Margot & The Nuclear So & So's - Bowery Ballroom, 7/28/08

With two years having passed since the release of the fantastic The Dust of Retreat, I was expecting my first Margot show to feature a bunch of new songs. It did. The new stuff sounds good, and old favorites (for my money, it doesn't get better than "Talking in Code") sounded the way songs that have had a few years to mature on the road are meant to sound: better than they do on the record.

That said, it's a tall order to mix an 8 piece band live and make it sound like anything other than mush, and there were a few times Richard Edwards' vocals got completely lost in the mix. It's not so bad for a singer to get lost when you know all the songs by heart, but it certainly detracts from the excitement of a new song not to be able to make out the words. A few listens to "Broadripple Is Burning" on MySpace confirm what I figured upon hearing it last night for the first time: it's pretty as hell.

Anyway, Margot & The Nuclear So & So's are selling their recent Daytrotter Sessions (buy at that link, get a different tracklist for free at this one) these days, but will soon shift focus to the promotion of the September dual release of Animal! and Not Animal, the backstory of which is...interesting. Not Animal is the version of the record that Epic Records wants to release and the only one that will be coming out on CD, while Animal!, the band's tracklist preference, will be released only on vinyl and digitally. Both releases will share a good number of tracks, but will be decidedly different.

A few points on the tracklist dust-up: One, this is a major half-acquiescing to the demands of a fairly small band on their first record. If you need any more evidence that the days of major label dominance are over, this is it. In the heyday, a band like Margot would be slapped around and put out to pasture for this kind of tantrum. Two, what the hell did the band expect signing to a major? Didn't anybody warn them?

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