June 4th, 2010 8:57am
You Can Move Mountains With Your Point Of View
The Mynabirds @ Bell House 6/3/2010
Lemon Tree / LA Rain / Wash It Out / Give It Time / Ways Of Looking / What We Gained In The Flood / Numbers Don’t Lie / Right Place / Let The Record Go / Good Heart
The Mynabirds are exceptional as a live act, balancing out a sharp professionalism with sweetness and warmth. The live arrangements are tweaked slightly from what you hear on album — there’s no horn section, for example — but the group fills in the space with rich backing vocals and a greater emphasis on the rhythm section. It helps that the Bell House has exceptional sound. I love the room sound of the studio recordings, but the crisp, precise mix at this show was gorgeous in its own right.
“Ways Of Looking” is about dealing with disappointment, or more precisely, admiring the way another person processes setbacks and bad news. The song is gentle and languid, with Laura Burhenn sounding wounded yet calm over guitar chords that evoke overcast skies and recall the Velvet Underground. It’s nearly serene in tone, so it can be easy to miss that it’s also a love song. There’s no drama or turmoil here, only respect for someone’s strength and gratitude for their support. Amidst all the risk and uncertainty, “Ways Of Looking” finds comfort in the moment, and a healthy perspective on the past, present, and future.
Buy it from Saddle Creek.