Music

Gov't Mule: Mulennium

Gov’t Mule shows up fashionably late to celebrate the new millennium.


Gov't Mule

Mulennium

Label Website: www.evilteen.com
Artist Website: www.mule.net
Label: Evil Teen
US Release Date: 2010-08-03
UK Release Date: 2010-08-30
Amazon
iTunes

December 31, 1999. We all remember that night: the feeling of impending doom, the feeling that all the clocks would spin out of control, computers would crash, missiles aimed right at our houses would launch, that by 12:05 AM on January 1, 2000 the world would be nothing more than a pile of rubble lit up by incredible explosions of fireworks and accented by the screams of young children. And then, when the clock actually hit 12:06, and we had finished chugging cheap champagne out of plastic flutes, kissing our significant others, hugging our parents, and dancing like idiots to Prince's "1999", we remember thinking, "Oh cool. We’re alive." That night at the Roxy Theatre in Atlanta, Gov't Mule was playing one of the many concerts to ring in the new millennium.

Ten years later, they have decided to release that show as a three-disc set for their many fans. Aside from celebrating the ten-year anniversary of this show, Mulennium marks the first Mule release in a decade to include all the original members of the band (bassist Allen Woody passed away only a few short months into the new millennium). It is flooded with various guest appearances and an array of never-before-played cover songs that would eventually become part of the band's regular rotation.

But, the most important matter at hand is, "How does it sound?"

There have been many bands that came before Gov't Mule that have produced a similar product of the same caliber: The Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, the list goes on. Gov't Mule, led by the unassailable Warren Haynes, simply follows the pack of southern blues/rock. Here, as they always do, Haynes' guitar and deep-throated voice carry the blues into the early morning hours. He is not only the saving grace of nearly every band he plays with, he commands the stage as if there is no other reason for you to watch. From the moment the show is introduced and Haynes rips into the opening lick of "Bad Little Doggie", it is clear that this show was in fact a special one for those in attendance.

Disc one, as disc ones go, is standard and solid. It is well played, though not much stands out until the end. Only six songs into the first set, the midnight countdown leads into the King Crimson cover "21st Century Schizoid Man", which segues into the tail end of the Who's "We're Not Gonna Take It" and finally a ten-minute version of Led Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused". At this point, it's about 12:30 AM on January 1, 2000, and people had already accepted their status as "alive in the new millennium". As the band rested for a quick setbreak, the beer and bathroom lines were probably overflowing in the Roxy.

With disc two begins the second set of the evening. And this is when the action began that night. Blues guitar legend Little Milton joined the band for five of the first six songs, all of which sat heavily in the traditional blues category. Haynes and Milton traded guitar solos and licks throughout their time on stage together, which included such classics as "I Can't Quit You Baby" and "It Hurts Me Too". This is easily the most impressive section of the three discs.

When Milton leaves the stage, it is only the beginning of the guest appearances for the night. Black Crowes' guitarist Audley Freed then joins the band for the rest of the set and, along with a few other friends (Skynyrd bass player Robert Kearns, Blueground Undergrass' Johnny Mosier and Mark Van Allen, and Barry Richman), tears through the rest of the night, with an assembly of classic cover songs and Mule originals.

The crowd continues to cheer for the last minute and 47 seconds of the final disc on a track appropriately titled "Crowd" and then fades into the sounds of chairs being folded, just as that night our worries were quietly folded away and slowly forgotten.

6

Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

Keep reading... Show less
9
TV

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

Keep reading... Show less

The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

Keep reading... Show less
9

If space is time—and space is literally time in the comics form—the world of the novel is a temporal cage. Manuele Fior pushes at the formal qualities of that cage to tell his story.

Manuele Fior's 5,000 Km Per Second was originally published in 2009 and, after winning the Angouléme and Lucca comics festivals awards in 2010 and 2011, was translated and published in English for the first time in 2016. As suggested by its title, the graphic novel explores the effects of distance across continents and decades. Its love triangle begins when the teenaged Piero and his best friend Nicola ogle Lucia as she moves into an apartment across the street and concludes 20 estranged years later on that same street. The intervening years include multiple heartbreaks and the one second phone delay Lucia in Norway and Piero in Egypt experience as they speak while 5,000 kilometers apart.

Keep reading... Show less
7

Featuring a shining collaboration with Terry Riley, the Del Sol String Quartet have produced an excellent new music recording during their 25 years as an ensemble.

Dark Queen Mantra, both the composition and the album itself, represent a collaboration between the Del Sol String Quartet and legendary composer Terry Riley. Now in their 25th year, Del Sol have consistently championed modern music through their extensive recordings (11 to date), community and educational outreach efforts, and performances stretching from concert halls and the Library of Congress to San Francisco dance clubs. Riley, a defining figure of minimalist music, has continually infused his compositions with elements of jazz and traditional Indian elements such as raga melodies and rhythms. Featuring two contributions from Riley, as well as one from former Riley collaborator Stefano Scodanibbio, Dark Queen Mantra continues Del Sol's objective of exploring new avenues for the string quartet format.

Keep reading... Show less
9
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image