Everybody wants to be the guitar player because they get to stand in front. If they don't want to be the guitar player, they want to be the drummer because they can to bang on things. But in our new column, Unsung Gearoes, we aim to finally give some of our favorite overlooked instruments the attention they deserve. This week: the mandolin.
Here is Chris Thile, who (despite popular belief) is not Jude Law and is also one of the few young souls famous for being a "mandolinist," which he is pretty damn good at being. He's in a band called Punch Brothers and has been featured on NPR playing alongside Yo-Yo Ma. In this video, Thile absolutely smokes on the mandolin, and talks about why it's his favorite instrument.
Arcade Fire Uses One
Arcade Fire has become one of the most praised independent rock bands of the past decade through seemingly limitless commercial and critical success, scoring movie soundtracks, working with Terry Gilliam and—oh yeah—winning a Grammy. They also use a metric butt-load of instruments including violins, harps, something called a "hurdy gurdy," and—most importantly—a mandolin. Check out this live performance of "Keep the Car Running," where Win Butler leads the band wielding a mandolin.
Nash the Slash Used One
We don't really expect you to know Nash the Slash, or even really how to explain who he is and what he does. All you need to know is that he was an obscure musician from the 70s Canadian band FM who usually wore bandages around his face and a white top hat and is know for playing a wide range of instruments, mostly electric violin and mandolin. Anyways, here are nine minutes of Nash making the mandolin into one of the heaviest instruments you have ever heard.
Hall & Oats Used One
If there were two people that were advocates for feathered hair and sensuality in the 70s, it was Hall & Oats. Little did they know that they were also unsung champions for the mandolin. In addition to making hits and sweet, sweet love, they also rocked the mandolin on a few of their most popular tracks. Check them out here as they funk up the mandolin in "Lady Rain."
Two Words: Jack White
And finally, here is Jack White making the mandolin his little bluegrass bitch.
The Score: Mapping the Music and Style of 'That Thing You Do!'
Sixties chic via the 90s and that one song over and over and over.
We're Premiering Big K.R.I.T.'s "Steps" Documentary & a New Song Feat. Big SANT & Smoke DZA
#weekofKRIT Is Almost Over.
Kanye West and Crustpunk: Together at Last
It's the Leftöver Crack/Kanye mashup you've been waiting for.
Welcome to Koch Boyz, Where We Document What French Montana and the Koch Brothers Are Up To
Welcome to Koch Boyz, a column dedicated to any time the Koch Brothers and French Montana do anything within a few days of each other.
Watch Mark McGuire's Pretty Personal Video for "The Human Condition"
Former Emeralds guitarist incorporates footage from his Dad's "celebrity roast" back in 89...
Listen to a Preview of Julian Casablancas' New Solo LP
The Strokes frontman teases us with what's to come under his new guise Julian Casablancas + The Voidz.
Dum Dum Girls - "Are You Okay" (By Bret Easton Ellis, Official Short Film)
The Dum Dum Girls team up with Bret Easton Ellis in this anxious tale of chilling neurosis. Plus a very personal interview with Dee Dee.
Inside Icona Pop's Wardrobe on Miley's Bangerz Tour
How can you compete with Miley's tongue? By dressing like a cyber warrior from future planet called Awesome.
Listen to an Unreleased Unwound Track, and Read Our In-Depth Interview
Numero Group has taken it upon themselves to give the cult band the historical treatment they deserve.
Real Estate: The Atlas of New Jersey
The band opens up about being called a beach band and how the internet is ruining our lives.