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Artvoice Weekly Edition » Issue v9n7 (02/18/2010) » Section: Left of the Dial

Midlake - The Courage of Others

Northeast Texas is not a place from which most people are likely to say that the finest of American music is coming these days. Denton, Texas, however was a town named by Paste Magazine in 2008 as America’s best music scene, boasting the homegrown talent of the irrepressible indie songcrafters Centro-matic (and sister group South San Gabriel) along with the bar-sodden country rock should-be-superstars Slobberbone. Another group out of Denton is Midlake, and their star is currently on the rise—more so perhaps than almost any other in the American underground set, particularly in Europe, where they regularly sell out theater engagements. Their latest, The Courage of Others, offers further proof. With their breakthrough, 2006’s The Trials of Van Occupanther, Midlake was pegged as an outfit at some offbeat crossroads of Radiohead’s epic, modern, and internalized art rock and mid-period Fleetwood Mac revelry of dusty-eyed American minor-key pop majesty.

Glossary - Feral Fire

“The ghosts are out/And they’re dancing among the living” goes a line from “Lonely Is a Town,” and that old rock-and-roll ghost is definitely dancing with the guys and gal from the Murfreesboro, Tennessee quintet. Full disclosure: I’ve been an adherent of this band since I first stumbled onto them seven or eight years back, and have been listening repeatedly to their rocking beauty of a record, 2003’s How We Handle Our Midnights. Glossary belongs to that small fraternity of bands about which I will tell anyone who listens that they are certainly one of my favorite—if not one of the best—bands on earth.

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