JamBase Questionnaire: These United States

Welcome back to JamBase's baker's dozen to the bright lights of the music world. Last time we heard from Dead Confederate.

Mortality is a simple fact of life. If you're reading this you will be dust one day, and anything that makes us acutely aware of the preciousness of each day is a gift, a solid for humanity that chips away at waste, worry and all the other ways we diminish our time. A near-death experience forms the undertow of These United States's fourth offering, What Lasts (released July 20 on United Interests), but the song cycle claws towards the light, breaking surfaces and pushing against what drives us downward. The urgency of things rides in the bloodstream of TUS' latest, which also finds them refining their Americana informed jangle, putting polish in the right places and leaving the rough patches where they should to be. As with earlier efforts, What Lasts feels vaguely torn from its creators, music that needs to be made more than just another record because someone could. What's cool is how TUS makes this spongy ontology release all the spring and moisture inside. The subject matter might be heavy but they find what skip and hop there is, shaking loose a crooked legged dance that helps one duck the Grim Reaper's scythe as they limbo towards tomorrow's uncertainties, finding occasional grace and a lil' affection along the way. (Dennis Cook)

Here's what These United States' singer-songwriter Jesse Elliott had to say to our inquiries.

TUS' Jesse Elliott
1. Great music rarely happens without…

2. The first album I bought was…
MC Hammer's 2 Legit 2 Quit on cassette tape.

3. The last song or album to really flip my wig was…
Cotton Jones' Tall Hours in the Glowstream

4. When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to be…
A roller coaster engineer and/or John Paxson

5. My favorite sort of gig is…
One I see from the audience.

6. One thing I wish people knew about me is…
My genuine love of words, not just verbal cleverness.

7. I love the sound of…
Water, any form, any speed, anywhere.

8. One day I hope to make an album as fantastic as…
An M.C. Escher.

9. The best meal I ever had on tour was at…
The Friendly Toast in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

10. I always find the coolest audiences in…
Young kids. And Denver.

11. The worst habit I've picked up being on the road all the time is…
Being on the road all the time.

12. The Beatles or the Stones? Por qué?
The Beatles, for going further.

13. The craziest thing I ever saw was…
See it here

The Important Thing from These United States on Vimeo.

These United States Tour Dates :: These United States News :: These United States Concert Reviews

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[Published on: 8/18/10]

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