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Mount Eerie

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Product details

  • Audio CD (10 Nov. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: K Records
  • ASIN: B00007IQFS
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 268,873 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Sun
2. Solar System
3. Universe
4. Mt. Eerie
5. Universe

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 11 Mar. 2004
Format: Audio CD
�`The trouble with trying to write a review of a Microphones album, especially this one, is that words as basic as 'album' or even 'song' and 'music' seem clumsy and innaccurate. The endless, boundless coruscation that is Mount Eerie has no clear disctinctions between one track and the next, has little to offer in the way of memorable melodies, and you certainly couldn't dance to it. Despite this, or perhaps because of this, it is one of the most moving, powerful works of recent times, seeming to�`�` exceed by lightyears the sonic headroom your stereo physically allows it. Forget GYBE's hey-aren't-we-innovative drones, Mogwai's we're-not-a-rock-band-really apologetic navelgazing and Sonic Youth's increasingly desperate, tired experimentalism, this is the real thing.
The Microphones' music is incomparable and indescribable. You can't listen to this album regularly in the same way you can't watch a great film regularly; it lessens it. Early twnetieth-century experimentalism, Kill Rock�`�` Stars-esque dirtpunk, psychedelia, glitchy electro, acoustica, post-rock, folk - all this and more bubbles up at points through the 41 minutes of Mount Eerie's dark primal mud. Autechre going analogue with an acid-fried Weezer's Rivers Cuomo singing and providing ghostly, electronically-mutilated acoustic guitar? It works.
Opening with the seventeen-minutes-plus of I. The Sun, the stall for Mount Eerie is set out. Distant, foghorn-like drones gently stroke modulated raw tape noise, melting�`�` gradually into pounding hypnosis, volcanic roars and screeches, effortlessly overwhelming and powerful, before vanishing suddenly into the most innovative and happy co-existence of acoustic and electronic since Bjork. And so it continues, through the spiralling acoustica of II.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 18 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Microphones masterpiece--so far 3 Mar. 2003
By Craig Clarke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Ever since I heard their seminal album The Glow Pt. 2, I've been following this band (which is composed mainly of Phil Elvrum, the mind behind it all, and a few of his musically-inclined friends) and their musical ventures into the previously unknown.
I immediately went in pursuit of more of that music. I have since bought the previous album It Was Hot, We Stayed in the Water, and the singles collection Song Islands, and have been consistently impressed with the ideas and musicianship that come from one man's mind and his relationship with the universe. (All the Microphones albums can be seen to have a nature-based thread running throughout them, except the singles collection, which is stunning in itself as a portrait of the tremendous growth Elvrum has experienced since his original flowering.)
After the tremendous success of The Glow Pt. 2 (its review page is one of the most popular on this site), where was there to go but up...and out. Mount Eerie is the Microphones' musical idea of the universe, from creation to the present--including a stunning visit with Death itself. It is a true concept album.
It's nothing if not ambitious. And that's the kind of stuff coming out of the independent music scene in Washington state, and that's the kind of stuff you have to be ready for if you're going to listen to the Microphones.
Don't get me wrong, it's melodic and sounds great through headphones. There's all the normal surface that we expect from our music, but there's more. That's all I'm saying.
Of course, I wouldn't recommend this as a first Microphones purchase. There's enough material here that it may be overwhelming to a new listener. Get into the Microphones state of mind first. Listen to It Was Hot, We Stayed in the Water, then go to The Glow Pt. 2, and if you "get" those, you'll be ready for a trip to Mount Eerie.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Be Patient and Listen 22 Feb. 2003
By Andrew Cusack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The latest offering from the Microphones only has five songs. It is not merely an EP-nope-this is a full-fledged album...and that means the songs are going to be long. Sure, "patience is a virtue" and whatnot, but it sure isn't a virtue which I possess. I have an attention span of zero, and I was scared to listen to it.
