Scottish Mopers Mogwai Rock Their Own Way
It's raining here in Los Angeles. An LA winter rain during the first weeks of spring. It's dark in the daytime its dark in the nighttime. Cars crash into each other when its nice outside but when its rainy its nearly manditory.
If there was a soundtrack to freeway collisions in the rain it would be that of Mogwai, equal parts moody and cinematic and instrumental and climatic, but in an indie rock way somehow. Imagine if Sonic Youth in the middle of one of their spaced out jams got super sleepy and sad and confused and introspective and wanted to try out a piano player.
And then imagine if it didnt make you sad.
Last night it was cold and my fireplace was running out of wood and it was really late and Mogwai was doing me right. I wanted to learn everything I could about them. But then I got hungry.
Mogwai is a Scottish quintet that has released 9 albums and 14 EPs since 1995. Their first single came out this year and reached #38 on the UK charts, nearly impossible considering there is very little thats pop or mainstream about this truly independent outfit that mixes driving guitars with piano and at times thunderous drums together seamlessly, usually with no lyrics.
At Coachella the best way to listen to this band might be while waiting for a beer, or while trying to find a friend in an art sculpture garden. You might want to roll in the grass as they jam. You might want to pee. Or if youre smart you might want to lay on your back with a big hat over your face while holding hands with your date and close your eyes and let this music from another place take you to a different world. A world where when there are words mixed with the music theyre short and whispered and matter-of-fact, rarely sung, rarely important, never dominant. If anything a reminder that the microphone is on, but thats it.
It's really about the piano. It's really about the dual guitar attack of chords rarely notes. It's really about the melody not the solo. There arent any solos. This band is really about the band. This music is really about the music. And that's why they're at Coachella and that's why nobody in America knows them
unless its something that they hear coming out of a smashed import on a rainy day in the middle of the freeway.