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Monday, October 18, 2010

Amusing, Offensive, and Unexpected: The Mud Scholar way

The atmosphere at Mud Scholar's debut show on Friday night was definitely like no other show I've attended. I don't know whether it was the people who were there or Mud Scholar's awkward sweater or the fact that it was at Amici's Italian Cafe, but something about it just made me feel like I was in the middle of a movie. I've never seen music presented in such a laid back manner. Kind of surreal, really!

Mud Scholar's stage was already set into a small corner of Amici's, complete with a lovely broken cup microphone on a stand, when I got there. As I settled myself into a chair for the show, I watched Alex McKelvey's alter ego Mud Scholar affix a second broken cup onto Chase Lance's (Bambara drummer Blaze Bateh's character) head with duct tape. I suppose it must be because I know these guys that I wasn't the least bit surprised by this! :) Minutes later, the show began... well, sort of. Technical difficulties kept the vocals completely out of the first tune. Once the mic was fixed, though, our ridiculous tool of a friend Mud Scholar had the perfect answer for this... It was absolutely intentional, of course! Kicking off the vocal portion of the night, he introduced his co-conspirators, the talented drummer Chase Lance whose name apparently references the curious task of searching for dick and the newest addition, a bass player whom he told us added an air of mystery to the whole operation.

Favorite moments from the night most definitely included his song Baby Dinosaur off of his first album A Must for the Dick which he preceded with the most wild antic... Getting his friend, artist Colin Tom, to chop off a lock of Mud Scholar's hair with a massive butcher knife and tape it to a large sheet of paper! Now that, my friends, got a gasp from the crowd. Quite shocking! Then, as he sang this ballad of unrequited love, Tom used
the sheet of paper to draw a graphic piece of, what else?, a dinosaur. Oh, wow. Intermittently throughout the show, various members of the audience leapt up to dance awkwardly right in front of the mic stand in a hilarious imitation of the rather frightening dance done in Mud Scholar's "Stop What You're Doing and Look At Me" music video. See, this is why it felt like a movie! Madness, I tell you! Amusing madness. Then, as the night came to an end, he played Waste of Air for us, complete with recorded voices of disdain. I just can't get enough of this tune! The crowd responded similarly, grooving to the bouncy beat. I can honestly tell you, it was the oddest show I've ever been to, barring perhaps Of Montreal's pig-filled fest of 2009. Truly, high praise, indeed. Shouts for an encore came ten minutes too late, rounding out this night of insanity. You just can't deny it. Mud Scholar was certainly an experience like no other! I'm mildly scared of and completely intrigued as to what he'll do next. I know I'll definitely be there at his next show to find out!

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