Manchester Orchestra with Fun and Audrye Sessions

May 7 • The Mad Hatter

May 6, 2009 at 2:06 pm

A good recipe for a Rock supergroup — a group of musicians whose presence in the music industry is strange, beautiful and meteoric — is difficult to peg down. Because there is no paucity of tasteful variations, sometimes I gravitate toward an obvious formula: looks.

One theory that stands true to the test of time is that exceptionally unattractive people seem to make the best music. For example, look at groups that have managed to remain significant for more than a decade (or two) while simultaneously crafting a massive portfolio of innovative and timeless tracks. Then think about whether they’re “sponge-worthy.”

Think of Roger Waters, Trey Anastasio, Thom Yorke and Les Claypool, ugly guys with great talent and the ability to sell out shows (including laser-light gigs) well after their careers should have peaked. This is the mark of success.

Another method is to start your career young with an unabashed, ball-outs zeal and crank out as much product as fast as possible, much like the foursome from Atlanta, Manchester Orchestra. With the average age of the band being 21, MO has already produced two full-length studio albums, I’m Like a Virgin Losing and Child a Mean Everything to Nothing, in the few short years they’ve been in the media conscience, something that might be easy to do when young and depressed (and possibly monstrous).

Frontman Andy Hull was a frustrated home-schooler and spent his senior year of high school recording his first full-length album. A little over a year later, he had a band, backing from Paste Magazine and a new album. When you’re that prolific of a music-maker, nothing else matters. Manchester Orchestra has developed some of the most folksy, prosaic and delightful records of the new millennium — traditional Americana on downers — and shows no sign of stopping. Hull even has a side project, Right Away, Great Captain.

Be as ugly as you can — you can gets tons done.

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