Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Jeff Mangum vs. Mount Eerie, but not really

Did you ever go to a show and when whatever band it is plays your favorite song, you get kind of mad because it doesn't sound exactly like the version you've heard a million times. Maybe they change one line, or they play the guitar a bit differently, and it kind of throws you off. Its sort of like having someone show you a picture of your wife, but with the eyes a different color or maybe a little freckle is missing. Its not bad, it just throws you off for a second. I'm totally that way with Wooly Mammoths Absence by Mount Eerie, in that I really only like one version of that song (from the 7 new songs mini LP) even though its popped up a million different places and on a couple bootlegs.

I spent the last half hour watching youtube video of a Jeff Mangum performance at the knitting factory in NYC from 1998 and I am amazed and how much the live songs hes playing sound like the album I've listened to more than I can remember. I almost think they overdubbed it or something, but then again, maybe that dude is like a human tape player, he just plays the same thing over and over and over and there's only one entirely perfect version of it in his head and that's the one he plays.

I can't decide which approach I prefer. I love the organic nature of Mount Eerie's performances but as a fella who loves to be able to control and manipulate things in a specific order in a specific way, I'm tending toward the Jeff Mangum approach.