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December 15, 2007

The Most Serene Republic






The Most Serene Republic (TMSR) is a band from Toronto that is fairly new on the scene. I'd like to say that I've been following them throughout their entire career, but that would be a lie. I had a couple of TMSR songs that I found through Insound.com. But, I didn't start seriously listening to TMSR until I heard Stars' Do You Trust Your Friends? (remix album of Set Yourself on Fire). On the album, TMSR recorded an amazing acoustic version of "Ageless Beauty." I enjoyed the rendition so much that I started searching for more of their music.

From Arts & Crafts, The Most Serene Republic was the first band on the label that was not related to Broken Social Scene. TMSR carries on some of the same indie-pop feel that is embodied by bands on the label like Broken Social Scene and Stars. However, I definitely think that a lot of TMSR's stuff has more of a math rock feel. So, it's not surprising that the album was influenced by the works of Igor Stravinsky. I love the complexities of their music, and the combination of sounds is unlike anything else that I've heard before (excluding music that I didn't enjoy).

Off their new album, Population, "Solipsism Millionaires" is one of my favorites. But, they didn't play it last night when I saw them at Mercury Lounge. Sad, I know. Still, I wasn't at all disappointed by their performance. The band had so much fun playing on stage that I couldn't help but dance and smile right back (which is my normal behavior, anyway). It's refreshing to see a band having fun while performing. I hate watching bands who care more about looking the part than actually enjoying themselves. I keep on thinking about how Adrian (lead male vocals) said that we, New Yorkers, were watching them and judging so that we can go home and blog about them later. I guess i lived up to that stereotype.

Since Mercury Lounge is a small venue, I was able to meet some of the members of TMSR after the show. There are always two things that I can count on from New Yorkers at a small-venue, 21+ show:
1) They are afraid of being too close to the stage. Therefore, I am always in the front.
2) They are afraid of approaching the band. Therefore, I have no problems talking to the band afterwards.

I mostly talked to Tony, the drummer, and Ryan, the pianist. We talked about the math rock influences in their music and griped about Pitchfork's reviews, which are NEVER elitist, pretentious, or biased. They were really gracious and down-to-earth. Also, Andrew, the merch guy, was great and found me some buttons.

Can't wait until they return to NYC. Hopefully, they'll play "Solipsism Millionaires" next time.

Setlist
Humble Peasants
You're Not An Astronaut
Anhoi Polloi
The Men Who Live Upstairs
Phages
(Oh) God
Sherry and Her Butterfly Net
Why So Looking Back
Compliance
Career in Shaping Clay
You're A Loose Cannon McArthur...But You Get The Job Done
Content Was Always My Favorite Colour
Present of Future End


The Men Who Live Upstairs - The Most Serene Republic



Sherry and Her Butterfly Net - The Most Serene Republic



Solipsism Millionaires - The Most Serene Republic



The Most Serene Republic

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