Labor of Love

Is there a reward to punching a clock beyond the paycheck? Or is your workweek a sad loss of time that could be better spent?

This is what Michael Roderick, the bearded (and sometimes pig-tailed) front man of Mood Area 52, seeks to explore on the seventh album of their dynamic and genre-busting music, Company Town. The album comprises 10 songs exploring blue-collar breadwinning, taking cues from Studs Terkel’s ethnography Working as well as from ethnic groups that made their way to the American West. The band’s music has mutated in the typical Mood Area 52 fashion by defining itself through instrumentals rather than genre, with influences ranging from Balkan brass to blues and rockabilly to roots-rock, jazz and tango.

According to Terkel, “Work is about a search for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor; in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying.” In Company Town, songs like “Settle Your Daddy’s Score” and “Rajasthani Truck Race” take on this struggle for a relished, vigorous life. So come out and banish your workweek torpor with a beer and a dance, and see what flavor of excellence Mood Area 52 has morphed into this time.

Mood Area 52 plays their CD release party 9:30 pm Saturday, June 29, at Sam Bond’s; $5.

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