Live in the Villanova Room: Murder By Death

Matt Siblo

When you think about your average Friday, I bet it breaks down into something like this. First, you eat some dinner at the S(pit), rapidly gushing about the evening’s forthcoming debauchery. Somewhere around 8:30 or 9, you realize that your friend that knows the kid in the frat having the party (interchangeable with sorority girl) who lives down the hall isn’t picking up his phone. Inevitably, (s)he never will, and you then  launch a desperate attempt at salvaging your night which usually includes the prospect of free pizza at Late Nite or yet another repeat viewing of Super Troopers. Well, friend, I’m here to tell you that for one week only … it doesn’t have to be this way.     You might be saying to yourself, “But even if I wanted a better option, what would it be?” Here’s the solution. This Friday, as in the day when you are undoubtedly reading this newspaper, a show of mammoth proportions is happening at your very own university.    The headliner of said show, sponsored by our good friends at CAT and WXVU, is none other than Indiana’s cello-loving sensations Murder by Death. The band is playing a one off show here in Pennsylvania, recently finishing a stateside tour with everyone’s favorite Canucks, The Weakerthans.

The band’s most recent release, “Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left of Them?” is a brilliant concept album about armageddon, half slasher-soundtrack, half moody-post-rock. The recent attention has helped the band share the stage with a variety of other bands, including everyone from … And You Will Know Us By Our Trail of Dead to Interpol and Cursive.

Having formed in 2001, Murder by Death signed to Eyeball Records shortly thereafter, after catching the attention of Geoff Rickly, the label proprietor and singer of New Jersey’s Thursday and personally approached the band to sign. Recent reports have indicated that the band has left Eyeball for greener-yet-unnamed pastures, so only time may tell where Murder by Death will be in 2005.     Playing before Murder by Death is a band whose name pretty much says it all: The World/Inferno Friendship Society. More of a traveling sideshow than a traditional band, The World Inferno Friendship Society is a vaudevillian musical circus whose live show will have you moving and I’d even guess grooving. Traveling all the way from the great neighborhood of Brooklyn to be with us, The Inferno will set your heart a-flutterin’ and your feet a-flamin’.     Opening the show will be The Moviehouse Arcade. This indie rock trio is driving over nine hours just to open up this show, the least you can do is walk to the Villanova Room. Formed in 2001 with just a dream and a generic sounding name, The Moviehouse Arcade has been rocking the Michigan area for some time, making this show a rare East Coast appearance. Another fun fact: lead singer Ashleigh New graduated from our very own University last spring. If that doesn’t make you want to come to the show, I don’t know what else I could possibly write to convince you.   The show is tonight, in the Villanova Room. Doors open at 7 p.m. and costs $5. The show is open to the public, and all tickets can be purchased at the door, so inform the masses. Before you agree to another night of Dominos and “Napoleon Dynamite,” take a trip down to the Villanova Room and enjoy some good old fashioned rock music. It might not be as mind-altering as Jason Mraz, but then again, what is these days?