Bradley's Almanac

CD Giveaway: Midlake’s “The Courage Of Others”

Posted on February 7, 2010 at 3:16 pm | No Comments

After a wait of nearly four years since their breakthrough full-length, “The Trials of Van Occupanther”, Midlake returned with last Tuesday’s arrival of their third album, “The Courage of Others”. Criticism has been wide-ranging, from unqualified raves (see the AVClub) to flat-out dismissals (from you know who), and while I fall somewhere in the middle, I’m definitely heading in the direction of ‘rave’.

Though I was immediately impressed upon Van Occupanther’s release, it did take awhile for its magic to truly charm me, so I’m hesitant to judge this new one too quickly. It has the disadvantage of increased expectations, and if you come looking for the catchier, more upbeat side of the band (a la signature song, “Roscoe“), you’ll have to look elsewhere. The hooks here are subtler, more drawn out… sometimes hard to find at all. “The Courage Of Others” is a drastically moodier affair – the band takes a fair amount of risk within the sonic box they’ve placed themselves in.

During the long wait for the album I wondered, given that every review of their previous one mentioned the same 70’s touchstones (Fleetwood Mac, Fairport Convention, etc), if the band took so long in an over-thought effort to reinvent themselves. Well, the answer is very simply no, but they’ve definitely gone darker and deeper, and are taking hits for it. For every band that tries too hard to change up their formula and fails hard, there are those that work within what they know (and what many love them for) to craft a worthy follow-up. I think that’s where Midlake is at, coming up with a collection of songs that is just different enough from its predecessor to avoid redundancy, yet still rub a few followers the wrong way.

[MP3] Midlake – “Acts Of Man

Thanks to the folks at Filter, I’ve got a couple copies of Midlake’s “The Courage of Others” on CD to hand out to ‘Nac readers. If you reside in the continental U.S., drop an email to giveaways [at] bradleysalmanac [dot] com entitled “MIDLAKE” before this coming Friday, February 12th at 9am. I’ll fire up the randomizer and pick two winners that day, then get in touch for mailing addresses.

[MP3] Midlake – “Rulers, Ruling All Things

As the ceaseless (and increasingly rapid) consume/judge/move-on cycle that is today’s internet-music-review-machine chews new albums up and spits ’em out, I look forward to spending the rest of the winter letting this one sink in, and to Midlake’s April 9th stop in Boston near the end up their upcoming U.S. tour. I remember very distinctly their visit to TT the Bears back in 2006, playing first of three bands, and how enamored I was of their live set. They headlined both the Middle East Upstairs and then the Paradise the following year, but haven’t been back since. (and thanks to Kevin in the comments for setting me straight on those headlining gigs, both of which I missed. The ‘Nac intern responsible for fact-checking has been sacked)

Stream “The Courage Of Others” over at NPR, and if you’re in the Boston area, stop by Newbury Comics, where I picked up the CD for a measly $7.99 (with a sticker on the front that ironically included previous praise from P4K). A nice surprise? Finding an insert inside with a download code for bonus track “Rose Of Dawn” (which easily measures up to the rest of the album) and a hi-res quicktime file of the Jason-Lee-directed teaser film above. Which could be looked at as an attempt to culturally balance out his work in the Chipmunk films.

Comments

Leave a Reply





  • About the ‘Nac

    This is Bradley's Almanac. I'm your host, Brad. Barely holding it together since February 2000.

    "I love this song. It's so true. I wish this song was a whole day long. Man, I would have the best day that day."
    - The Kids In The Hall
  • Almanac Archives

  • Boston-Area Action

    Saturday, December 16th
    Bent Shapes (farewell show),
    Laika's Orbit, & Beware the
    Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion
    @ Great Scott


    Monday, December 18th
    Unsane
    Big Brave
    Child Bite
    Hepatagua
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday, December 21st
    Ceremony
    Nothing
    @ Sonia


    Friday, December 22nd
    Love Love & Friends Xmas Show!
    with special guests Rick Berlin,
    Field Day, Bob Kendall,
    Anna Rae/Hemway, & Martha Marin
    @ the Midway Cafe


    Thursday, December 28th
    Cymbals Eat Guitars
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday & Sunday
    December 30th & 31st
    Deer Tick
    @ the Sinclair


