Thursday, December 17, 2009

Maritime @ Lincoln Hall [12/10]

Amidst rumors of a short Cap'n Jazz reunion set at this Sunday's Joan of Arc show at the Empty Bottle, last Thursday brought Davey von Bohlen's latest outfit to town...all the way from Milwaukee.

Formed from two-parts Promise Ring/one-part Dismemberment Plan, Maritime originally struggled to come to grips with what exactly a post-emo indie-pop trio [you heard me] should consist of. Josh Modell - managing editor at the A.V. Club and frequent contributor to Spin, with friendly personal ties to the band - wrote this about the Midwest act's early days and subsequent cultivation of their sound:

"Slow chaos followed: Somewhere in there, [bassist] Axelson left; other people came and went, all amicably. A string of superstar guitarists did some Maritime business: Mike Kinsella (Joan of Arc, Owen), Matt Clark (Pinebender, Bella Lea), Mike Feurstack (Wooden Stars, Snailhouse), Slash (GnR, I'm lying). For a while, the current drummer of the Arcade Fire, Jeremy Gara, played keyboards. (I'm not making that up.) Naturally, amid all the personnel hoo-ha, energies changed."

Mystery solved. The resultant kineticism from the fluctuating rotation spilled into Maritime's 2006 release We, The Vehicles, defining their sound by starry guitar riffs, choruses with singalong hooks, and even dance hall bass lines that are oh, so full of life and swell.

If that isn't reason enough to check them out, allow me to entice you with some trivia: Know that Jimmy Eat World song "A Praise Chorus?" Remember the part where Jimmy starts to reference lyrics to songs that "started [his] rock 'n' roll fantasy," which is itself a reference to Bad Company's "Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy?" It so happens two of those songs are by the Promise Ring, the aforementioned Maritime predecessor helmed by von Bohlen. [Bonus points: they are "Why Did We Ever Meet?," which contains the title as its lyric, and "All of My Everything," which finds the lyric "Why did we ever part?" You're welcome.]

In fact, von Bohlen is the voice on the album singing the background vocal loop during the bridge - "Crimson and clover, over and over" - while Sir Adkins sings the "praise chorus" lyrics, hence the "So come on, Davey! / Sing me something that I know!" shoutout that appears after the last instance of the carpe diem-meets-bootstrapping mantra "I'm on my feet, I'm on the floor; I'm good to go" in the final stanza. Yup: he's that Davey. Now is that doing anything for ya? Knowing the protagonist of this here blog entry was not only a major influence for but also sang on that extremely catchy James Devours Multiverse track? Well, you could have earned a pie piece or two for knowing this mind-blowing shit. How do you like them Gala apples?

Oh, and rock was had. Maritime plays a tight, "studio-sound replicating" show. Even the venue matched the radness of the performance verily; great local/regional beer selection with some particularly delicious portions (especially the buffalo chicken satay and sweet potato fries) helped pass downtime between sets without having to break out Travel Scrabble. [That's right. Portable. Board games.]

A food, drink, and trivia contest masquerading as a show review, you say? I'm here to serve everything in one sitting, just like, I don't know, Applebee's.

Young Alumni - Maritime [mp3] (iTunes)
Tearing Up the Oxygen - Maritime [mp3] (iTunes)

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