June 26th, 2012 9:29am
A Legacy Of Love
The Mynabirds @ Mercury Lounge 6/22/2012
Karma Debt / Wolf Mother / Let the Record Go / Give It Time / Buffalo Flower / Radiator Sister / Disaster / Mightier Than the Sword / Ways of Looking / What We Gained in the Fire / Numbers Don’t Lie / Generals / Disarm / Body of Work
The version of the Mynabirds that I saw two years ago was a very different band from the one I saw at the Mercury Lounge on Friday night. As near as I could tell, the lineup was completely different aside from singer/songwriter Laura Burhenn, and even she seemed like she could have been an entirely different woman. The Mynabirds at the Bell House in 2010 were professional and lovely but sorta meek; the new band is harder, faster and bolder in texture and rhythm.
Burhenn, always a magnificent neo-soul singer, is more outgoing and aggressive, both in performance and artistic purpose. Her first record under the Mynabirds name was an introspective and philosophical take on the collapse of a relationship, but her second, Generals, is a medication on what it would take to spark a true revolution today, and the ways money – or a lack of it – holds us back from standing up for what we believe is right and fair. Burhenn, both in the music, the live performance and her New Revolutionists project, seems hell bent on connecting with her audience, and inspiring a thoughtful dialog. There were moments in the band’s Mercury Lounge set where she seemed frustrated in working up a relatively sedate crowd, but more often, she and her bandmates played these excellent, thoughtful songs with passion, conviction, and best of all, optimism.