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THE DIAMONDBACK | DIVERSIONS | WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2008

INTERVIEW | MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA

vital video HEY, REMEMBER SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE? Now that the election’s over, Saturday Night Live can return to sucking for all 90 of its on-air minutes. But SNL’s still trying the political humor, even in a post-Sarah Palin world. This weekend, the show brought back Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton, appropriate because most thought Poehler was done on SNL after she gave birth. With Clinton’s nomination as President-elect Barack Obama’s (D) secretary of state, there was no better way to start the show. But it didn’t take long for SNL to slide back into failure; Andy Samberg and Lonely Island’s new digital short, “Jizz in My Pants,” did that for them.

JOHN KRASINSKI, SINGER We don’t know why, but all comedians in Los Angeles seem to be friends with singer Aimee Mann. We’ve seen her do comedy before, but now, Mann flipped the switch, letting The Office’s John Krasinski join her on stage last week for a “Winter Wonderland” duet. Krasinski can’t sing — at all — but if you were ever curious, we hope you’re satisfied.

Bring on the Orchestra Manchester Orchestra drummer discusses the band’s intense live show BY JON WOLPER Staff writer

Manchester Orchestra is the paragon of a band using its Internet presence to its advantage. Through the combination of hefty MySpace usage and consistent YouTube-based video podcasts, the band gradually found itself accumulating noteworthy buzz. “It was never something where, all of a sudden, we saw a change in the people coming to shows,” drummer Jeremiah Edmond said. “It’s something we always did, and it gradually grew along with us, and with the attendance to shows and the buzz around the band.” When the band comes to the Ottobar in Baltimore tomorrow, it’ll be bringing its different brand of rock in an intense, lauded live performance. “It’s very loud, it’s very dynamic, and it’s very intimate,” Edmond said of their performing style. The band often brings out its openers to join them on songs like “Where Have You Been,” during which more than 10 people could be screaming into the audience “God, my God, where have you been?” at any point. It’s extremely raw and powerful and exactly what the band strives for. Manchester Orchestra’s debut full-length record, I’m Like a Virgin Losing a Child, used

very personal lyrics over a spectrum of music, ranging from quiet acoustic balladry (“Don’t Let Them See You Cry”) to booming emotional climaxes (“Where Have You Been” and “Colly Strings”). It’s remarkable, then, that a band which seems so well versed in crafting songs has been around since 2005. It’s even more remarkable that the average age of its members is about 20. “It wasn’t like we just started a band and made a record, and all of the sudden, we were thrown on the road,” Edmond said. “We’ve been out on the road playing shows for close to four years now.” The majority of Manchester Orchestra’s members have been in bands and playing shows since their mid-teens, he added, so the transition to a touring lifestyle wasn’t terribly difficult. “It wasn’t a huge shock for us,” he said. “Things just kept getting a little bit busier and a little bit busier until we were on the road for a full year.” The band is currently in support of a new EP, Let My Pride Be What’s Left Behind, which came out in October. It features several new songs, live renditions of older tracks and a 40-minute documentary by Sam Erickson, who followed the band on the road

last year. The new songs — specifically “I Can Feel a Hot One” and “I Was a Lid” — expand on the songwriting chops of I’m Like a Virgin Losing a Child, while still keeping its structural and emotional core. The former hinges on a slow, gut wrenching vocal performance by singer Andy Hull, while the latter is full-on power chord intensity, easily louder and angrier than any song the band has put to tape thus far. It’s easy to see the wide spectrum of moods the band conveys is as prominent as ever on the EP. This will carry over into the band’s new full length, Mean Everything to Nothing, which is due out early next year, Edmond said. “It’s really loud, dirty and abrasive at parts,” he said. “But it’s still written around pop songs, so the melodies are there. It’s really dynamic like the last record but even bigger and louder. “We’re a lot better at our instruments and focused on pushing ourselves and thinking outside the box of what we’d normally write for a part,” Edmond added. “We’re trying to grow and do something new and not just make the same record we already made once.” Manchester Orchestra, Dead Confederate, Kevin Devine and All Get Out are playing at the Ottobar tomorrow. Tickets are $11, and doors open at 7 p.m. jwolper@umd.edu

KERMIT SINGS A SAD SONG YouTube has become a ripe place for people to make Jim Henson’s Kermit the Frog sing (or do dirty things, whatever). So, it’s nice when Kermit gets to just sing an awesome song, even if it’s a somber one. For this video, Kermit lip-sings to LCD Soundsystem’s “New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down,” around different parts of the Big Apple. It’s fitting, considering singer James Murphy sounds a bit like Kermit on the song, and at the end, we discover Murphy was in on it all along — he’s the one controlling Kermit. We’d show you the video, but record label EMI pulled it from YouTube, despite Murphy’s involvement.

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