Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Animations with Mike Mangione.

When I first youtube searched Mike Mangione, I just saw animation and for a second, I thought I had found a new cartoon show.  Instead, I found videos for my personal two favorite songs "You Don't Wanna Leave" and "It's Me, Not You".  The animation was perfect in these videos and intrigued me from the start.

This album, to my eyes, is a whole lot of romance, all about the one who wants to get out of the relationship and the one who wants to stay in.  Just take a look at the names of my favorites to give you a little hint into it.  Every song has that tinge to it and it is comprised of some strings (cello and others) with guitar licks and drums.

I recently sat down via the internet with the front man of Mike Mangione, Mike Mangione himself!  Everything was on the table it seemed.  We talked about everything from his favorite album of 2008 to who he would love to tour with if he could.

What's the origin of the name Tenebrae for your second album? How did you come up with it?
Tenebrae means shadow.  I came up with it after my brother, Tom had mentioned to me that majority of the material on the album dealt with redemption.  I didn't realize this and thought that somehow the theme of redemption needed to be in the title.  A couple days after that conversation I went to Tenebrae service which takes place during Holy Week.  The service works with shadows, light and darkness to reveal a spiritual mystery.  I thought, hey, shadows are a great metaphor for the full spectrum of redemption, I should name the album Tenebrae. And I did. 

If you could choose any three bands to do a headlining tour with, who would those bands be?
Do you mean who I would like to open up for or to headline and have them open for me? I would love to open for Dylan, U2 or Daniel Lanois.  I would love to tour with Shame Train out of Iowa City, they are fantastic all around.

What do you believe is your top favorite album of 2008?
"Here is what it is" by Daniel Lanois hands down.

What would be the top three genres you tell people Mike Mangione and band classify themselves as?
White, Boy,Soul

What's your favorite tour memory?
Leaving Indianopolis...again and again and..Australia was pretty incredible as well.

Who are you major influences?
The same as who I would open for, Dylan, U2, Daniel Lanois, Peter Gabriel, Van Morrison older cats like that.

Do you have any upcoming shows?
We also have shows, it is the never ending tour.  You may find info on our website, myspace etc. or

Do you play covers? If so, what songs have you covered?
No, sometimes we play a Dylan song or two but we stick to our own stuff. I am happy those days are over :)

Personally, what is everyone's favorite song to play?
It really changes for me.  Songs take on different attitudes each night. I like certain things about each song and sometimes one song clicks that night while the one from last night is a stinker thsi night.  The song that bridges a strong connection to the audience is my favorite for the night.

What inspired you guys to make music together? 
Our meeting each o ther was really providence.  What inspires us to make music together is how much we enjoy the experiences we have had together already.  Sometimes when you perform the line between audience and band fades and you become one entity experiencing something together.  The relationship between giving and recieving reverses itself and the audience gives back by recieving and so on and so forth.  When this occurs the whole becomes something in and of itself seperate from the band and audience relationship.  It is really something beautiful and is the source of inspiration for any performer I feel. 

How has your music evolved since you started playing together?
It has become easier to write. I better understand where I am coming from and want to go.  The result is the songs are more clear and easier to ingest.


If you want to catch a show soon from these guys, here are their next five dates...

April 24th, 7 pm@Cup O Joy in Green Bay, WI
April 25th, 7 pm@Greenman Music Hall in Viroqua, WI
May 22nd, 8 pm@The Heartlead Cafe in Chicago, IL
June 12th, 8 pm@318 Cafe in Excelsior, MN
July 10th, 8 pm@Horner Park in Chicago, IL

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