SWAN of the Week, Number 149

SWAN of the Week, Number 149
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Happy Friday!

This week I was honored to be asked to share a commencement address with the University of Michigan’s #COM307SN in a memorable online ceremony their professor set up for the students and their families as a supplement to a traditional commencement.

I repurposed some of my 2020 College Grad Advice piece from last week and also did some thinking about graduating post-9/11 and how things are similar and different for these young leaders. It was pretty special, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to have been part of it. If you get a chance to help out the #Classof2020, be sure to take it!

On the music front, this week I want to introduce you to one of my all-time favorite bands, Macha.

Athens, Georgia gave birth to the most talented, yet underappreciated band of the late 90s and early 00s who is no longer around. Macha blends drums and guitar with eastern and non-traditional instruments — hammered dulcimer, vibraphone, gongs, and a thrift-store organ called “the fun machine,” among others — to create music that is a combination of post-rock, drone rock, and Indonesian folk music. Their self-titled debut came with a bonus disc of field recordings from various parts of Indonesia that inspired their sound.

Unfortunately, the band’s record label, Jetset Records, dissolved and the rights to their music went with it. So unfortunately you can’t listen to my Top 5-favorite band on Spotify or Apple Music.

Luckily you can stream them on a pirated YouTube! I would start with their 1998 self-titled debut, then 1999’s See it Another Way and then 2004′s Forget Tomorrow.

I did get to see Macha live once — up in the old Ascot Room at the former Quest Club here in Minneapolis. About two times a year I send Josh McKay a note about what a tragedy it is his band isn’t on Spotify, and he’s always super nice to me about my fanboy-ism. He plays bass in Deerhunter now, and it’s not a priority to fight a bad band contract from the early 00’s.

Rock on!

See you on the internet!

Greg


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