    Sunday, December 31st
    Speedy Ortiz
    Ovlov
    Wendy Eisenberg
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday, January 6th
    Fur Purse (LP Release Party!)
    with Whore Paint,
    Shepherdess, and Sister
    @ the Midway Cafe


    Wednesday, January 10th
    Craig Finn & the
    Uptown Controllers
    with John K. Samson
    @ City Winery Boston


    Friday, January 12th
    Passion Pit
    @ House of Blues


    Saturday, January 13th
    ONE NIGHT BAND
    40 musicians form 8 new
    bands & perform that night
    @ the Sinclair


    Saturday, January 13th
    Lana Del Rey
    Jhene Aiko
    @ TD Garden


    Saturday, January 13th
    Wildhoney
    Horse Jumper of Love
    Mini Dresses
    Strange Passage
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday, January 13th
    Camper Van Beethoven
    Cracker
    @ the Middle East Downstairs


    Thursday, January 18th
    Deerhoof
    Family Planning
    Olivia Neutron-John
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Sunday, January 21st
    Tennis
    @ the Royale


    Wednesday, January 24th
    Sleigh Bells
    @ the Paradise


    Wednesday, January 24th
    Destroyer
    Mega Bog
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, January 26th
    The Posies
    @ City Winery Boston


    Wednesday, January 31st
    Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
    Night Beats
    @ the Royale


    Saturday, February 3rd
    Steve Earle
    @ City Winery Boston


    Friday, February 9th
    Girlpool
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, February 10th
    Weakened Friends
    @ Great Scott


    Saturday & Sunday
    February 10th & 11th
    Ian Hunter
    & the Rant Band
    @ City Winery Boston


    Friday, February 16th
    Steve Earle
    @ City Winery Boston


    Friday, February 16th
    Robert Plant
    @ the Orpheum


    Saturday, February 17th
    Porches
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Saturday, February 17th
    Noel Gallagher’s
    High Flying Birds
    @ the Boston Opera House


    Sunday, February 18th
    X Ambassadors
    Now, Now
    @ House of Blues


    Wednesday, February 21st
    Frightened Rabbit
    Wintersleep
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, March 1st
    Shopping
    French Vanilla
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, March 6th
    Jessica Lea Mayfield
    @ Great Scott


    Thursday, March 8th
    Godspeed You! Black Emperor
    @ the Sinclair


    Thursday, March 8th
    Tune-Yards
    @ the Royale


    Friday, March 9th
    Godspeed You! Black Emperor
    @ Sanders Theatre, Harvard


    Friday, March 9th
    OMD
    @ the House of Blues


    Saturday, March 10th
    Nada Surf celebrating the 15th
    anniversary of their "Let Go" LP
    @ Brighton Music Hall


    Friday, March 23rd
    Glen Hansard
    @ House of Blues Boston


    Saturday, March 31st
    S. Carey
    @ Great Scott


    Tuesday, April 3rd
    Yo La Tengo
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, April 7th
    Ought
    @ the Sinclair


    Tuesday, April 10th
    Franz Ferdinand
    @ House of Blues Boston


    Tuesday, April 17th
    Ministry
    Chelsea Wolfe
    @ the Royale


    Friday, April 20th
    Buffalo Tom
    @ the Paradise


    Sunday, April 22nd
    The Darkness
    @ the Royale


    Friday, April 27th
    They Might Be Giants
    @ the House of Blues


    Saturday, April 28th
    Peter Hook & the Light
    performing both of the
    "Substance" collections by
    Joy Division & New Order
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday & Sunday
    April 28th & 29th
    Turnover
    Camp Cope
    @ the Sinclair


    Friday, May 18th
    The Fratellis
    @ the Paradise


    Saturday, June 2nd
    Japanese Breakfast
    @ the Sinclair


    Wednesday, June 11th
    Jimmy Eat World
    Alex Lahey
    @ House of Blues


    Tuesday, July 17th
    Weezer
    Pixies
    @ Xfinity Center


    July 21st & 22nd
    Foo Fighters
    @ Fenway Park


    Friday, August 10th
    Pedro the Lion
    @ Brighton Music Hall