Helium / The Mary Timony Band

Mary Timony is the sort of musician who has been a part of so many projects that it's hard to pick two! Autoclave seem like the obvious choice but Helium really did it for me. I got on board with Pirate Prude and they never lost me. One of my most fond memories is going to see Helium with my friend T at Bottom Of The Hill in San Francisco. It was one of those nights when everything worked out - the show was sold out so we arrived very early to make sure we got in. Having not stopped to eat we decided to order food there while we waited for the night to begin. For some unknown reason they ended up giving us a lot of free food! The show was amazing - we were both completely riveted - especially by her guitar playing. This first song was actually from their very first 7" release that I didn't stumble upon until 1998 or 1999 though it came out in 1993. It is probably my favorite Helium song.
The American Jean.mp3

After Helium broke up Mary Timony completely lost me. I couldn't even get into The Spells! The first two records, Mountains and The Golden Dove are not bad records. I just couldn't connect to the playing or subject matter. When I first heard Ex Hex I felt relief that Mary was back to what I had loved so much with Helium - guitar weirdness and rock. I don't like prog rock but I like the songs she writes and I often feel like they teeter on the edge of that description. It wasn't until The Shapes We Make was released in 2007 that I felt that crazy passion return.

After about 10 years I finally saw Mary Timony live again. Fittingly, T had also moved East and was at the show along with me and J. The show was in a space in Williamsburg down by the East River. For some reason the setting seemed more perfect to me than any above boards club could have. When the band started playing I lost my mind. They were so good! I actually enjoyed this line up more than the Helium show 10 years before. A 3 piece that can fill a room like that is awe inspiring and powerful to me. Mary's usual drummer (Devin Ocampo) was not with her but I absolutely loved Joe Wong's playing, and bassist/keyboard player Chad Molter was killing me as well. A very tight 3 piece. It appeared that they were having a really good time even with technical glitches. Somehow the audience kept getting them back out to play more and more - at one point I actually felt that if we kept it up they would play all night. The Shapes We Make made it on my list of favorite albums from 2007 and this is my favorite song from the album.
Killed By The Telephone.mp3

Mary Timony on myspace

No posts again until Sunday or Monday as I will be away for the next few days.

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