L.A.-based band The Mae Shi have made many people's best of '08
lists. Their most recent album LLLYH was released on their own label called Team Shi. They have been touring with a friend of mine's DC-based band called FFFFever. LLLYH received positive reviews, garnering a rating of 8.1 from Pitchfork Media. This is the band who sold "mixtape" CD-Rs containing several hundred of their favorite songs at a few seconds each and DVDs with 30-plus videos, built their own synths, called previous albums "hip-hoperas" while sounding like the ugly rejected bits of new-wave at 77 RPM, and talked all sorts of shit while reigning spaz-rock terror on any club, supporting slot, or Bar Mitzvah that would have them. No longer; they now walk the walk.
"Run to Your Grave" is the best summation of the record, and its high-water mark. Here, the lyrics sidle basic can't-take-it-with-you sentiments next to more subtle observations ("Emotion is a simple test to the synapse/ Don't let it fool you into thinking that you've got brains"), while the keyboards are sunny enough to burn flesh. The Lamb and the Lion adds to the pop-y love.