I was super keen to see MS MR, who has been on my Zune for a while, so that I could finally learn how to pronounce their name. I assumed, in the vein of the members of The xx, who were all twenty when they released their first album, that the two perma-members of MS MR were 1,070 and 1,080 respectively, and synth-pop time lords. This is fitting because the band played in a multi-colored, slightly disambiguated tesseract (also known as Mack Sennet Studios in Los Angeles).
Brought to you by Pitchfork and FORD and Bushmills Whiskey as part of the Artist Connect-after-as-many-free-drinks-as-possible series, the set was short and sweet. The MS and the MR, founding members Lizzy Plapinger and Max Hershenow, forgoing the top-flight accounting firm they could start with their last names, were joined by a drummer and a very emphatic, hirsute bass player.
Lizzy, sporting Katy Perry’s hair and Wilma Flintstone’s pants (when the white dress is in the wash), promised that “Salty Sweet” was the most angst-ridden song the band had, which is remarkable considering the lyrics of “Think of You,” (played later in the set), which are taken directly from break-up status updates.
The band holds up great live, and a crappy mic (sorted out by song 3), proved that Lizzy carries a mean tune, and wasn’t tracked at all. They breezed through their two covers (Arctic Monkeys’ “Do I Wanna Know” and LCD Soundsystem’s “Dance Yrself Clean”) which are better than the originals (sorry, Mr. Murphy). They closed with “Hurricane,” which can only be improved by CHVRCHES, and more free booze. They seemed wise beyond their collective 2,000 years, looked like they were having fun, and weren’t too cool to smile, unlike the crowd.
Following the Pitchfork ethos of, ‘head bobbing shows you care too much’ — the stationary audience channeled the energy of the Hypercube (many through fashionable wool beanies) into one collective self-aggrandizing tweet. At least Lizzy called L.A. out, (paraphrasing) ‘I know you guys are really cool, but… (as her eyes started to glow) check out the FORD Transit Connect Wagon.’
Named by dyslexic German translators, the FORD Transit Connect Wagon was the key to wrinkling time in Mack Sennett studios, on display within the inner cube’s 2-dimensional faces. As deemed by a physic transmission robbing me of my characteristic human autonomy, I was directed to the website of this transportation revolution, and instructed to paste the following promotional text, with bracketed commentary:
Live life your way [crippled by severe budgetary restrictions].
What most people do in a weekend, you’re doing every day [I’m not sure how the car is going to help me masturbate].
Your world is always active [but not quite active enough to walk/run/bike] and never the same from one day to the next [unemployed].
That’s why there’s the all-new 2014 Transit Connect [not quite useful enough to get you to your destination, but it can get you to the thing that’s going to take you to your destination].
It’s the multi-purpose vehicle that has everything you need to let you accomplish your goals [family connections and trust fund come standard].
Dynamic styling sets it apart from anything else on the road [the styling of a Lego brick] and each wheelbase offers space to accommodate your imagination [Americans have larger imaginations than Europeans, not just girths].
Powertrains are optimized to provide the power you expect and efficiency you demand [some ad wizard was paid $500/word for that utterly meaningless sentence].
Transit Connect is ready for anything [it expects the Spanish Inquisition], just like the way you live [it also expects me to struggle to make payments].
Staring deep into the cube at the FORD Transit Connect Wagon, I realized it wasn’t full of stars, but was trying to tell us something. The aperture disguised as a ‘Cap-less Fuel Tank,’ started to glow. It spoke. “Miz Mister,” it said, and then disappeared.
Weeping Elvis should have sent a poet.
Photos | MS MR: Katherine Gaines
Rams Head Live, Baltimore, MD