Savannah Stopover preview #5: Murder By Death, Fake Problems, and Buried Beds

This is the fifth in occasional posts previewing acts slated for the Savannah Stopover festival March 9-12, 2011. Check out previous posts about Astronautalis, Little Tybee, Class Actress, and The Drenched Earth Tour.

Since I’m previewing three bands, this is going to be a long-ish post. But it makes sense to do it this way since Murder by Death, Fake Problems, and Buried Beds are traveling together. They’ll be at The Jinx on Saturday, March 12th. For the full Savannah Stopover lineup, go here. Murder By Death is scheduled for midnight. Fake Problems is scheduled for 11 p.m. and Buried Beds will open at 10 p.m. (Of course, it remains to be seen if these times are as flexible as they are on a typical Savannah Saturday night, when openers routinely start 60-90 minutes after the scheduled time.)

The headliner Murder By Death has generated more buzz among friends of mine than any other Stopover act. Maybe because my friends love Americana sounds? Maybe because they love dark lyrics coupled with upbeat music? Maybe because they love hearing great but unusual vocals? Maybe because they like rock that demands to be listened to?

Murder By Death, whose song “I’m Comin’ Home” appeared on the Inglourious Basterds soundtrack, was founded more than ten years ago, and I’m not even going to attempt to analyze the evolution of their sound. Here are a few songs with video that I especially like. Notice the changes in sound as the band seems to pull from a variety of genres.

“White Noise”:

“As Long As There is Whiskey in the World”:

“Until Morale Improves”:

There’s a really regrettable photo of Fake Problems on the Savannah Stopover website. The photo may look like a foursome wandering some botanical garden after a nice picnic, but expect a rollicking live show.

Just try tapping your foot in time to “Motion of the Ocean”:

Or try to sit still and not tap your foot to the bass line in “Diamond Rings”:

Buried Beds will start the night with a more delicate sound, featuring some crystal clear vocals and great string work.

Here’s a live version of “Breadcrumb Trail”:

And here’s a live acoustic version of “Ivory Towers”:

As far as I know, this is the first time in Savannah for all three of these bands. They are the type of acts that, for a variety of reasons, just don’t routinely stop here. (Tickets for other shows on the tour typically run $10-$15 plus service fees; the show at New York’s Bowery Ballroom costs almost $20 online.) Murder By Death is not headed to SXSW, as a number of the Stopover bands are, but is just touring through the region.

If Savannahians consistently supported shows of this caliber, we’d get more of them.