Thursday, February 11, 2010

first-person: Mount Righteous

(Some members of Mount Righteous. Some members of the crowd. I am a horrible photographer).

Mount Righteous/ One Wolf/ Andy Bilinski
Feb. 10, 2010
Wilmington, NC

Mount Righteous: "Sing To Me Tiffany"
Buy the Mount Righteous EP!

Talked to my grandfather on the phone before the show and he started choking on a peppermint but I was in North Carolina and he was in Indiana so I couldn't do anything but call him back 5 minutes later not knowing if he would pick up or not.
He picked up. He told me Indiana had lost their basketball game. I told him North Carolina and Duke were going to play and he asked if I was going to watch it, I said yes, but I knew that might be a lie because I was going to see Mount Righteous and didn't know how much I would see. Luckily, this is North Carolina and the bar had the game on, they were playing Duke and I'm a fan of Duke, not North Carolina but I understand their pain in such a sucky season.

I sat through one alt-country singer, Andy Bilinski who I like well enough and he told a story about the Loretta Lynn cafe, this story I had heard before, the last time I heard Andy play, but I didn't mind much. Then the lead singer of One Wolf had said he had also been to the Loretta Lynn cafe and they talked in front of us and everyone and God about how bad the coffee was at the Loretta Lynn cafe. Meanwhile while listening to all of this, members of Mount Righteous were sitting at a table near me, and I wanted to ask them about their stolen trailer but I heard nothing and they said nothing. So we waited.

On the Duke game and John Scheyer, their point guard three point specialist was making mad three pointers. Kyle Singler was making mad inside-point forward type plays.

One Wolf got on the stage with something like slow-core stuff, then they pulled out a banjo on their next to last and then played a country song and me and my friend Bill decided they would be a better country band than alt-rock band. They were from Lubbock, TX and the guitarist talked a lot but then the bassist said, "What is a frog with no legs?" "Not hoppy." HA!

Duke center Brian Zoubek made this pass to a cutting Singler. Duke won by 10 points.

During One Wolf's set, this girl with short frizzy hair was mad scribbling, making what turned out to be a set list. She then put on some gloves and started stretching. She was Z, Zi, or Zicole from Mount Righteous. Bass drum Joey was hopping and bouncing during the One Wolf show, even though One Wolf wasn't all that great.

And now I have
a new rule: if you see the band stretching before the set, the gauntlet of goodness will be thrown down.

And so it was here as the Mount Righteous 9 gathered all their tuba/ trumpet/melodica stuff and there was bouncy Joey establishing what will be the corollary to the above gauntlet goodness rule: if a band sets up a megaphone instead of a microphone then a double helping of goodness will be thrown down.

Here it goes.

Joey bangs the drum, and Z's cymbals clang and there's Kendall hunched over the bells and the trumpets zoom and the tuba roars, the whole thing buoyed only by Laura's confident melodica playing. Yes, confident melodica playing, and in between Z takes breaks to sing and sing (she probably did musical theater) and sings the most appropriate words for a band that not many people know, from the song "Shake The Rafters Loose":
"You are my favorite band/you write my favorite songs/I come to all your shows to sing along/what you do really agrees with me/we're part of the same scene/it's like it's destiny."
Those words--cursed, stomp and stammer, curse--if I had been eating a peppermint I would have choked--they know my mind and soul our collective mind and soul beyond all gimmicks but HONEST TRUTH with the most ironic knowing wink and nods it all makes me so sick, and they know it makes me sick, they know me, though we didn't meet when our tables were near one another, but those words-- simultaneous genius and snottiness and friendly condescension that we all know and have been apart of---those words.

Mount Righteous doesn't care about those words, they just got all the pretenses out of the way, all the scene posturing, like letting the air out of a balloon, we can just relax instead of being tight.

Mount Righteous says they usually open for One Wolf in Lubbock, TX, but I don't believe them, it's kind of like Kyle Singler starring in that movie while no one looked at John Scheyer and now Scheyer is more important no matter where Singler starred. Mount Righteous is the star, the star being overlooked.

They're off with many creative first person plurals and second person you understood lyrics and at one time Z does this rap/sing with something about turning an elephant into a cow, then this new unreleased "Suburban" song that continues the feeling of the EP more than the polka-dotted inflections of the first album. Then there was "Circle Yes and No" more of that scene-deflating, something else with "uh-oh, uh-ohs." These kids are schooled in the ways of the scene and have thrown if off and thrown it on at the same time.

At the end there's a party on the floor. I came into that place in one condition and came out in an entirely different way.


  1. Don't know where you were for One Wolf. Ridiculously awesome live band.

  2. Thanks for the terrible writing skills. I guess you just weren't ready for One Wolf


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