Mayday, Bushido Karaoke

Mayday, Bushido Karaoke

Much has been made of Cursive-related side project The Good Life, but I really haven’t seen all that much about Mayday; maybe I just don’t read enough “alternative” rags. At any rate, Mayday is the brainchild of Ted Stevens, Cursive’s guitarist. The record is on Saddle Creek, the usual group of collaborators is present (including most of Cursive), but one might find the sound surprising. Well…”surprising,” that is, if you’re expecting the usual straightforward indie-rock side project. Mayday is many things on Bushido Karaoke — ’50s-style balladry, Nick Cave-style doomy storytelling, quirky rootsy rock, angular bluesy rock — and sometimes all of those things at once.

The impressive part is that it’s utterly engrossing and eminently listenable. From the Orbison-esque “Old World, New World” to the (up until now only filmic) juxtaposition of Eastern Samurai stories and Western sensibilities of “Hidden Leaves” to the depressing balladry of “Rock And Roll Can’t Save Your Life”, Mayday seems dead set on taking seemingly antiquated musical contexts and injecting them with modern relevance. It never sounds like they are trying too hard, however, or being intentionally ironic. Bushido Karaoke actually comes off more honestly than most of what passes for indie-rock these days. It’s been said that the coolest thing in the world is not caring if you’re cool, and I think Mayday pretty much musically personifies that.

(Saddle Creek Records -- P.O. Box 8554, Omaha, NE. 68108-0554;; Mayday --
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Review by . Review posted Tuesday, February 21st, 2006. Filed under Reviews.

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