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R/O Concert's Mistle Thrush mostly ordinary

Mistle Thrush

MIT Unplugged.

Residence and Orientation Week Concert.

Student Center steps.

August 24, 10 p.m.

By John Jacobs
Staff Reporter

Mistle Thrush played Thursday night to a crowd of about two hundred on the Student Center steps, most of whom were there to scope out freshmen for rush (and other purposes), and did not seem to recognize the fact that a live band was playing. But I think the lack of enthusiasm was also due, in part, to Mistle Thrush's lackluster performance. At the very least, Mistle Thrush gave the thinning crowd a soundtrack to talk over.

Mistle Thrush, barring a clever promotion scheme on its behalf, will stay a local band, with local fans. The reason for this is simple: no spark of anything, not anywhere. All of their songs searched for identity in the same slow and clumsy ways. Although Mistle Thrush is completely original, mediocrity is hardly anything new. I did like "Six Star Song," though, despite the fact that they gutlessly clung to the same melodic hooks (and echo-chime texture) throughout it.

On the other hand, they did come to MIT at a moment's notice, thanks to themselves, StudentCenter Committee personnel, and their manager. And they have a great drummer. In fact, the drummer is the best thing about Mistle Thrush, and his rhythms dominated the character of the vocals and rhythm guitar. It was as if the other players were resting on the drummer's self-assured rhythms. The drummer, I'll bet, is the backbone of Mistle Thrush.

Mistle Thrush last played at MIT on April 22 at the Spring Weekend concert featuringSonic Youth.

In a nutshell, watching the performance was like watching MTV's "Singled Out." Sometimes we get a glimpse of Jenny McCarthy: sometimes we are swayed by Mistle Thrush's psychedelic texture. But in both cases, most of the time we have ordinary people dominating the view.