By Brent Hill photos by Alex Cason
June 5, 2015
L.A.-based indie-pop band Milo Greene has got stacks on stacks of cables. If you’re able to get close to the stage at one of their live shows, you’ll notice a sea of black wires snaking across the stage, disappearing behind, into, and out of speakers and instruments. It’s difficult to discern where one cable ends and another begins.
The same can be said of the band itself, a five-piece who swap vocals and instruments in between, and even during, their songs. It’s a mesmerizing whirlwind of activity and choreography that leaves little time for chit-chat. In fact, the first words spoken from the Visulite stage this past Saturday night didn’t come until after the third song when one of the member’s guitars mysteriously stopped working.
“Stop the show!” shouts one of the members. “This is the part of the show where we pull out the flute and do slam poetry,” he says.
In response to the joke, lone female in Milo Greene, Marlana Sheetz, says “Let’s get serious. This is emotional shit.” Crowd laughs, band laughs, guitar works.
If you must put a face to the band start with the lovely Marlana, a dark-haired beauty who strikes that delicate balance between confidence and vulnerability that so many of today’s throwaway pop stars lack. Plus, she plays just about every instrument on the stage. From guitar, to bass, to synths, to vocals and back to guitar. But putting one face to a band that clearly seeks to blur the lines of conventional pop music would be doing Milo Greene a disservice. After all, anyone with a voice can be in a band, but no band can be one voice.
So step back from the stage for a moment and consider the logistics involved in creating a unified sound from a twisted maze of cables, and you will begin to understand just how unique a band like Milo Greene is. It takes humility and talent to exhume that level of complexity, only to bury it beneath a seamless sixteen-song set.
There’s no hiding in a band with interchangeable roles. Which means an off night for one, is an off night for all. That’s a daunting, but satisfying, position for a musician to be in. So for Milo Greene to tell their story, egos must fade into the same shadows on stage that shelter all their cords and cables.