Month: January 2018

New music from Amen Dunes: “Miki Dora”

We haven’t heard a peep from Damon McMahon (the man behind Amen Dunes) since the release of his most recent record, Love, in 2014. The album holds one of my favorite tracks, “Lonely Richard”, perhaps top 10 favorites of my life time thus far. Before I go on, check it out:



Back in 2015, I gave Damon a call and we talked everything music. You can check the interview out here.


Fast forward to 2018. Amen Dunes is back with a new live band and a new record, titled, Freedom, that is due out March 30th on Sacred Bones. The band and other collaborators on the record include Parker Kindred (Antony & The Johnsons, Jeff Buckley), Chris Coady (Beach House), Delicate Steve, and Gus Seyffert (Beck, Bedouine). The first single released from the record is titled, “Miki Dora” and the music video features Damon himself and 17 year old Boomer Feith. The track is mesmerizing and simple, laced with Damon’s unique and deliberate voice. The track is named after a well known surfer of the 1950’s and 60’s. Damon had this to say about the track:

Miki Dora was arguably the most gifted and innovative surfer of his generation and the foremost opponent of surfing’s commercialization.  He was also a lifelong criminal and retrograde: a true embodiment of the distorted male psyche. He was a living contradiction; both a symbol of free-living and inspiration, and of the false heroics American culture has always celebrated.  With lyrics of regret and redemption at the end of one’s youth, the song is about Dora, and McMahon, but ultimately it is a reflection on all manifestations of mythical heroic maleness and its illusions.” – Damon McMahon via Pitch Perfect. 







A taste of a Bozeman gem reinvented: Minnesota band, Hippo Campus opens up The Rialto Theater

Following the extensive tour of the newly adorned and renovated Rialto Theater in Bozeman, MT, my excitement for the evening’s show could not have been any more real. Not only is The Rialto a space for bringing music, theater and dance to an audience, it is a space for fine cocktails, delicious food, incredible art and so on! The excitement about what The Rialto has to offer to Bozeman was tangible at the media tour the afternoon of the debut show. They took us into each space of the multi-level theater: the cocktail lounge upstairs (The Burnbox), the gallery space across the way lit with a giant skylight (The Lightbox) and the theater space below which includes a mezzanine and floor level, each with their own bar.  Keep in mind that though I have given each of these spaces a standard name/purpose, they can each be individualized for your use whether it is a dinner party, reception, art show or DJ dance party. If you can dream up a use for the space, they can provide.



From left to right (bar in The Burnbox, gallery spaced called The Lightbox, standing area for guests, view from the mezzanine and a sample of the light show, view from The Burnbox).

With a taste of all that the space had to offer, I was itching to see a band on the stage and hear more than the recording of Hippo Campus’ single, “Way it Goes”, that they played during the tour to let us sample the state-of-the-art sound system. The sound at The Rialto is more than just a “sound system.” It took an entire team of architects, sound engineers and others to create the most ideal space for sound to be captured and shared with each individual in every corner of the theater.



And finally the night I was waiting for arrived. Eager young Hippo Campus fans lined up in the freezing cold, without jackets (crazy high schoolers!), waiting for the doors to open at 7pm. In the line among the younger folks was a smattering of under 18 year olds and some representatives of each decade from 20-60 years old. It was a true ‘all ages’ show and it was a blast. The majority of the concert-goers (from my view point) were between the ages of 16 and 19, and they knew every word to every Hippo Campus song. Although all of us in the crowd could not sing along, every BODY was dancing, every FACE was smiling and everyone was having a good time. Furthermore, the lighting was above and beyond, giving everyone there the ultimate concert experience.  I had been “studying” (defined as listening to as much of a musicians music as I can before a show so I know and recognize as many songs as possible) Hippo Campus a bit preceding the show but was not prepared to have my mind blown by the lead singer’s velvet voice and incredible range, the band’s tight vocal harmonies, the exuberant trumpet player and their overall energy as a band. They sound great recorded but phenomenal live. And, they were clearly having a blast, too.





I haven’t been to a show of this caliber since Alt J back in 2012 at The Neptune in Seattle, or Strand of Oaks at The Bartlett in Spokane in 2017 and now more recently, shows in Missoula at The Top Hat and The Wilma. The Rialto is giving those venues a run for their money and a fabulous reason for bands of all kinds to stop and play in Bozeman. Now we have a cultural hub for everyone in Bozeman to enjoy. My ears and my heart could not be any happier and I know I’m not alone.

To learn more about The Rialto  and guarantee you won’t miss any of your favorite acts or events, you can follow them on all the usual social media platforms. You can find all the social media links for Hippo Campus on their official website.

Best Tracks of 2017 According to MFL and Friends

It’s that time where I go to two of my favorite music aficionados, Mark Levy and Brian Haviland for the tunes they can’t live without. If you’ve been following MFL for the last few years, you’ll recognize these names. We each picked 6 or 7 songs that we couldn’t stop listening to in 2017 but I’m not going to tell you who picked what. It’s more fun that way. ENJOY!


New single from creative duo, LACEI

LACEI has been a long time favorite of MFL, and with a new year, they’ve brought us some new music. Their newest single, “Wanderer”, is a track about finding your purpose in the world through the chaos that is constantly unfolding, every day, every minute. In the words of LACEI:

“Wanderer is about breaking through the confines of society and following your dreams, making your own truth. There are so many crazy things going on in the world right now, if we can find light in the darkness we can begin to wander on this earth with a purpose. Each and every person has one. What is yours?”




Follow LACEI on Spotify, Soundcloud and Facebook.