What’s in a name? I usually avoid the dissection of a band name. If it sounds good, it just fits and I use it without thinking about it. But this time, I had to go a few steps further. I heard the name Machines Are People Too (MRP2) through conversations of Chattanooga music lore, especially MRP2’s dance-till-you-drop 2011 NYE show at JJ’s Bohemia in front of their home crowd. But I recently rediscovered the band name after learning that they’re playing in Nashville at The High Watt tonight, as they are in the midst of a 2-week fall tour. MPR2 played some of the shows on this tour alongside local favorites Moon Taxi and Cherub. I decided to closely analyze their band name while listening to their sensationally upbeat electro-pop music.
Their band name sparked a memory of an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where Data makes the most human decision he has ever made. Data was a robot, but he was also clawing at the borders of humanity, and more specifically, emotion. He became curious and conflicted about human behavior, and he has his moment of realization when Captain Jean Luc Picard informs him of his exercise of human instinct.
I’m not going to go out on a limb and suggest that MRP2 are the Data soundtrack, but their name represents a breakaway from the constraints of the mechanical realm. Their music is the sunrise of emotion, uncertainty and creativity peeking over the horizon, trying to break free of logic and reason for at least a day. On MPR2’s latest EP Dreams, lead singer Brian Sylvester’s lyrics on the opening track “Freaks“ suggest that very idea. We’re all freaks on some level: we choose to do something different and crazy, and break our mechanical routine to avoid falling into the crowd. Or we’re forced into it. Sometimes, it’s absolutely necessary. Listen below:
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Also, check out their latest single “Do What You Love” below.
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Brandon Jazz & His Armed Forces are a different type of freaks. They’re reckless, wild, armed with silly string, fireworks, and spray paint. And they’re ready to tear up the town and party. Music is supposed to be fun, right? You can’t ignore Jazz. Whether he’s trying out for American Idol or playing under the coveted spotlight of the Ryman with the B-52s, he’s getting our attention. And it’s working. He’s at our parties, in our neighborhoods, and walking down our streets. But hopefully, he’s not sniffing chemicals or hanging with Gumby and watching him piss on statues, like in the latest video for the song “Deal With It.” Check out that video below.
I just learned that Sol Cat and VanCo. have been added to the bill. Matt previously wrote a blog post about Sol Cat’s newest single. Read it here. And watch the video for the single “Fishin With John” below.
Are you ready to be a freak? Get your tickets here.