Tag Archives: Mates of State

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Mates of State Are Still Going Strong

December 7th, 2012

Mates of State – Mercury Lounge – December 6, 2012


Before playing an undoubtedly equally fun, sweaty and loud late show last night at Mercury Lounge, Kansas pop duo Mates of State got things started with one of the venue’s great post-work early shows. The small club was filled with adoring fans, and the band knew it from the moment they started the set with the bouncy “Fraud in the ’80s.” For the next hour or so those in the crowd bobbed their heads and swayed to songs old and new—some so new that they didn’t even have titles yet, which Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel parlayed into some funny banter as they asked for opinions of their oblique working names for the tracks.

The audience was laser focused, in part because the overlap with those also attending the late show apparently wasn’t too big after Hammel informally polled the crowd about who would be at both shows and was met with just a few loud shouts. But everyone was energized as the band ran through their bright set of melodic pop, especially after they dug out older songs like “Open Book” and “Ha Ha,” both off of 2003’s Team Boo, during a stretch of other earlier material that the room full of fans were more than pleased to hear.

Before Mates of State played, another duo squeezed in a set (backed by two other members for their tour) whose set shouldn’t be overlooked. At first, California’s In the Valley Below seemed like they’d just be an easy-on-the-ears pop duo warm-up act, but every time their music leaned that way it would change, as singer Jeffrey Jacob slashed out blistering guitar parts while he harmonized with Angela Gail. It’s not hard to imagine this duo making it back to Mercury Lounge with their own double bill someday soon. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Mina K

Exclusive Video: Trey Anastasio Plays New Album’s Opening Track

October 17th, 2012

While guitar god Trey Anastasio is best known as the frontman and guitarist of Vermont quartet Phish, he’s put out a number of solo albums, including Traveler, which just came out yesterday. Above, at The Wellmont Theatre, the Trey Anastasio Band play the LP’s opening track, “Corona,” which Rolling Stone calls a “shimmering, love-versus-the-apocalypse ode.”

In making Traveler, Anastasio got to play with musicians from some of his favorite current bands, including members of the National, Bon Iver and Mates of State. While rehearsing at The Wellmont, he discusses the new material, playing some orchestra shows and working with Broadway musicians. Watch the interview: http://tbp.im/Wn0YpV.

Don’t miss anything. Subscribe to The Bowery Presents Live to watch more performances and interviews like these, and the latest info on our upcoming live-streaming shows.

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Mates of State Play Webster Hall Tomorrow Night

October 11th, 2011


Some people need their space. Sure, they love their spouse or significant other, but they couldn’t, shouldn’t or wouldn’t be around that person all day. Thankfully, that’s not the case with Jason Hammel (vocals and drums) and Kori Gardner (vocals and keys). No, this husband-and-wife team has been making music as Mates of State, including last month’s Mountaintops, since 1997. Their songs have plenty of hooks and their passionate live shows are exciting and fun, which works out great because Mates of State (above, performing “You Are Free” for KEXP FM) and Other Lives and Yawn play Webster Hall tomorrow night.

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Mates of State – Webster Hall – April 6, 2009

April 7th, 2009

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Mates of State are kind of disgusting. They are so not bad looking and so clearly committed to a mutualistic partnership that most Americans would kill for. They are nothing approaching miserable. It’s enough to make you sick, if you weren’t so jealous. Thankfully, there were few furtive glances between them, and the rest of the show was squarely directed forward, out into the audience.

It was a democratic affair. Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel leaned heavily on their new material at the outset and again at the end. But the middle was comprised of what most music fans would call “deep cuts”—tracks that old fans appreciate, new fans struggle to understand and some that leave snobs thinking, “Well, that was unexpected.” But the old material sticks. By the time the band ripped through the final movement of “Ha Ha,” the crowd was chanting, “This is the blood that we’re made of” and flying around the floor. The band even invited two fans up to dance, saying, “This is what you want to do, right?” Everyone agreed.

Predictably, Mates of State closed with “The Re-Arranger,” which approached triumphant. This band makes its money on second chances; making the next movement the best one. “The Re-Arranger” has three parts, each crushing and singular. Last night, it sent those at Webster Hall out into the street, feeling equal parts envious and good. Better than disgusted, the crowd was impressed—maybe even moved—and shatteringly, crushingly jealous. —Geoff Nelson