Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Tune of the Week – “Airplanes”

True story: man walks into a bar….. Local Natives were the first band I saw at South By Southwest this year. It just worked out that way – they were on my list of bands to check out and happened …

Thu, Apr 9, 2009, 08:06

   

True story: man walks into a bar…..

Local Natives were the first band I saw at South By Southwest this year. It just worked out that way – they were on my list of bands to check out and happened to be playing at 11.55am in a bar on Sixth Street on the opening day. Going into the venue, I knew very little about them. Coming out of the venue, I wanted to know a whole lot more – and tell everyone I met – about them. And I really wanted to hear “Airplanes” again.

I’ve been playing this song a lot this week and thinking about that show. Local Natives are now one of the bands everyone is raving about after this year’s SXSW. They played a ton of shows during the fest, made a lot of friends and will surely see someone stepping up to the plate to release their “Gorilla Manor” album. Yet that show in Maggie Mae’s could have been a disaster. It’s not a great venue and there was a (truly terrible) band playing upstairs so that racket was leaking into the room. It was the first show of the first day of a very long week. There were maybe two dozen people in the room at any time

But instead of throwing a strop, the band from southern California looked at each other and got on with it. Someone pushed over a sliding-door to cut off the noise pollution from upstairs. The soundman realised he was there to do more than just look at the desk and scratch his chin. And the band knew that those two dozen people in the room might well tell two dozen other people each, who might tell another two dozen people about them. At a time when hype won’t buy you love or a bunch of bananas, playing a fantastic show in front of people who are open to new music and who will talk about you afterwards will always see you and your bandmates right.

It helps when you have tunes like “Airplanes” to wow the mases. Beautiful, skyrocketing harmonies. Glorious folky pop buzz. Alluring disposition. Sun-haze atmospherics. Lyrics about chop-sticks and encyclopedias. It’s the hit of the season. Listen to the track here, download it here or watch the video below.

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