Tag: The Morning Benders
When I first went to see The Morning Benders 2 years ago, I had only heard a couple of their songs. They walked the line between being overly mundane, and potentially having a grittier edge hidden underneath. I figured any band with a name like that though, must put on one hell of a crazy live show. There’s only been a handful of times in my life when I’ve really had a bender that was full on into the morning, and they usually involved times of massive debauchery. So how bummed was I when these really young, timid, quiet kids came out and played one of the most boring live sets of music I’ve ever seen. Ugh, just dragged out nothingness… Complete sub-par, sonic beige. I thought it was a complete mockery of one of the better band names I had heard in a while.
So today the band announced that since Bender is a rude word for a gay dude in England, they’re changing their name to Pop Etc. Geezus Krist. First off, you’re an American band – who cares what the word means to London folks? Hell, they’d have no problem naming a band with the word Fag in it (cigarette). In fact, there was a GREAT American rock band called The Fags, which featured Eugene Hutz of Gogol Bordello back in the early 90′s. You gotta stand up for your name, and take away the connotation of the word. Hell, if it pisses off the English, just go for it anyway – it’ll give you more street-cred. But oh yeah, that’s right, you never had any balls in the first place so thus a name like The Morning Benders was completely irrelevant to any aspects of your lives. On the band’s press release they say, “Now all we needed was a band name. We came up with two options: “The Beatles 2″ and “The Morning Benders.” We went with The Morning Benders.” Great back-story guys. And c’mon, Pop Etc? Without even a hip period or something – I guess they felt Fun. just blew up the scene with that. Well either way, I’ll continue to not care about their career. I still like that name – can I take it now? How’s that work? If they abandon the name, can I make a new band called The Morning Benders? Or does it have to be The New Morning Benders? Nah, that sounds like a Bob Dylan bluegrass cover band. The Real Morning Benders? Nah, that sounds like a Marco Benevento cover band. Ahh, forget it. It’s not just a clever name…anyone? anyone?
However, if you’ve never heard of The Halo Benders, that’s a whole different story. They’ve rocked the bender name for years and years, probably knew the other reference, and gladly didn’t give a fuck – like you should do in rock music. The Halo Benders are a project with one of my heroes, Doug Martsch of Built to Spill, and Calvin Johnson of Northwest indie-god fame, and they co-wrote one of my favorite songs of all time, “Virginia Reel Around the Fountain.” Here it is below, because I don’t even want to show any dumb Pop Etc crap.
And here’s The Fags killing it:
While listening to Grizzly Bear‘s Yellow House from 2006 at work the other day, I had a young enthusiastic chap say “Oh, I love the Morning Benders” – mistaking the album for something from the young hip cats from Berkeley. And while I’m not a huuuge Grizzly Bear fan, the comment filled me with ire. I soon realized the anguish stemmed from the fact that however, I ama huuuuuuuge non-fan of The Morning Benders.
The band played up North here in Burlington a few months back, and while never having heard anything of there’s, I was drawn to attend due to my affinity for all things new and cool. My ability to not fall asleep on my feet during their set only stemmed from the rush I still had driving through me from hearing the killer opening band, Twin Sister. I mean, I get it… You know, it’s the new millennium, it’s America – you have the freedom to make any music you want. And sure, you can be mellow as all fuck, and sure you can act like you’re 47 when you’re only 19 – but for the love of everything holy, at least look like you’re having fun up there. They were easily one of the biggest drags I’ve ever seen in live music before…
And then they had to go bust a cover of “Dreams,” the Stevie Nicks disastrous hit for Fleetwood Mac. Ok here we go: “Thunder only happens when it’s raining”? Are you kidding me? We all know that line isn’t true at all, but Miss Nicks isn’t some deep swoonstress either. But that line is one my biggest gripes in popular music. It’s followed by, “Players only love you when they’re playing.” Now that line’s ok, but she’s obviously trying to make it sound like some universal truth equal to the natural flow of thunder. Now I feel she’s just an idiot, and was just writing whatever lines flowed well when someone is blowing coke up your ass through a straw. <<(That shit’s real, her nasal cavity collapsed in the 70′s – google it.) Either way, so to give her the benefit of the doubt, I considered the fact that maybe she is aware that thunder definitely happens when it’s not raining. So maybe she is likewise trying to make the divine statement hidden between the lines that perhaps players do definitely love you when they’re not playing – like love is something real that even players can’t hide. But that’s not true, and there’s no way she would try to go to a deeper second level in her dumb 70′s pop lines, (and coke lines). Thus obviously, while I was already turned off by The Morning Benders, this cover drove me away for life.
So in conclusion: The Morning Benders are a fucking drag man! Stevie Nicks is an over-hyped and delusional coke whore! Twin Sister is awesome – here’s a killer friggin’ cut and video: