Unknown Mortal Orchestra > Oregon > 50 Bands / 50 States 2011 > Boston Phoenix 50 Bands 50 States



Unknown Mortal Orchestra

CITY: Oregon

Unknown Mortal Orchestra from Oregon

CITY: Portland
SONG TO DOWNLOAD: "Ffunny Ffriends"

WHY THEM: Unknown Mortal Orchestra's just-dropped debut is a psych-rock document of indeterminate origin, its staticky melodies and short-wave bounce making it sound like an eight-track found in a sealed plastic bag dug up in the middle of the desert somewhere. And the band wanted it that way, shrouding themselves in mystery and anonymity as their star quickly rose in the blogosphere. But the power of their music, now that they are doing things like playing on stages and whatnot, is not diminished by the knowledge that they are a flesh-and-blood power trio led by the nimble-yet-elusive mind of one Ruban Nielson. Time will tell if the spotlight will wilt the mythology of the band's guarded-secret muse, but for now we can all bask in the glow of the archaeological find that is UMO's strange and bewildering musical gift.

ALSO CONSIDERED: Like our Ohio pick and Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, there was no competition here.