"Mt. Eerie" opens with nothing but the ambient drones with which "The Glow, Pt. 2" left off--and it drags on seemingly forever. My palms were already getting sweaty. Then, at the 3:40 mark, something is thrown into the mix to hold my attention: drums! I was captivated at first. The slight tapping grew into thunderous pounding...then the pounding keeps going. And going. Did I buy a record by the Energizer Bunny?
The mix of odd noises and drums continues on for another seven minutes! This rivals the most painstaking of the Olivia Tremor Control's or Sonic Youth's experimental tracks, but the Microphones have the audacity to throw it at you right from the onset. And just when I am about to end my exercise in patience, the familiar, haunting voice of Phil Elvrum chimes in. I sighed in relief and settled into my chair.
I love his voice. He doesn't hit every note perfectly. He might even flunk out of a voice class (Bob Dylan probably would, too), but it doesn't matter. His tone is perfect for the Microphones' music. It should be: he IS the Microphones. Elvrum writes just about every note for the "band," and he enlists friends to help him perform everything for the albums.
The difficult first track, "The Sun," pours into "Solar System" via a wave of white noise. When the ear-piercing clamor dissipates, one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard is revealed. I can listen to this song over and over again.
Ambient sounds and drumming again usher in the third song, "Universe." This track is the culmination of everything that "Mt. Eerie" is: it turns out to be just as beautiful as its predecessor, and it manages to capture the weird feel of "The Sun."
This interchanging of weirdness and beauty continues throughout each of the five marathon tracks, but it never feels like it's forced. Each aspect of the album is definitely crafted with care, and there is a driving force holding it all together seamlessly. But what is it?
After the album had played through the whole way, I realized something. I wouldn't have liked it without its odd mood. The atmosphere of "Mount Eerie" is its backbone, and that was set in the opening minutes (many minutes!) with all the weird drones and drumming.
"Mt. Eerie" is one of those albums that must be listened to in its entirety to be fully appreciated, and appreciate I did. Give this record your patience, and it will give you satisfaction in return.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Mesmerizing 21 April 2003
By Zach - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Okay, assuming you're reading this review to see whether you should buy or download this album, you fall under one of two categories. 1) you haven't heard Glow Pt. 2 before. 2) you You have heard the The Glow Pt. 2 before.
If you fall in the 1st category, go buy the Glow Pt.2. Not that it's better mind you, it's just an easier listen and (assuming you like it - and you will) will provide a great gateway into Mt. Eerie - to me, the apex of the Microphones career so far. Now, if you have heard Glow Pt. 2, what are you waiting for? Mt. Eerie takes the unique Microphones' sound you grew to love and brings it to new heights - the heavens. This is the best concept alum since the Wall, and in the deep and ever-growing sea of great indie music, exists in a little tidepool of it's own.
Track one (Sun)is a massive, ambitious representation of the origin on the Universe and life on this planet - an abariginal drum beat powers this tune with Phil Elvrum's unique vocals and lyrical style bringing the metaphysical story to life.
Track 2 (Solar System) says so much in so little - etherial, beautiful,lonely - maybe the greatest Microphone's achievemnet yet.
Track 3 (Universe) brings new elements to the album - pushing the evolution evident throughout - "how many times have I learned this before?/ How many times have I made up this song before?/ How many times have I died up here before?".
Track 4 (Mt. Eerie) quite frankly blows me away. God, I am at a loss for words, really. It truly transcends definition.
And Track 5 (Universe) ties the album together nicely, if a bit hastefully - I was wishing for something more here, but it's beautiful nonetheless. Altogether, a modern masterpiece. No matter what aftermentioned category you fall under, you should eventually get to purchasing this album.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
epic in every sense 20 Jun. 2005
By Kasey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Allow me to begin by saying that Phil Elv(e)rum is a artistic genius. On top of that, he's a very likeable guy (I've had the honor of conversing with him through e-mail). He is my own personal hero - I own pretty close to everything he has ever released publicly (a sum of nearly 300 different songs of his in my library). This album is the final conclusion of The Microphones.

