Other Lives, Live Session #94

by oz on October 12, 2011

Other Lives released their sophomore album, Tamer Animals, earlier this year. It’s not one of those albums that was created spontaneously in one session. The band spent 14 months crafting the arrangements and placing all the right sounds in all the right parts. Lead singer Jesse Tabish was quoted as saying ““There’s nothing like, ‘Hey, let’s rock out on this!’ It’s homemade in a way. For better or for worse, it’s all our sound.” The album is magnificent.

If you’ve fallen in love with the album but have never seen them live, this session will give you a deeper appreciation for the album and the band. Each musician in Other Lives is a multi-instrumentalist. As you watch them move around throughout songs, you’ll see guitars flung to backs to transition to keys. Lead guitars dropped to make room for horns or a violin. You’ll be captivated by Jenny Hsu on cello in “For 12” or her antlers on “Tamer Animals” and then Colby Owens’ drumming takes your attention on “Dust Bowl II.” Or maybe it’s the bows streaking across guitars on that song. Or maybe the trumpet in the end. Or the acoustic.

And that’s when you realize that Other Lives is unlike most bands you’ve encountered. Jesse Tabish is technically a front man but every member plays an equal part. At shows, you’ll find yourself leaning left to right, on your tip-toes, jockeying for better vantage points to catch all the parts that make up this magical orchestration. With headphones on and eyes closed, you’ll become immersed in its atmosphere. That’s by design. Other Lives is a sound you wouldn’t expect out of a band with roots in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Or maybe it is born from Great Plains and wide expanses where anything goes, but careful attention must be paid to crafting boundaries and structure in an otherwise open tapestry. I’ve been claiming that the band is underrated, but perhaps their popularity will grow like the making of Tamer Animals or the way it settles in on its listener over time. It’s an organic process that takes time to reveal itself. That’s my hope.

As for the session production, we need to thank our videographers. With all the transitions and gear changes throughout the session and within each song, our video contributors Nathan Saks and Mark Smirl deserve high praise. Definitely not easy to capture all the activity, but they did an incredible job. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t point out that Jesse Tabish wrote the guitar part and theme for “For 12” while sitting under a bridge outside Shirk’s studio two years ago when they arrived early for our first live session with Other Lives.

Spend some time exploring each of those videos and keep a watch out for tour dates. They are a must see.

Other Lives Band Introduction

Exclusive: Other Lives – As I Lay My Head Down (Videos: Vimeo | YouTube)

Exclusive: Other Lives – For 12 (Videos: Vimeo | YouTube)

Exclusive: Other Lives – Tamer Animals (Videos: Vimeo | YouTube)

Exclusive: Other Lives – Dust Bowl III (Videos: Vimeo | YouTube)

Download the Other Lives HearYa Live Session as a zip file.

Video: Other Lives – For 12 (Live in Chicago at Shirk Music + Sound)

Video: Other Lives – Dust Bowl III (Live in Chicago at Shirk Music + Sound)

Video: Other Lives – Tamer Animals (Live in Chicago at Shirk Music + Sound)

Video: Other Lives – As I Lay My Head Down (Live in Chicago at Shirk Music + Sound)

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Woody October 12, 2011 at 11:32 am

Their attention to detail is staggering. The amount of equipment they travel with is also staggering. The load in for this one was insane. Seeing them play in that setting was well worth it. Later that night, I caught them at Schuba’s after the Gillian Welch show. It was a great day of music.

jon ell October 12, 2011 at 6:47 pm

you’re killing me. everything comes together. you’ve got something so special. don’t stop. xx

showlush October 13, 2011 at 12:37 pm

I saw them on a bill with The Rosebuds here in Austin back in June and thought they stole the show. I’ve been looking forward to seeing them live again ever since. This session will tide me over nicely until I get the chance. Gorgeous.

That Guy October 13, 2011 at 10:17 pm

It doesn’t get better than this. Just an exceptional session through and through.

Brian October 21, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Unbelievable! I don’t ever want the songs to end. These sessions are even better than from their albums, which are excellent. Hope they come to Dallas!

Joel December 11, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Truly one of the most incredible bands I’ve seen…. or even heard.

I LOVE that they use so many instruments, and it is all so cohesive and unique.

I hope they become more popular.. but not so popular that they change. I just want more and more of this brilliance from them.

Chris Finch March 24, 2012 at 9:00 pm

One of the best bands I’ve seen in a long long time. Even better live than in the studio! Can’t wait to see them again in Manchester! Thank you for producing one of my favourite albums – Tamer Animals

Gunnar Muench March 28, 2012 at 9:48 am

Simply brilliant!
I like Dust Bowl III best! Hopefully I get the chance to see Other Lives in concert one time…

Steve "coveeboy' Brown April 18, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Makes your hair stand on end,, and what I really liked is the ocassional smile on the percussionist,s face, if I made something this beautiful I,d be smiling, gorgeous

Farmdog December 10, 2012 at 9:51 am

Just coming off a weekend of double live Other Lives in Chicago both Friday and Saturday nights…..Lincoln Hall, their last show of the tour,was an epic musical performance.. I’ve not been moved so deeply since way back in the day. Had the bonus to spend some time with the members of this band and found them all mutually committed to their craft with a passion to share and love that was truly humbling…Big Fan

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