went through the roof for Maritime covering “Enjoy the Silence” and Ben Folds covering “Say Yes“. I mentioned how I love Mates of State? Well I have loved both Davey von Bohlen and Ben Folds since the 90’s, (yeah, the NINETIES,) Depeche Mode since the 80’s, (I’m old!). And Elliott Smith? Come on.

Here’s a little connect-the-dots for you. Owen Pallett elected to do “Game of Pricks” for this series, which was covered previously by Jimmy Eat World, whose song “A Praise Chorus” featured a vocal cameo by former tourmate, Davey von Bohlen. That song also paid homage to some classic songs, just like this little project is doing. Suck on THAT, Kevin Bacon!

Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts – chOda

Sometimes I get overly excited about things that not many other people get excited about. I was having a conversation today with an old friend and we were talking about this and it brought back two specific memories for me. Both were commercials featuring bands that I really love and I remembered how ridiculously excited I was the first time I saw each of these. The more recent of the two was a commercial for AT&T featuring Mates of State.

I remember actually leaping off the couch and shrieking when I saw this one. “That looks an awful lot like… HOLY SHIT THAT’S MATES OF STATE!” I called my friends, I left messages. Excitement.

The other commercial was one from back during the Barcelona Olympics. It was for Bell Canada and featured “Transatlanticism” by Death Cab for Cutie.

That time, I remember hearing just the opening piano chord and knowing instantly it was Death Cab. My head shot up from the book I was reading and I watched wide-eyed as the wave grew larger and larger as the song built and built. That commercial gave me goose bumps and, I will admit, may have even made me cry on some occasions. It was an emotional time and it was a great spot with an amazing song tied to it. It made me shriek again when I found that commercial on Youtube tonight. Now that’s a good commercial.