In a single word, this album is epic. Soft noise, pusling heartbeats, distant fog horns, ethnic parade-like drums, trumpet blasts, soft and creepy choruses, whispering mellow guitars, he even uses what sounds like a powered screwdriver as percussion. The unusual instrumentation and 'experimental' recording techniques behind this album are enough for me to give it a five star rating (he released a CD of just the vocals from this, as well as just the drums - both are amazing CD's by themselves).

However, the aspect of this album that completes this album is the concept behind it. According to Phil himself, he essentially asks the simple but massive question, "I noticed that the universe is endless last night, have you ever noticed that?"

The entire album is essentially a single song which tells a story, not only with the words but with the music and instrumentation as well. Different voices represent different "characters," such as what Phil refers to as 'Death'(Kyle Field), 'Vultures' (Karl Blau), or the 'close dark voice'(Mikhaela Maricich).

From a person who has not heard any of Phil Elv(e)rum's music before, this album may be an 'aquired taste'. Musically there are very few parts which most people would consider to be 'catchy'. I would not recommend this as a first album to anyone interested in the microphones. Rather, I'd reccomend that they purchase "It Was Hot, We Stayed In the Water" and "The Glow Pt. 2" before this album. Those albums are still Elv(e)rum's brand of unusual, experimental pop music, but contain much more catchy musical phrases and hooks than Mt. Eerie.

Mt. Eerie is an album that must be a approached at a very different angle than most other music. You must not view it as an album that you just sort of sit back and listen to, or as background music. Rather, you must listen to it and view it as a journey. Close your eyes and picture yourself in the setting that Elv(e)rum has created. Listen closely to the lyrics and the music, and follow the story.

To offer a parallel, this album is in many ways like the book Animal Farm by George Orwell. If you did not understand the deep metaphors in that book, you would think it was a silly child's book about a bunch of animals on a farm that can talk. With this album, if you do not pay close attention and understand the metaphors then you will likely think that it is nonsense.

Also, on the same lines, do not think that this is like other albums that are more a "collection of singles" rather than a cohesive album. Listen to this from beggining to end, do not skip tracks or just listen to certain tracks, at least not at first.

Buy this album, get a set of headphones, press play, close your eyes, and allow this album to take you through different states of conciousness and sub-conciousness, through physical and metaphysical levels of the mind. I promise you'll open your eyes wanting more.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Story From Mt. Eerie 24 Jan. 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is how the Microphones' record label, K, describes Mt. Eerie, for anyone interested. This is no ordinary album.
"Mount Eerie is a concept album that takes it up a notch, the self searching for identity within a universal context. Divided into five parts, it is named after Mt. Erie, a peak that dominates Fidalgo Island where Phil grew up. This drama tells the tale of one person striking out into the wilderness to unearth the face beneath the disguise, and the being beneath the face. "Epic" is too shallow a word to describe the boundless beauty and vision that comprises this superlative work.
The story from Mount Eerie:
I. The Sun In which the story begins, where you are born and run away from death up the mountain in fear and are watched by a ball of fire.
II. Solar System In which, in a valley on the way up, the day is ending while you reminisce about a girl gracefully juggling (you as) a planet.
III. Universe In which, coming out of the canyon in the dusk, you realize your ball of fire friend has set and doubt creeps in. A big beautiful dark backdrop above asks you intimate questions and sings.
IV. Mt. Eerie In which, on a precipice, you watch your killer roll up and kill you. Vultures eat your body and fly off, leaving the peak empty and windy again.
V. In which, invisible, you realize there's a mountain above the one you just walked up. Also, the "Universe" painting you'd gazed at before turns out to be a lot bigger than you thought, and 3-D."
This album sounds as beautiful as it looks. Phil Elvrum basically took all his friends and assigned them roles such as Death, the vultures that eat him, and the Universe (Calvin Johnson, of Beat Happening and founder of K records.) Listen to this in the dark with headphones.
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