On Sunday evening, the Wonder Twins -- D’Anne and Laura Witkowski -- headed to the Magic Stick to catch the show by San Francisco’s the Mates of State. It was a night of singing drummers, boisterous indie kids, adhesive residue, and cute loud sounds


D’Anne: So, Laura, you’re a major Mates of State hater.

Laura: This is completely untrue. It would be much more accurate to say that I am a recent Mates of State convert.

D: You’re a Mates of State heretic.

L: Call it what you will, I really like their new album, but their earlier stuff never really did anything for me. It was all, “LOUD SOUNDS! YEAH! YEAH! OUTSIDE VOICE!” There was a complete lack of dynamic. I found it kind of exhausting.

D: Well, I find you kind of exhausting. But I agree that Rearrange Us is their best record yet.

L: Well now that we’ve found a point we can agree on, what did you think of the show?

D: It was a night for singing drummers.

L: This is true. I was really excited that Javelins were opening because you were making me go see Mates of State and I knew that whatever my experience was, I would at least get to see one of my favorite Detroit bands. Plus, I have a charisma crush on [Javelins drummer] Matt Rickle. Maybe I shouldn’t admit that. He already seems to think that I’m a weirdo.

D: He’s right on the money. Run, Matt. Run!

L: Heavy Meadows is actually one of my favorite records of the year. At the show, I bought one of their new T-shirts, with the birds on it.

D: Yes, you did. It had tape on it.

L: Yes, which left a couple sticky marks. The woman selling the T-shirts was very kind in offering some suggestions about how to get the tape marks off.

D: She said to use peanut butter. That would be trading the tape marks for a peanut oil stain. Heloise, she was not!

L: People are not going to understand what that means.

D: “Hints from Heloise”? They can Google it. Get educated, people. It’ll bring you closer to your grandmother.

L: I think I’m just going to Shout it out and hope for the best. But I would suggest to bands that roll and tape their shirts to use painter’s tape. It’s less adhesive. Because this is the second time I’ve seen that happen.

D: Okay merch queen, back to the show


L: I thought Javelins did a really good job. Matt Howard’s guitar playing is reminiscent of Johnny Marr, which, not surprisingly, I love.

D: You would. I think we should make a slogan for them. How about, “Javelins: They’ll Poke You.”

L: Clearly you did not think that through very far. If you were an ad exec on Mad Men, they would throw you out the window for that.

D: I’m thinking on my feet. It’s a skill. Listen and learn. How about, “Javelins: Throw One for Sport”?

L: How about, “Javelins: Better Off Without a Slogan By D’Anne.”

D: That’s hurtful. This is between the band and me. Back off!

L: I think it’s time for Mates of State.

D: Mates of State were quite the fun bunch. Or duo with the occasional guitarist/trumpeter.

L: Yes. Their live show was very, very good. I think they said it was the third Michigan show they’d played in the past month.

D: Indeed, they did. They were in Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo. College towns. Because the kids love Mates of State. Also Mates of State love Michigan. Jason Hammel [the husband of the husband/wife duo] said that people think their songs are love songs to each other, but really their songs are all loves songs for Michigan.

L: I actually think the fact that they’re so into each other and play together as a married couple is part of their appeal. They have such a strong interplay and have so much fun together. I think that’s every music geek’s dream come true -- to find someone they can play music with and love. But not in an unhealthy Fleetwood Mac kind of way.

D: Yeah – in a way that really does make loving fun. “The couple that plays together stays together.”

L: Hey maybe Mates of State could get an endorsement from Lover’s Lane.

D: I really don’t want to think about that.

L: The Mates of State synth vibe.

D: What?

L: Nothing. Moving on... Remember when they left the stage and everyone started chanting because they wanted them to come back and do an encore? It sounded like, “Make some steak! Make some steak!”

D: I thought it sounded like, “Make mistakes! Make mistakes!” Which is maybe their fans’ way of telling them they’re perfect just the way they are.

L: Well I was hoping that Bobby Flay would come out and start sizzling up some sirloins.

D: That’s an odd thing for a vegetarian to hope for.

L: Well, nobody made steaks or mistakes. They just came out and did a couple more songs and seemed very gracious and nice.

D: I actually think they did make some mistakes. But they were very cute mistakes.

L: Cute mistakes made by musicians in love. What more could you ask for?

D: Soy steak. — D’Anne and Laura Witkowski

Mates of State: Cute mistakes made by musicians in love...


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