Murder By Death, Metal Hearts – 2006-06-01

June 2nd, 2006

I hadn’t planned on going to this show but Beckah at Suicide Squeeze called and asked if I wanted to be put on the list, and who am I to turn down any sort of free entertainment? No one. That’s who.

The upside of this concert was that a) it was free and b) it was early and I like that because I am turning into an old man. The downside was that, other than Metal Hearts, I had no clue who the other bands were. The downside of the upside is that I actually didn’t get to bed any earlier and the upside of the downside is that the bands I hadn’t heard of were actually pretty cool. I don’t think it can get any more confusing than what I just wrote.

Metal Hearts were the openers so I had to get there early so I didn’t miss anything. I really like this band because they use drum machine tracks without sounding cheesy and they make a concerted effort to incorporate saxaphone into their music. I like me some saxaphone, let me tell you what.

Metal Hearts – 2006-06-01 Neumo’s – Seattle, WA
MP3 Sample: mh2006-06-01sample.mp3

After them was William Elliott Whitmore, a solo artist who seems to have been dug up from early twentieth century dustbowl-era America. He sounds like he’s coming at you over an AM radio and thematically bounces from damnation to redemption in all of his bluesy ballads. That he’s not yet thirty years old and a tattooed guy in a fedorah makes it that much more odd to watch. Odd in a good way I mean.

Also, this quote from him during his set cracks me up every time I hear it:

Thursday! Is today Thursday? Right on. ‘Thursday night? Fuck or fight.’ That’s my motto.

The quote is hilarious to me because it could have been any night of the week and that saying would still work. I bet that’s his motto for every day of the week and you know what? That’s a damn fine motto to have. If you’ve gotta hold a motto I suggest you use “[Day of the week] night? Fuck or fight.”

William Elliott Whitmore – 2006-06-01 Neumo’s – Seattle, WA
MP3 Sample: wewhitmore2006-06-01sample.mp3

Once Mr. Whitmore wrapped up, Murder By Death went on. I checked out their MySpace page before I left for the show because I was worried that somehow Metal Hearts had been booked to play with a metal/hardcore band by accident. As it turns out, they just have an unfortunately undescriptive name for their style of music (but they share a name with one of my favorite films ever).

A guy at the show I was talking to described them as “Cursive but harder”. I didn’t find that to be true exactly. I mean, they share some common characteristics with Cursive since they have a cello and all, but I think the similarities stop there. If I were to use other bands to describe Murder By Death, I’d say this:

If Johnny Cash had sons instead of daughters, and then one of those sons ended up writing country songs while hanging out with Nick13 of Tiger Army, he might be the lead singer of Murder By Death.

All in all, I dig their style. Some of the songs seemed like they should have been hookier but they weren’t. I expected them to use a driving snare cadence a lot more than they did… I love country songs that do that (so maybe I just wanted them to do that deep down). Also, the cellist is amazingly proficient at her task and she’s pretty cute too. These are the things I notice.

Murder By Death – 2006-06-01 Neumo’s – Seattle, WA
MP3 Sample: mbd2006-06-01sample.mp3

And now I must admit that I left the show before the last band went on. I had already started tearing down when I realized there was another band coming. At that point, I really had to pee and I just wanted to get home before the rain got worse. If I knew who the band was (I didn’t) or had paid to get into the show (I hadn’t) then I might have stayed, but as it was, I just got the hell out of Dodge.

Eluvium/Mono/Pelican is on Saturday. Now that’s a show to get excited for! Hell yes that show is going to destrory.

12 Responses to “Murder By Death, Metal Hearts – 2006-06-01”

  1. firmdragon Says:

    MBD!!!!! thanks for taping.

    last band was called “two gallants”.

    i would have gone to this one, but i had to work. + i now get up at 5am.

  2. Jim Says:

    Cool. I wish I had a chance to go to this show. Thanks for making these available. I’d really like to hear the William Elliott Whitmore set, but it doesn’t seem to be working here.

  3. Brian Says:

    Woops, fixed those links. Thanks for pointing that out.

    EDIT: Ok, NOW they’re all fixed. I just misspelled his name originally as whitemore in the filenames and I forgot to change it in the post when I renamed the files.

  4. empty Says:

    Thank you Brian.

  5. Jim Says:

    Thanks, Brian. All but Tracks 1 & 2 work now. This guy (WEW) sounds like he’s about fifty years older than he actually is!

  6. w1re Says:

    hi! just noticed: you forgot to rename the william elliot whitmore info.txt file….

    the file’s called “” but the hyperlink points to “”

  7. Brian Says:

    Man I suck. Ok I fixed that. This is why I upload zipped shows now.

  8. Chelsea Says:

    Whoa, Cursive is way harder than MBD anyway. What an odd comment.

    Thanks, this is awesome.

  9. » Blog Archive » The Fall Of Troy - 2006-06-09 Says:

    […] Sometimes I go to shows and tape for people when I normally would have just sat at home. Usually it’s a good experience, like when I taped Massive Attack and Murder By Death. Last night I taped The Fall Of Troy for a friend of mine and, overall, it was a good show. […]

  10. Matt Says:

    Thanks for the MBD. I got here from The Fall of Troy forum, but honestly, I was more excited for this recording than TFOT. I guess because I’ve seen TFOT before.

  11. Inhumanimal Says:

    Great set.

    Hey, here are the names to the songs for Will Whitmore that have question marks….

    4 – One Man’s Shame
    10 – Dry (aka Song of the Blackbird)
    11 – Buildin me a Home

    Thanks for posting these!

  12. Brian Says:

    Thanks for the song titles. I appreciate it.

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