Freeload: DMM, “Crazy in Love”

January 18, 2008

Summer 2003, when "Crazy in Love" was released, Black Eyes member Daniel Martin-McCormick recorded his own cover version of the track. We were finally able to procure an mp3 of the song from the one disintegrating cassette it has existed on for past four and a half years (hence the slightly dumpy quality) and we have it for your download. Black Eyes were in FADER 20 later that year, and you can catch that article after the jump. And check the Californian 2/5ths of Black Eyes now known as Mi Ami.

Download: DMM, "Crazy in Love"


Black Eyes are a bit much

Story by Will Welch

“We’re interested in percussion,” says Daniel, guitarist, co-vocalist, and sometimes half-kit drummer for Washington DC’s Black Eyes. The band is sitting outside of Cornell University’s spic-and-span student center, sweating and smoking, and the comment seems a little understated after the half hour of chaos that’s just gone on inside. At one point during the just-finished gig, Daniel laid his guitar on top of his amp, grabbed some drum sticks, and started beating the holy shit out of some combination of cymbals, his guitar a cowbell and a drum with a huge tin bowl on top of it. Meanwhile, Dan and Mike, the two (yes two) other drummers, chopped away in unison, while Jacob’s sax lilted and squealed and singer Hugh half-sang some mostly indecipherable lyrics. All of which probably seems like a bit much.

Conceptually anyway, Black eyes are a bit much. They switch instruments constantly. They quote Yusef Komunyakaa, Langston Hughes and Derek Mahon in their lyrics. They claim Sappho as an influence. Daniel declined to show his face throughout The FADER photo shoot. A Calvino book sat on the dashboard of the tour van. Yet, despite all the instrumental schizophrenia, despite the hyper-literate context of the lyrics, and despite the admirable but moot attempt at making a statement in the photos, the music that the band manages to distill out of all those ideas is unpretentious, carefully-wrought, grit n’ shout brilliance. Distinct melodies and grooves emerge from the chaotic stomping. Snippets of lyrics rifle from the call-and-response of the two vocalists and invoke the anxieties of high school better than any band since the Violent Femmes. It’s post-punk, post-hardcore, post-night-of-drinking-and-drugging-and-kissing and oh-shit-does-she-know-what-I-mean and can-I-handle-what-I-want and no-I’m-on-my-way-home-and-I-can-barely-drive-straight-and-what-the-hell-am-I-gonna-tell-my-folks? And it’s danceable as all hell, even if it is a little bizarre to shake your ass to songs about predatory sexuality, fear and paranoia.

When asked if they specifically intend to make music that’s danceable, the band fervently barks back “No!” in unison. But 20 minutes ago they were hitting on all cylinders, a kid with a hearing aid and a kid with earplugs had elbowed a mini-pit into existence, and Cornell’s indie-finest were all getting down around the aural fire being set onstage. As the harrowing but funky “A Pack Of Wolves” came to a close, one sweaty dude in the crowd noted, “this shit…this shit rules!” That may not exactly be the reaction Black Eyes were looking for when they penned the song’s lyrics, Komunyakaa’s poetry in hand but maybe Komunyakaa wasn’t expecting anyone to respond to his poetry with insane, smart, frightening, beautiful rock & roll either.

Posted: January 18, 2008
Freeload: DMM, “Crazy in Love”