Live Music: Mutual Benefit at Bowery Ballroom, NYC

Mutual Benefit at Bowery Ballroom NYC 2014

Jordan Lee’s Mutual Benefit played to a packed Bowery Ballroom in the lower east side on Saturday night. A bit funk, a bit psychedelic, and a bit pop, Mutual Benefit’s music resonates with a wide array of people, which was evident from the diverse crowd. Lee wears many hats, also running the Kassette Klub label in Brooklyn, and Mutual Benefit can be seen as a one-man band or a collective of friends doing cool stuff.

Jordan Lee wins the award for banter between songs. He pulls out seemingly random anecdotes about touring, watching nature documentaries in hotel rooms, and planning tweets in advance but giving up on the whole ordeal. Lee’s lyrics are one of the strongest aspects of his music. His debut album Love’s Crushing Diamond draws from the experiences of his friends. Lee approached this recording collaboratively as well; the album features contributions from people he’s met along the way. “Advanced Falconry” and “Strong Swimmer” were crowd favorites. The Mutual Benefit audience seems to seek sensory experiences, closing their eyes to listen a little better and feel a bit more.

The Brooklyn-based chamber-folk ensemble Soft Cat has been on tour with Mutual Benefit. Bellows also opened up for them.

Strong River
Golden Wake
Auburn Epitaphs
Desert Island Feeling
Advanced Falconry
Light That’s Blinding
Statue of a Man
Moonville Tunnel
Backwards Fireworks
Animal Death Mask
Careless Love
Strong Swimmer
Night Bike