Edward Sharpe & Magnetic Zeros at Telluride’s Opera House 12/2

Edward Sharpe & Magnetic Zeros at Telluride’s Opera House 12/2

[click “Play” to hear Alex Ebert’s conversation with Susan]   

Noel Nite in Telluride, December 2,  is the official launch of the holiday season in town. The idea: Shop til you drop, but put some in storage. Following the feeding frenzy, guaranteed you’ll be shaking what your mommy and daddy gave you and then some, when Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros performs at the historic Sheridan Opera House.

Edward Sharpe is the evil twin of Alex Ebert  – or is the other way around?  The 10-piece ensemble was named after an imaginative and honest young protagonist in a novel written by Alex Ebert, the group’s oftimes shirtless frontman and engine. It tells the story of a kid who transcends the dark world of tsks tsks by tapping into childlike musical impulses.

Since the Austin music slam, South by Southwest in March 2009, Sharpe and this band have been literally and figuratively on a roll, driving their bus from party to party at venues large and small, leaving Magnetic virgins shouting for more. But it hasn’t always been that way.

The lyrics of the title song of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s debut album tell the tale of the journey: Sharpe/Ebert was not always walking on the sunny side of the street

“…Herowind and rain blowing out my window pain
Drugs drugs drug me down killin light killin sound

But now I’ve already suffered I want you to know God
Im ridin on Hell’s hot flames comin up from below
Yes I’ve already suffered I want you to know God
I’m riding on Heaven’s flames coming up from below

Far from below – how high can we go”

Edward Sharpe/Alex Ebert is the son of longtime local, Michael Ebert, now living in Rico. Michael remembers  Alex as “a positive, curious, energetic, loving, and adventuresome” pre-teen. Alex started to write music in his late teens, inspired by a high school chum who performed hip hop. College was not Alex’s thing. He quit after a year and formed his first band, Ima Robot, a David Bowie lookalike, glam-rock ensemble according to the critics. When Ima Robot’s deal with Virgin Records came apart over artistic control, Alex went down in flames only to re-emerge like the Phoenix, better than ever as Edward Sharpe. How high can he go when he (re)starts from the top? The single “Home,” from “Up From Below” had its TV debut on Letterman.(click on “Letterman” to view ESMZ on the show) Not bad for a new band.

Concerts featuring Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s are described variously described as  joyous jamborees, hot, sweaty parties, and feverish shamanistic revivals. The sound? A mixed bag, but lyrics are more or less a decidedly upbeat version of Donovan meets Dylan. Showtime is 9 p.m. Let the sun shine in.

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