The New Orleans quintet has appeared on Letterman, Leno, Ferguson, Kimmel and even Conan. They had a song on the platinum-selling Twilight soundtrack, and won a Grammy in the Best Short Form Music Video category.
That was for the song "Typical," and it was one of those extremely rare occasions where the prize was justified: "Typical" is an undeniable, haunting pop/rock song with buzzsaw guitars and relentless drums, and in making the clip, the members of Mutemath actually mimed it backwards - from finish to start - and then the film was run forwards and synched to the record. As a result, the finished video has an eerie, uncentered quality - like a lot of Mutemath's music.
There's another innovative video clip in the Mutemath strongbox, for the song "Backfire." Here you'll see a literal translation of the term talking heads.
Singer and keyboard player Paul Meany started the band in 2003, with drummer Darren King (the guy's a monster). The former lived in Louisiana while the latter was in Springfield. Mo. They began co-writing by mail, sending each other CDs of melodies, fragments and synthesized musical programming. Eventually, King relocated to New Orleans.
Greg Hill plays guitar, with Roy Mitchell-Cardenas on bass.
Mutemath is a high energy band that incorporates bloop-blip electronica into its rock. Musically, there's a bit of U2 in the guitars, a chunk of Chili Peppers in the bass, and a touch of Radiohead in the ambiance. And Meany's high-range singing voice summons - sometimes uncomfortably - the Ghost of Sting Past.
Still, according to The Alternative Press, Mutemath is "the "No. 1 band you need to see before you die." And well, if The Alternative Press says so ... Listen & learn: www.mutemath.com.
At 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19 at the Trustees Theater, 216 E. Broughton St. Tickets $20 public, $15 fot students with a valid SCAD ID.
THE BLUE HIT
Sometimes it's the simpler, the better. There's something haunting and beautiful in the spartan music of this Austin trio - it's just one guitar (John McGee), a cello (David Moss) and one voice (Grace Rowland). It's lyrical pop, without the pretense that usually comes with adding bass, drums or quirky keyboards. You can really hear all three elements - McGee's deft plucking interweaving between the lines of Moss' delicate and melancholy cello, Rowland's clear and jazz-tinged voice floating ethereally over the top. This is not mopey folk music, either - on tunes like "Boys and Girls" the jazz chords come fast and furious, ultimately taking the music in dreamy and wholly unexpected directions. The band shares this bill with Boston's "avant-gaze" band Plumeri. Listen & learn: www.thebluehit.com.
At 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20 at the Wormhole Bar, 2307 Bull St.
Tybee Island kicks off its "Third Thursdays" program - part of the Better Hometown initiative - with a performance from the former Jazz & Tango Kings: Peter Berquist on bass, Bruce Spradlin on guitar and Ricardo Ochoa playing violin. The trio plays a fiery combination of jazz standards and rhythmic Argentinean tango music.
At 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18 at the Tybrisa/Strand Roundabout, Tybee Island. Rain location: Spanky's Beachside. Free.
A longtime fixture of the music scene in Charleston, Aaron Levy is a singer, songwriter and guitarist who also plays piano and bass, and he's been in lots of bands. He's fearless. Levy assembled White Rhino in 2007, with vocalist Katie Coleman, multi-instrumentalist Ben Jacobs and drummer Daniel Crider. "I'd put an ad on Craigslist that described sort of a vision for a band with three-part harmony in it," Levy said. "I wanted it to be kind of a Crosby, Stills, & Nash kind of thing. The ad was strictly for a female backing vocalist. Katie responded to the ad, came over to play, and sang really well. ...at the end of the day, she said, 'Oh, by the way, I also play viola.' I thought that was awesome." Levy and his cohorts list among their influences: Neil Young, Ryan Adams, the Decemberists, Radiohead and Pink Floyd. Accordingly, their music is vaguely country-tinged pop and rock, with viola. Listen & learn: www.whiterhinoband.com
At 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19 at the Sentient Bean, 13 E. Park Ave.
Raspy-thuggy Atlanta rapper Gorilla Zoe, nee Alonzo Mathis, replaced Young Jeezy in the group Boyz N da Hood. With lyrics concerned chiefly with the illegal drug trade, strippers, booze and bling (do they still use that word?) he charted high with his debut album, Welcome to the Zoo; his biggest single has been "Hood Figga" (that's the altered-for-radio title). Diamond opens. Listen & learn: www.myspace.com/gorillazoe.
At 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20 at Shoreline Ballroom, 40 Folly Firld Road, Hilton Head. $37.50.