Friday, August 31, 2007

Spotlight: Chicago's The Ms

I love to talk about Midwestern bands that are trying to give some "balls" back to indie pop. At times the genre can fall prey to what I call the "Decemberists". It just ends up whiny and self-important.
That why I like to highlight bands that know what's up. Chicago's The Ms has a knack for crafting extremely well-written experimental pop rock gems, with complex arrangements AND squealing guitars. Check out their spot on cover of The Beatle's "Good Morning, Good Morning," the mini epic of "Trucker Speed" or the Macca-playing-the-blues on "Turn On, Tune In, and Drop Out" - sort of like a modern "Why Don't we do it in the Road." You can even give a listen to the band performing "Plan of Man" live on Daytrotter. I think that's the single they play on Sirius Satellite Radio, if I'm not mistaken.
Here's a short interview with The Ms drummer Steve Versaw:
PWAH: What are some Midwest bands you think people should hear about?
Versaw: 1900's / Signing Choir/ Hot as Hell / Brooklyn Bridegrooms/ New Real People/ and many more...
PWAH: Tell me about your Daytrotter experience?
Versaw: Daytrotter ended up being a surprisingly good time. We were on tour with Deathray Davies, and both supposed to record that day. But, as usual, we were falling behind in travel time, and our soundcheck was approaching. DD ended up cancelling because of lateness and illness. But the guys over at the studio pleaded with us to come over.... "everything's set up. just bring your guitars.....please."
Please was the magic word.
So we went and they treated us great. And their studio is really well put together with tons of great gadgets and instruments. And everything sounded good and worked out. I'd love to go back.

PWAH: Are you guys all from the Midwest originally, and what do you think has influenced your music in a decidedly Midwestern way?
Versaw: 3/4 of M's are from the Midwest. 1/4 is from the mid-south. The Midwest is full of people who can shrug off discomfort. That has been a huge asset in the formation and continuation of this band.

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