King Mob, Modern Witch, Married in Berdichev and Hideous Men at The Meadowlark 2/4/11
Tom Murphy Hideous Men
"We are called The Olsen Twins," announced Kristi Schaefer as Hideous Men began its set. With the rare ability to be melancholy, exuberant, joyful, hopeful and playful all at once, Hideous Men played a set largely comprised of the material it has perfected over the last year and a half. But partway through the show, Ryan McRyhew announced he and wife Kristi were working on a new album.
Taking the brave course of keeping the new music out of current shows, McRyhew laughed off the fact that those of us who know the band's material just accepted their changing of various elements of old songs as a new permutation of its admittedly already strong songs. Later on, someone let out a friendly heckle, which McRyhew accepted and deflected, along with Kristi, by saying, "We're the Terry Riley of Thornton."
Toward the end, McRyhew said they were doing a UGK cover, and then Schaefer dedicated the song to someone in the audience, and the pair did a lively cover of Le Tigre's "Keep On Livin'" from that group's 2001 album, Feminist Sweepstakes. Hideous Men, with humor and completely unaffected positivity, still seem to make alchemical music in that Kristi and Ryan are able to take the sadness of the world and turn it into hope for the future, by writing songs about serious subjects and treating them as such but never forgetting not to take things too seriously.
Personal Bias: If "bias" means you have an opinion, then yes, I like all of these bands and the people in them both as artists and as people.
Random Detail: Ran into Eryc Eyl at the show.
By the Way: Shows like this seem to bring in people from various walks of life who go see local music because it's experimental but immediately accessible.