Through both passionate live performances and incredibly powerful recordings, Mi Ami has made authenticity their mission. Comprised of two key members of Dischord’s hyper-percussive Black Eyes (Daniel Martin-McCormick on vocals and guitar, and Jacob Long on bass) as well as Damon Palermo on drums, this trio from San Francisco has harnessed the energy of their previous work and focused it, laser-style, into a pure stream of heavy, concentrated playing. Pulling from 60s free jazz, dub, minimalism, disco, and African music, the band manipulates rhythm, negative space, and the physicality of song.
More than anything else, Mi Ami believes the music is the message, and that message is meant to be shared. The perfect live show is a transformative experience, and the band dreams of creating ‘literal sound spaces that blur the line between the mechanical, electrical, and living.’ They want to take sound to another place – where what you’re hearing at a show is only a small part of what that song actually is – to where the noise becomes multidimensional, physical, overwhelming, and freeing.
Fittingly, their new record, Watersports, out February 17, 2009 on Quarterstick records, was recorded mostly live over 2 ½ days in San Francisco. Thematically, it’s a study on fear and anxiety. “Pressure,” which is initially almost whispered, turns into a complete freak-out over sexuality,love, and autonomy. “The Man In Your House,” on the other hand, is about modern American paranoia, something aptly conveyed with the entrancing drum and guitar work on the track. With its plaintive, wailing vocals,“Echononecho” is a rejection of an attempted emotional connection – something the band thinks might be the universal heartbreak.
Even still, amid the panic and pain, the record is also about love and the ability to find it in all places, despite flaws.
“White Wife” is about the search for genuine pleasure and learning to embrace oneself, rather than yielding to irony and self-referential bullshit. The record’s closer, “Peace Talks/ Downer,” with its layered instrumentation and reverential tone, speaks of hope, bringing the Watersports experience full circle – from anxiety comes hope; from fear, love.