Manchester Orchestra on Comedy Bang Bang
Why is comedy in its heyday?
Because the news is depressing as hell!
We need a laugh and the ramp for comedy spins up again. It seems to go in waves.
Just like music. In fact studies show the happier the songs, the more depressing the economics are for the public, and vis versus.
So Manchester Orchestra appears on Comedy Bang Bang. A favorite podcast of mine which is an improv show.
Comedy Bang Bang came out in 2009 hosted by Scott Aukerman, it used to be named Comedy Death-Ray-Radio, and is 500 episodes in. What interests me about both the comedy show and the band is that they live without major hits.
Name a Manchester Orchestra main stream hit? You can't.
What they both have in common is a fan base that loves them. That knows the deep cuts. That can quote the lyrics and quote the quips.
Andy Hull and Robert McDowell are technically brothers in law (and band mates). They are so real on this show, so down to earth. You can tell they are fans of the podcast, giddy with excitement.
And I think it goes both ways. One thing they do on the show which is rare is let them play a few tunes. Manchester Orchestra is known for their lyrics and consistency.
They've done it their own way. And they've been at it awhile. Manchester Orchestra essentially started when they were 15 and they dropped out of high school. They don't see themselves as a big band.
Sometimes you know how big you can get and you okay within that...
And it seems that they are ok as long as they are excited about their work. So they take on side projects and they experiment. And they function as their own toughest critics.
One such enjoyable side project/expiriment was writing the score for Swiss Army Man, which is a totally off-beat movie that I enjoyed ever moment of. For the film they teamed up with popular music video producers, The Daniels . These are same guys who did the music video for Lil John's Turn Down for What.
Hit their website and check out Interesting Ball if you want another weird short.
And so the lesson to me is that you don't need to be huge to be meaningful.
And you can follow what excites you, but you've got to keep working at it. 500 episodes, or a band since 15.
You might build a business plan, full of stats and growth with a plan. But you leave out all of the magic that happens when you make art that's meaningful. All of the random moments that occur in the process.
It's the serendipity that makes life fun. Never knowing who you might work with next. Going with the flow and making art that touches people, enough people.
Stretching into new territories, movies and projects, and following where the road takes you...