Skeletons: August 25, 2011 Glasslands – FLAC and MP3 Downloads + Streaming Song

September 9, 2011

[photo by acidjack]

Originally a solo project of Chicago native Matt Mehlan, Skeletons‘ lineups change frequently, but their commitment to challenging, engaging post-rock does not. Skeletons are reflexively described as “experimental”, but that tag ignores Mehlan’s proclivity for making music that can be as catchy as it is complex. This show at Glasslands, courtesy of PopGun Booking, kicked off with “More Than The One Thing,” a feel-good tune whose combination of tribal, global sounds with pop songcraft brings to mind acts like Vampire Weekend and Here We Go Magic, and followed, as it does on the band’s latest record, with the similarly catchy “Wal-Mart and the Ghost of Jimmy Damour.”

But in case anyone was worried that Skeletons were bowing to the college-rock set, Mehlan took the show in a radically different direction, with a combined 22-plus minute combination of the free jazz referencing “Paint Over It” which segued directly into “Grandma”, with its engaging lead guitar and propulsive beat. “Thank you for making it through that,” Mehlan joked at the end of that mini-epic, but he needn’t have apologized for what was, in my view, the highlight of the set.  One of Mehlan’s greatest strengths is his ability to change directions rapidly and weave disparate elements into a cohesive whole, and this combination spoke to that fusion element perfectly.

I found some songs, in particular the first two, slightly more accessible (meaning, poppy) than their versions on the band’s latest record, People, which is released on the Oberlin-based Shinkoyo.  That may also owe to the fact that this show was played by the band’s leanest lineup – Mehlan also enjoys playing shows as the “Skeletons Big Band”, which gives him a much more expansive sonic palette to play with.  While People was well represented at this show, it is worth delving into Skeletons’ back catalog as well, including the excellent Lucas, which was released on Ghostly International in 2007 (and represented at this show by the melancholy slow-burner “Push ‘im Out”).  I’ll be looking forward to Skeletons’ next show – hopefully with the big band!

I recorded this set with a perfect soundboard feed combined with the DPA microphones and an analog preamp.  The sound quality is outstanding. Enjoy!

Stream “Grandma”:

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Direct download of MP3 files [HERE] | Direct Download of the FLAC files [HERE]

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Brooklyn, NY USA

An acidjack master recording
Recorded and produced by acidjack for

DPA 4021>Oade M248 + Soundboard>>Edirol R-44>2x24bit 48kHz WAV>Audition (mix down, effects)>Audacity (set fades, tracking, EQ, amplify and balance)>FLAC ( level 8 )

01 More Than The One Thing
02 Wal-Mart and the Ghost of Jimmy Damour
03 Paint Over It
04 Grandma
05 [banter]
06 No
07 Push ‘im Out
08 [encore break]
09 Lil’ Rich

We hope you enjoy this recording. We also hope that you will PLEASE SUPPORT Skeletons by buying People and their other excellent releases from Shinkoyo [HERE]

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