Metatone + Shawn E. Hansen and Sam Jones In Store

This Friday, Mills Record Company will be hosting an evening that straddles the line between experimentalism and at pop. The in store will feature Metatone and the duo Shawn E. Hansen and Sam Jones. Both acts, while sounding like almost polar opposites, make music that can be simultaneously experienced as an art object or as strange pop music, and often these two interpretations exist simultaneously.

Shawn E. Hansen and Sam Jones put on a Vernal Equinox Sleeping Bag Show. The Kansas City duo proceeded to walk their instruments through a twelve hour hypnotic drone while their listeners unfurled sleeping bags and listened. The concert sounded something like what Sinoia Caves or DisasterPeace might make. Shawn E. Hansen and Sam Jones, armed with electric organs and sine wave oscillators, created thick and droning atmospheres. Listening to the recording, it’s hard to picture only two people making such lush textures. The sounds bend from fuzzy chords to rhythmic undulations. These elements layered over each other to create a truly hypnotic experience.


It’s hard to say what the duo will do at the in store. Though, whatever it is, I have no doubt that it will be absolutely all encompassing. Shawn E. Hansen and Sam Jones know how to squeeze the most intense soundscapes from the least amount of equipment.

Metatone, as I said before, is just about the furthest away from Shawn E. Hansen and Sam Jones. The band boasts a wide range of musicians and a sound that bounces through its songs with an almost obscene amount of energy. Beachy and jazzy, manic and controlled, Metatone sounds like Mac Demarco and of Montreal making acoustic covers of Animal Collective, which is to say the band sounds like no other thing today. Metatone seems to forego any trends in music to create songs that are as unique as all the members of the band.

Listening to the band, each song seems to be a conversation between the instruments and the melodies, and in this way, there’s a jazzy undercurrent to the band’s sound. But rather than the cool and slow melodies or the hot bebop that might come to mind when one thinks of jazz, Metatone infuses their music with a playful funk–something reminiscent of Moondog.

Both Metatone and Shawn E. Hansen and Sam Jones make music that breathes, is alive. This quality to their music all but guarantees a great show. Moving from atmospheric drones to jittering art pop, this Friday’s in store will not be one to miss. Both bands seem best experienced live. Given the store’s intimate space, I couldn’t think of a better way to experience them. The show starts at 7pm and is free.

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