Midi Matilda will make your day
There’s this scene near the beginning of Almost Famous. You might remember it. It’s the one where the big sister kicks down her (excessively cool) record collection to her young brother and says, “Be free,” before jumping in her boyfriend’s car, and fleeing home for good. It was a watershed moment that sets the movie in motion… as well as a disquieting reminder that my big sister failed me.
When Kelly left for college her bedroom was empty. Except for the hair crimper. And the Ratt poster. There was no Zappa or Zeppelin, Joni or Jimmy. I was on my own, left with little but forty-weekly suggestions from Casey Casum.
To be clear, the point here isn’t that my big sis sucks. She’s aces. But looking back, I would have preferred that she just handed me a blueprint for cool like in the movie. I wish she’d steered me away from Bobby Brown and Bryan Adams, and toward, say… David Byrne. And I definitely wish she’d spared me the humiliation that ensued after my 1st concert in 9th grade, when I gleefully reported to my classmates that, “Paula Abdul was AWESOME!!”
While it’s been a long and at at times mortifying road – a road that’s led me to three dozen Phish shows and more raves than I care to count – with the help of some more discerning friends, I’ve discovered many indie and under-the-radar acts to obsess over. Some of whom have exploded in a white hot flash. (See Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, a band I chased around when it seemed like there were more people on stage than in the crowd.) This isn’t to say I have my finger on the pulse of “cool.” I watch The Voice, after all, and sometimes find myself wiping tears away with my goosebumped arms. So I’m fairly certain the tastemakers at Pitchfork would have a fucking field day with much of my playlist (see their evisceration of Edward Sharpe). But still, there’s been much growth since my Taylor Dayne days, and I now have enough good sense to spot what the French might call je ne sais quoi.
Which brings me to MIDI MATILDA, an irresistibly fun, eminently danceable electro-pop-rock duo. Comprised of preternaturally talented 24-year-olds, Skyler Kilborn and Logan Grime, Midi Matilda just might be the most exciting new band you’ve not (yet) heard. Or maybe you have.
Maybe you saw that Live 105 crowned them Favorite New Bay Area Band of 2012. Or maybe you watched the world premier of one of their videos on the Huffington Post. OR… maybe you read the SF Weekly headline that declared, “Midi Matilda is a Rising S.F. Pop-Rock Duo You Will Need to Know About Starting Right Now.”
Whatever the case, I’m pretty confident that if you watch these (self-made) videos, you’ll be as impressed as me and the music journalists.
But aside from the fishing hooks on their 5-song EP, “Red Light District,” and their smart DIY videos, I’m most impressed by the energy these kids bring to their live shows. With smiles that stretch clear across the stage, and a penchant for breaking into quirky, choreographed dances, they seem to be having as much fun as 6th-graders with FastPasses for Space Mountain.
I’d be hard pressed to remember seeing anyone who enjoyed doing anything more than they like playing music. I saw them last week for the first time. And then again a few nights later. And if they played another two shows next week, I’d be there too. For while I’ll never get to see them when there’s more people on stage than in the crowd. I’d still like to catch them as much as possible before they’re headlining Coachella.