Way back in 1996, Phil Elverum started the Microphones, an indie rock band that was really more of a solo project than everything. (It was really just the name for Elverum and whoever was playing with him at that moment.) The Microphones released the personal lo-fi masterpiece The Glow Pt. 2 in 2001, and they played their last show in 2003. Since then, Elverum has mostly retired the Microphones moniker, though he did release a 7″ under that name in 2007. And in 2003, after releasing the final Microphones album Mount Eerie, Elverum started recording under the name Mount Eerie. Until very recently, he was still using that name.
Last night on Twitter, Elverum posted an announcement. Next month in Anacortes, Washington — the tiny Pacific Northwest town where he’s lived in recent years — Elverum will present a show called “What The Heck?,” which will feature eight bands and also “dinner.” Most of the acts on the bill are Elverum’s peers from the Pacific Northwest indie scene: Lois, Black Belt Eagle Scout, Little Wings, Karl Blau, Pounding Serfs, D+, underground punk legends Mecca Normal. And midway up the bill, with no ceremony, there’s another act: The Microphones, apparently playing their first show since 2003.
July 20th, 2019: a show in Anacortes called "What The Heck?", with dinner 8 bands.
Black Belt Eagle Scout
dinner by @hogstone
— Phil Elverum (@PWElverum) June 10, 2019
This is cool! Elverum has spent the past few years starkly, unflinchingly singing about his death in the wake of his wife’s sudden death, making the stunning and harrowing albums A Crow Looked At Me and Now Only. He has also been through some tumultuous and public things in his personal life. If a return to the Microphones represents a way forward for Elverum, then that’s a great thing. If it means more Microphones music, that’s just a bonus.