I have to make a special note on this post because of the most recent news about certain members of The Orwells being accused of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. I want you all to know that I don’t condone this behavior and find it sadly vile. Just in the past few hours The Orwells have disbanded, despite their vehement denial of the many allegations. When I saw them perform many years ago, I witnessed reckless abandon, but I never saw any of the actions that they have been accused of. It is a shame if these accusations are true and it is also somewhat of a triumph that in today’s world this conduct is considered tragic, appalling and completely unacceptable. I hope that future generations will take note and make any important behavior changes necessary. Continue reading if you must, but know this was post written long ago.
I have to revisit a post that I wrote last May. Sadly, I never clicked the enter button. Today, I have the spunk to click enter, because this recent video clip reminds me of my thinking last May. There is a wild craziness and appeal that is, The Orwells.
I’m convinced that feeling rebellious can happen to anyone at anytime. In my teen years, I sketchily dabbled in hanging out with those fools who didn’t seem to care what anybody thought. It was an action-packed time of study and observation, until quite suddenly, I was in trouble by sheer association. There is something so exciting about the out of bounds edginess of a disobedient group. I have since discovered the “jacket” of edginess doesn’t quite fit me, even though I seem to try it on from time to time. Music has always been a safer gateway to this world of free expression, innovation, and even the somewhat radical. I tend to pick music that suits my mood and every once in a while I relish that feeling of being a teensy bit rebellious.
That is when I stumbled upon The Orwells at The Shaky Knees music festival. The Orwells are recent high school grads from Illinois that were suddenly thrown from garage rock suburbia to the limelight by a few music bloggers last year. I can’t really explain what attracts me to their sound except that it reminds me of the times in my life when I just want to scream lyrics, jump to a steady beat, and forget the outside world.
That feeling described me perfectly as I positioned myself on the front row of The Orwells’ set. I didn’t recognize many people around me, but made friends quickly, as we all popped our heads to the punk/surfer vibe in a terrible downpour, and stomped our feet in the thick oozing mud of the wettest outdoor festival in Atlanta history. After a certain point of saturation, the rain just didn’t seem to matter any more. The music was intoxicating and The Orwells were so fascinating to watch as they performed, “Mallrats (La La La)”.
The band members, Dominic Corso, Matt O’Keefe, Grant Brinner, and Henry Brinner have boy next-door faces, but they banged out great tunes with an explosive vibe. The curly, blonde lead singer, Mario Cuomo, twisted and jerked spastically on beat, to his own loud, unnerving lyrics. That’s when he spontaneously fell into the crowd and everyone went literally hog wild, mud sliding, mud slinging, and serious mud moshing. I was in rebel heaven, if only by observation, because I weakly admit that I feared for my life and limbs. The adrenaline rush and musical experience was unforgettable.
You have to listen to “Mallrats” so you can imagine the craziness from their full-length EP, Remember When. As I listen to them again, I sadly remember the poor guy who lost his keys in the midst of the mud mayhem. I am sure, like me, he had a blast, losing the outside world, if only for a brief moment. I urge you to listen to their beat and escape from the mundane, if only for a little while.
Okay back to today….
Their debut appearance on Late Night with David Letterman is what made me revisit this old post that was never published. When you watch, you will see what I mean about their wild, rebellious nature. Be sure to follow the video to the end so that you can see the reaction from David Letterman and Paul Shaffer. In my book, they had a “lose your head” love response. Don’t judge me, surely you will get a kick out of it too. To me, that kind of angst performance never grows old, infinitely better than Miley’s twerking. It made me smile, jump and yell! (okay, just a bit)
Also, listen to “Mall Rat (La La La)” for which I wrote the first post. Go ahead you know you want to listen.
Stay tuned and click on their Facebook page, new music coming soon that you won’t want to miss.