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Murder By Death, Whisper Signal, Everything is Illuminated- Akron Musica, May 19, 2011 by jason

Jayson and I don’t often end up in the same room together, as that much awesome in one place could blast holes in the space-time continuum. However, last night, we threw caution and the security of Earth’s future to the wind and went to see Murder by Death at Akron’s Musica.

Before I get to the music, I like to review the venue itself the first time I go to a show there. Musica is small. It’s much smaller than The Grog Shop in Cleveland, which is almost too small for a band like Murder by Death. Despite this, because there this slightly elevated area in the back divided by a rail, it doesn’t seem too crowded. Acoustically, the place is great. I had no trouble picking out any instruments in the mix (with one exception, see below), and I have some minor trouble hearing. Overall, I would definitely see another show here.

The first act to hit the stage was Everything Is Illuminated. Now, you know that thing I said about the perfect acoustics of the venue? That only applies if your instruments are amped. This dude was near impossible to hear, which is a shame, because what I could hear sounded pretty good. At times, he did this Antony and the Johnsons’ falsetto thing which is real easy to screw up and sound ridiculous with, but he sounded good. If he were playing at a coffee shop, this would have been awesome. At the musica, it was background music while everybody talked.

Everything Is Illuminated.

Next up was Whisper Signal. My friend Eric plays drums for them, but this is actually the first time I’ve heard them, because I’m a terrible friend. Anyway, and I say this objectively, they rocked. At one point, I commented to Jayson that if you dropped the vocals out, they would almost be post-rock: atmospheric, echoing guitars, spiraling melodies. Really, I am not sure why I hadn’t seen these guys until now, but I’ll be watching for them in the future.They were worth the price of admission, and I was there to see Murder by Death!

Whisper Signal

And finally, Murder By Death hit the stage at around 10. I had seen them at the Grog Shop, but this show was much more intimate. Adam Turla traded banter with the audience, talked about a terrible movie he saw (Futersport), and generally rocked with the rest of the band. They played stuff from all their albums, including “Flemencos #*!$in Easy” off of Like The Exorcist, but More Breakdancing. The band’s sound has changed so much in the last 11 years that it was almost like a different band covering it. They also busted out the crowdpleasers (“Brother,” “Sometimes The Line Walks You,” “Spring Break 1899,” “Until Morale Improves”). Really, there’s nothing I can complain about here. Not even the two minutes it took Adam to tune one of his guitars (while Sarah played Cello to fill in the gap…Bach’s Cello Suite #2, if I remember correctly). Awesome show all around.

Murder By Death

Overall, an amazing time was had by all, and I would definitely go see any of these bands again, though I might want to see Everything Is Illuminated in a smaller venue or with a band backing him.

Stick around for our interview with Adam Turla of Murder By Death!

-jason

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