As a fan, music festivals hold two promises: I'm certain to see a band I already know and adore, and I'm certain I'll discover someone new. At Sasquatch this year, my new discovery was Other Lives. I wasn't alone.
While the Oklahoma band played one of the smaller stages at this gorgeous music festival, there was a delightful sense of anticipation before its show. To begin with, there was an overflowing crowd — and, to my surprise, fellow Oklahoman and Flaming Lips mastermind Wayne Coyne was sitting in the little photo pit I was walking toward. The guy was wearing a big grin, and soon, so was the crowd.
Some music works better than others in this stunning gorge in Washington state. Imagine breathtaking vistas of stone, clouds and water, and blend them with spacious minor-key hymns and droning keyboards and guitars, and it's the kind of music that locates the sweet spot Radiohead can hit in its more acoustic and accessible moments.
How does this translate to the mundane cityscape? Well, I took it for a test drive. I put Other Lives' album Tamer Animals on my car stereo and drove around the streets of Washington, D.C. The music still worked its magic. The swooning strings, clarinet, French horn, piano and acoustic guitar all make for a fine soundtrack amid the cityscape. And so it was when Other Lives came to the Tiny Desk here at NPR. If you've never heard the band until now, I'm pretty sure you'll get a good sense of why Wayne Coyne was smiling.
- "For 12"
- "Old Statues"
- "Dust Bowl III"
Michael Katzif (cameras); audio by Kevin Wait; photo by Amanda Steen/NPR