Yeasayer at the Bluebird: Naysayers Need Not Attend

There are a lot of naysayers in the underground music world. These people are always lambasting the newest bands to come out, slinging adjectives like “derivative,” “uninspired,” and “poppy” around with sneers of disdain, turning up their noses at any band that hits mainstream success, never giving credit where even a little is due. Sure, there are a lot of bands that ride on the coattails of other, more successful groups: just look at the current crop of dream pop bands that (for the most part) sound the same. And it’s natural to be a little upset when your pet band, a band that you’ve listened to since their first 300 print 7″ landed in your local record store, is suddenly loved by your roommate, your little brother, and that know nothing Indianapolis blog writer who’s shown an unhealthy obsession with the Flaming Lips.

Music video for “Ambling Alp” by Yeasayer; Yeasayer will be playing at The Bluebird near Indianapolis September 30

But sometimes these naysayers need to take a step back and see music for what it really is: a pleasurable medium that’s designed to make the listener feel a certain way. That’s right. Music is to be enjoyed, whether your genre of choice is dance or punk or art house psychedelia. And Brooklyn based psych/folk/world/house/whatever band Yeasayer are out to make music for the sheer enjoyment of it all. Naysayers can get converted if only they go see Yeasayer at The Bluebird in Bloomington, Indiana on Thursday, September 30.

Video of Yeasayer performing “2080” live on Jools Holland; Yeasayer will be playing at The Bluebird near Indianapolis September 30

If you’re an Indianapolis resident, you may be wondering if Yeasayer will be worth the hour or so it’ll take to get you down to the campus of Indiana University. The answer is overwhelmingly “Yea.” Even if you haven’t listened at all to their two releases, 2007’s All Hour Cymbals and 2010’s Odd Blood, a Yeasayer show is still a spectacle to behold. You can tell the band is having the time of their lives, grooving and shaking and bouncing around to weird synth textures, overwhelming bass sludge, and loopy effects; front man Chris Keating caterwauls into the mic with careless abandon, and the band, working in a cluttered mish mash of overdubs and samples on record, is on the dime tight live, switching from genre to genre without rhyme, reason, or warning. There is, of course, plenty of tribal chanting and otherwordly groans, enough to remind you that Yeasayer is supposed to be “out there”, but it’s not enough to turn off all but the most straight laced Indianapolis music aficionado.

Video of Yeasayer performing “Ambling Alp” live; Yeasayer will be playing at The Bluebird near Indianapolis September 30


more or less skyrocketed to indie music fame with their debut release, All Hour Cymbals, in 2007. Prior to that first record, the band had performed at South by Southwest and released only one single, a double A-side with the tracks “Sunrise” and “2080.” Shortly after its release, All Hour Cymbals was drenched in buzz from online and print publications from all over the United States. Drowned in Sound called it an “astonishing album,” while trend setter Pitchfork Media said it was “a unique form of indie rock world music.”

Video of Yeasayer performing “Sunrise” in studio at KEXP; Yeasayer will be playing at The Bluebird near Indianapolis September 30

The record earned Yeasayer tours with MGMT, Beck, and Man Man in 2008; before long Yeasayer was top on bloggers’ lists of psychedelic essentials, even in Indianapolis media. Their second release, Odd Blood, saw the band entering a more streamlined phase, though they still drew from world influences and did a little genre bending. The album received much the same critical reception as All Hour Cymbals; many of the songs on Odd Blood lend themselves more to an energetic live performance, so expect to hear plenty of new tracks at The Bluebird on Thursday.

Video of Yeasayer performing “I Remember” at the LA Natural History Museum; Yeasayer will be playing at The Bluebird near Indianapolis September 30

Though they could have theoretically been paired with Indianapolis bands like Jookabox (who also create genre bending sound collages), Yeasayer is in a category all their own (at least to the media), so they’ll be performing entirely on their own at The Bluebird on Thursday. The show should be an excellent Indianapolis event, as psychedelic background visuals combine with the unleashed creative energy at the band at the height of their commercial success. The show begins at 9:00 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, September 30; plenty of time to finish work, eat dinner, grab a drink at an Indianapolis bar, and head down to Bloomington to see Yeasayer. Tickets are $20, regardless of pre-order, but you should be buying tickets now; they could sell out at any moment. Naysayers may scoff at Yeasayer for their meteoric rise to fame, but for a glimpse of unbridled music making joy, you should head to The Bluebird on September 30 to see Yeasayer in their natural, fun loving, drug addled habitat.

Yeasayer at The Bluebird
Thursday, September 30 at 9:00 p.m.
Tickets: $20

The Bluebird
216 N Walnut St
Bloomington, IN 47404

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