Chicago’s Mayor for Life is still in office, and they’ve issued their latest edict in the form of an attractive 7″ for sale on their Bandcamp page. It’s not the same thing as suffering under the despot’s direct, unfaltering, undiverted gaze, but you can give this record a “spin” above to taste the leader’s discipline from a distance only Orwell could have predicted.
Though, much to my detriment, I did not arrive in time to see Chicago’s Angel Eyes pull the scab off this amazing bill to get the vital essences exposed to air, I did take a face-full of rock from tone-freak virtuosos Mayor for Life, following that with a sail on the seas of metal when Czar took the stage.
I saw bassist Rich Fessler’s other band, the genius, mind-bendingly aggressive Bear Claw, last Saturday, August 14th at the Empty Bottle ahead of the Del Rey, and they absolutely stole that show from the Del Rey’s comeback kids. Mayor for Life brings the straighforward rock element to Rich’s dark, meticulously husbanded bass arrangements by way of guitarist Todd Rabideau’s punctual strumming and the ambient shimmer he bends from the wires strung across his custom Aluminum-neck guitar.
Saturday’s Mayor for Life show found me standing in the midst of a fully-formed scene untrammeled by the vigorous vanity and commercialism of the over-exposed and twitter-inflated mediocrity maquiladora of a place like New York. I was in a room full of people who just knew what rock is and weren’t concerned with much else.
Mayor for life exercises the full priveleges of their office- Not since the first time I saw Deerhunter play live over two years ago and I was stunned to a happily stupored drool by the start of the guitar solo on “Nothing Ever Happened” have I had as many smiling “What? What did they just do?” moments when watching a band perform.
Here’s to hoping Mayor for Life continue to occupy their office without surcease and the tubes in their amps remain always warm.
Chicago’s Mayor for Life continue becoming more amazing. Posted here is a video from their April 25 show at the previously mentioned (and in that mention not nearly sufficiently fêted) Union Rock Yards.
Three guys whose displays of confidence and technical skill as they play are only rivaled by the amazing sound they produce.
This is music by tone freaks for panic-inducing play in enclosed spaces.
Imagine a universe that makes sense. In that universe you enter an office building after hours, uncertain of the exact time or the calendar year. You arrive puposefully at a piece of office furniture under which is installed an ergonomic chair. You do not hesitate. You move the chair to one side. Crouching, you find the small lockbox in the dark without needing to look to know that it is there. The box is either impossible to move or impossibly light, and this piece of information factors into your decision not to attempt to make any alteration to its location. You know the combination to open the box. However, the box will not open. With every turn of the dial whose printed characters, though you cannot see them, you are absolutely certain would frustrate all attempts at recognition, a music begins to rise in amplitude. You become aware that the music is coming from inside the lockbox. You try to open the box for much longer than night should last, but the sun does not rise and no one who works at this office reports for duty. Eventually you lie on the floor with your head upon the box and your arms about it and fall into an exhausted slumber. You are weeping. YOU CANNOT FUCKING OPEN THE BOX. Meanwhile the muscular punctuation of the rock only gets louder.
This is noise with a visual grain, so get your eyes in your ears and hit play.