John Maus at the Echoplex, July 15, 2011
We've passed the first climax in the genealogy of post-modern pop karaoke performance, but John Maus' powerhouse sing-a-longs with himself makes us think we're in for multiple musical orgasms.
Fans paced back and forth under the Sunset bridge, crying desperately for extra tickets to see John Maus. The man might as well up and found his own cult, cause he's got the following and the gestures to boot.
Mr. Maus' latest album, We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves is a collection of hymns for godless midnight worshipers who choose to investigate politics by participating in poetry rather than polls. As Maus sang, "and the rain came down/down down down," the crowd erupted into a downright evangelical singalong, complete with synchronized hand motions and emotive expressions.
Maus has worked with some of L.A.'s most compelling artists and labels, including Ariel Pink and Human Ear Music. These influences are tangible in his recordings, but his live performances are another kind of beast. Sweating to his own pre-recorded vocals, Maus dances a fine line between angry bro in a button down shirt and delicate spirit exposing his every affect to a crowd of eager viewers. His set at the Echoplex made us yearn for an Andrew W.K collaboration.