Magnetic Morning and Black Nite Crash at Chop Suey, Seattle | 29 October 2008
At first I didn’t realize how good of a drummer Sam Fogarino is, but I kept being drawn in by the drums Thursday night. His drumming was downright hypnotic at times, a beacon through the haze of of guitars and keyboards guiding and taking the songs to places that mere mortal drummers never even fathom. Magnetic Morning are something of a supergroup combining the talents of Adam Franklin from Swervedriver and Fogarino from Interpol as well as Jimmy Lavalle from the Album Leaf. You instantly recognize Franklin’s lazy dreamlike vocals in Magnetic Morning songs, but this is an equal partnership between Franklin and Fogarino and that was in plain view this night. The two met through mutual friend Jack Rabid (founder and writer of the Big Takeover) and instantly hit it off, starting this project that was originally named Setting Suns but later changing their name to Magnetic Morning rather than Setting Suns NYC because another band already possessed the name.
Adam Franklin is a man of few words on stage. When he was here with Swervedriver a few months ago, he barely mumbled a thank you between songs. Thursday he was about as talkative, but Fogarino could be heard from the drums ribbing his friend about having all of his effects pedals ready for the next song. As for the songs, they have a more widescreen cinematic feel to them. Where Swervdriver songs seemed to be fueled by the open highway, Magnetic Morning go more for the landscape beyond the open road, filling them with space and depth a lot like an Ennio Morricone soundtrack. A few of the highlights from the set were covers, but the way they cover a song is essentially to reinvent it, like they did with Kraftwerks‘s Autobahn, renaming it Motorway and translating the lyrics into English. They also did their Kinks and Shangri-La’s covers The Way We Used to Be and Out In the Streets respectively. They ended their set with two of their best songs, Cold War Kids from their ep and Athens 5 which is the last song on their album AM.
mp3: Magnetic Morning – Motorway (from AM)
mp3: Magnetic Morning – Cold War Kids (from the Magnetic Morning EP)
Set List: At a Crossroads, Passive | Indian Summer | DontGoToDreamState | The Way Love Used To Be | The Wrong Turning | Spring Unseen | Motorway | No Direction | Out In the Streets | And I Wonder | Cold War Kids | Athens 5
Kicking off the nite were Seattle shoegazers Black Nite Crash. Naming themselves after a song that came off Ride’s final (and worst) album. I can safely say Black Night Crash are way better than anything off of Ride’s Tarantula, and actually have a heavier sound more akin to Spacemen 3 and Jesus and Mary Chain. A lot of bands seem to check off all the right influences, you may know the litany; the House of Love, Ride, the Church, etc. but lack the songs to go with their sound. Black Nite Crash are the total package, not only excelling in evoking a guitar drenched melancholy sound, they have the songs to go with it. Drenched in blue light up on the Chop Suey stage, the band seemed to exhude a cool confidence. Songs like Soft Focus and Perfect Blue show off their English pop sensibilities while Wanna Die and Revalator just plain out rock. A while ago I wrote how I was amazed by how many bands in this city love the shoegaze, I heartily add Black Night Crash to that list!