The Eels have been around for a while, making a name for themselves as one of those iconic movie soundtrack bands, playing reflective, scuzzed out, multi-genred interpretations of alternative rock jams that have shown up in popular films ranging from American Beauty and all three of the Shrek movies, to Holes and Jim Carrey’s Yes Man. Their sound is a recognizable one, yet after releasing 11 albums since their debut in 1996, they can’t be pinned down to one style, phase, or production approach. Keeping things even more exciting are the weirdo characters frontman Mark Oliver Everett portrays with every album, singing through the perspective of others as a means to share with listeners the lessons people usually have to learn the hard way—until now, that is. Eels’ recent release, The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett, is a character-less, more transparent approach, revisiting mistakes of Everett’s youth while exploring obligation and indebtedness, regret and denial, and ultimately hope as an after-effect of learning from his poor decisions. They just embarked on their North American tour, so be sure to catch them at one of their upcoming performances and enjoy wallowing in Everett’s enlightening, electrifying misery.
Sun., June 1, 7:30 p.m., 2014
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 28, 2014