Saturday, 5 September 2009

Mark Mulcahy

Mark Mulcahy is one of the finest songwriters in the world, a personal favourite of mine and, I would dare to say, a genius of sorts. Thanks to the fact that every piece of news about Radiohead is headline news, I found out this week that he's having a hard time at the moment (his wife passed away suddenly last year, leaving him to raise two kids on his own), and that there's a tribute/benefit to him coming out at the end of the month.

The Radiohead connection is that Thom Yorke, smart cookie that he is, is a huge Mulcahy fan and often gives him little shout outs (I like to imagine a chain of fandom from Kanye West to Thom Yorke to Mark Mulcahy to ???). He's contributing a track to the album, among an impressive list of other artists including Michael Stipe, Dinosaur Jr. (J Mascis contributed guitar to his last solo album), Ben Kweller, Josh Rouse, Vic Chestnutt and most excitingly for me Frank Black. The rhythm section who played on some of Mulcahy's earlier records (late Miracle Legion I think, and the amazing one time band Polaris that lived in your TV) Scott Boutier and David McCaffrey (and how much of a Black/Mulcahy superfan do I have to be that I didn't have to look up either of those names) went on to be the spine of Frank Black's Catholics. Frank's gonna be doing Bill Jocko, which is one of my favourite Mark Mulcahy songs, and by chance I was just listening to it last week.

My band, Devil and Casey Jones covered the classic Pete & Pete theme Hey Sandy repeatedly and unapologetically, and I saw Mulcahy play live in the UK four times I think, one of those being a completely surreal endless gig in Nottingham where, because no-one stopped him he just kept playing long after the legal curfew. He's also one of the very few people for whom I've shouted out requests during his shows, only to have them refused both times. Here's some youtube "contentz":

I like the guy with the eyepatch in that one, and assume this next one is by the same team:

And now, a fantastic live duo performance:

So, the point being go and check out Mark Mulcahy's music (that's his label/site, here's his myspace). He's a scruffy guitar-pop God, and I myself am going to go drop money that I don't have at his web store and pick up the tribute album as soon as I can. I'm also crossing my fingers that they're filming the tribute concerts and footage of that will be coming out.

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