I Am Mesmer Stare Into My Mesmer Mask
Music is a frontier, and just like space, it is infinitely limitless in it's possibilities. Like with any frontier there have to be pioneers, to journey into the great beyond and discover what is out there. Local musician Geoffrey Muller (aka Uncle Tick) has put together a super group of banshee pilgrims, if you will, to take on the challenge of sailing a ship as far as possible into this uncharted territory. He calls the group I am Mesmer and it consist of some of the best talent Houston has to offer.
The lineup consist of some names that are well known in a variety of genres and different acts. I am Mesmer are Geoffrey Muller (Banjo, Cigar box Guitar, and Musical Saw), Jo Bird (Viola), Kelly Doyle (Electric guitar), Hilary Sloan (Fiddle), Lukas Aberer (Gypsy Jazz Guitar), Wilhelm Van Horn (Banjo),
Robert Ellis (Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin), Mike Whitebread (Stand Up Bass), Kirk Surddreath (Percussion). I can honestly say that all of these musicians are quite excellent at what they do, and to see them all together in one project is more than incredible it's a strait up blessing, .
I Am Mesmer uses instruments that are traditional and sounds that are familiar to create music that is almost like deja but just a little more like vertigo. Using a klezmer approach as a foundation, these musicians take psychedelic to a new level. I Am Mesmer manipulate haunting tones and playful rhythms in a way that makes you, almost forces you, to keep listening. While listening one can only feel that these guys are seasoned veterans and have been through many enlightening life experiences. They make it apparent that there is only one reason they are called I Am Mesmer, because while listening one becomes somewhat mesmerized.
When there are lyrics, they are thought provoking and perhaps just little on the dark side, but above all they are brilliant. One of my favorite lyrics comes from their song "Rocking Chair" and it goes "there'll be time enough for sleeping when we're dead, you can have a velvet pillow for your head, but tonight I'd rather just go dancing, there'll be time enough for sleeping when you're dead.."
The vocal harmonies are intoxicating and arousing. Mostly when listening to I Am Mesmer, they make me want to dance and sing along with the ghost of electricity they produce.
Other songs I would like to note are "Hot Dishes", whose intro is dissonant magic, and whose build up is slow and effective. Any song that uses both castanets and a Jew's harp is worth listening to. It makes me want to go to Russia and roam the streets like a mad man. There is also the song "I Have To Stop Loving You" which has the most beautiful Musical Saw arrangement I have ever heard, yea I said Musical Saw. There is also some great saw in the bands cover of "Pure Imagination", a song you might recognize from the movie classic Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory.
I am Mesmer are always busy so there are always opportunities to catch them live. If you visit their my space they always keep their shows posted. Some of the upcoming shows are this Friday February 27th at The Artery 5401 Jackson @ Prospect for a 10$ cover and March 28th at the Westheimer Block Party. If I were you I would make a huge effort to make it out to see them. It's worth the money and the time.
Geoffrey Muller always has a way of finding excellent musicians. Every project that he works with is amazing to say the least. His approach and delivery are one of a kind. Now that he has brought this group of people together he has proven to me that he wants to push the limits of music all the way to it's furthest edges, while staying true to himself. These are qualities any great artist should have. So visit I Am Mesmer at www.myspace.com/iammesmer hear their music, keep up with their shows, go see them live, and even become their friend. You will not be let down.