Phil Elverum’s the Microphones perform a portion of their 44-minute opus, “Microphones in 2020,” in a new clip from a recent live set for Bandsintown Plus. The performance first aired March 27th and a replay is scheduled for April 22nd at 9 p.m. ET (RSVP for that here).
Elverum and guitarist/award-winning chef Jay Blackinton recorded the performance — which marked the first time “Microphones in 2020” had been played live — in a forest filled with mossy rocks and towering trees on the island off the coast of Washington where Elverum lives. Although just a fraction of “Microphones in 2020,” the clip captures the unique nature of the sprawling piece: an autobiographical tale largely centered around just two chords, but built out here with waves of feedback and sonic texture.
The Microphones released “Microphones in 2020” last year as a single-track album with the same name. It marked the Microphones’ first release since 2003’s Mount Eerie, although Elverum has released several albums in the intervening years with his other project, also dubbed Mount Eerie.
In an interview with Rolling Stone last year, Elverum said of “Microphones in 2020,” “The point of this song was sort of: Here I am right now in 2020. I am currently all of those things. I am still that embarrassing stuff and the good stuff and everything has happened. It’s all part of the recipe of the present moment. That’s what I was trying to get out with the song. I really tried to paint a picture of what ingredients made up that six- or seven-year period in my life. The Microphones period. What defined it in the way an autobiography works, I guess, in literature.”