Saturday Night Music Thread: Motopony is a pretty good band, I’d say

by John Holbo on June 25, 2011

I was listening to NPR’s All Song’s Considered, because whenever life seems jittery, the dulcet tones of Bob Boilen make it alright. They played a track by Motopony which quite earwormed me into buying the album. Turns out it contains several excellent tracks, in my humble opinion, and a few duds. Belle, my Facebook wife (that’s sort of like a cross between a common-law wife and Tron, as I understand the legalities), likes them, too. So she checked them out on Facebook and, apparently, they need a ride from L.A. to San Diego. Hope that works out for them. I’ll link to two tracks I particularly liked. First, “Seer”. That’s the one they played on NPR. I can’t quite peg it. Like … Jethro Tull, “Cross-Eyed Mary” meets … something that’s … pleasantly cheesy/grungy/Queens Of The Stone Age in a non-Jethro Tullish way, and no flute? But in a good way. Definitely no flute. You tell me what it sounds like. I also really like “June”. Because my favorite album is Fleetwood Mac, Tusk, and “June” – especially the ‘Hold on’ chorus bit – has a very Lindsey Buckingham Tusk era thing going on. I like the moog-as-bass on a lot of the tracks. Is it moog? Some other vintage electric organ sound? (Oh hey: here’s a live version of “Seer”. And a live version of “June”.)

I got the new Bon Iver album and it, too, has got some solid tracks but also some that make me fear that, in 5 years, Bon Iver is going to sound like Bruce Hornsby and the Range. I hope I’m wrong about that.



nick s 06.25.11 at 6:42 pm

also some that make me fear that, in 5 years, Bon Iver is going to sound like Bruce Hornsby and the Range.

I was on the road yesterday, and ended up listening to an interview with Justin Vernon, and he explicitly invoked Bruce Hornsby as an influence on the new album, and played a track from The Way It Is as an illustration. His argument was that the current revisitation of the 1980s — at a point where the distance is just about sufficient to get past two decades of ironic treatment — reminded him of how it was fine when he was growing up to do the singer-songwriter thing with an acoustic guitar in the style of Paul Simon, but uncool to play a Korg M1 in the style of Hornsby, and it was time to give the M1 its due. He’s mentioned it elsewhere promoting the album, e.g. here and here.


icastico 06.25.11 at 8:14 pm

Some blatant self-promo here since you are talking about music.

A new one should be out before the summer’s end (is currently being mastered).

Thanks for the tip on Motopony


k-sky 06.25.11 at 8:47 pm

Speaking of “acoustic guitar in the style of Paul Simon,” “Seer” buries a nice little “Mrs. Robinson” quote in the guitar somewhere down there.


Neville Morley 06.25.11 at 9:00 pm

Bruce Hornsby? Bon Iver should wish…


John Holbo 06.26.11 at 3:16 am

“he explicitly invoked Bruce Hornsby as an influence on the new album”

Ouch. Well, here’s where I get off the bus. I really can’t abide that stuff. Listening to “The Way It Is” is like … licking something that doesn’t have a flavor, but has a slick texture. And not in any nice way.


someBrad 06.26.11 at 8:19 pm

I was going to joke that in 5 years Bruce Hornsby will be cool so it won’t be a problem, but then I see that Justin is trying to rehabilitate Hornsby and it doesn’t sound so funny in my head anymore.


bert 06.27.11 at 12:27 am

It’s sometimes okay to be told, “That’s just the way it is. Some things will never change.” But it is never acceptable to have someone sing this at you.


Substance McGravitas 06.27.11 at 1:19 am

It’s also never acceptable to rhyme “job” with “job”.


Epikhairekakia 06.27.11 at 11:09 am

I think someone needs to get Holbo a livejournal. :)


Cool Bev 06.28.11 at 5:23 pm

It’s sad that Hornsby is so bland and inconsequential. He is pretty fun on the accordion, and when he improvises, he can really stretch out in a complex, chromatic way. Beautiful, far-reaching, free solos. Then his clunky little songs. Sad.

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