WYBC Yale Radio
Mumfordians, British Invasions, Indie Zombies Taking Over the World, among other things…

(Photo By: Chad Batka for the New York Times)


So there I was, at the edge of my seat, credit card in hand, waiting on…. Ticketmaster. “Come on, Ticketmaster… Come on, man….” And then, BAM! the tickets when on sale. So I clicked the submit button faster than all those mum-heads (mumford-heads? Mumfordians!) out there, ready and willing to give away my credit card information for two sacred tickets… The cursed loading icon spinning around as if it had nothing better to do, until…

… the blinding red words appeared: “Sorry no exact matches were found”.

Nothing? No nosebleed seats? Zero? Nada?  How could this be?  Scalpers! Ah, it was Scalpers wasn’t it? (I always blame scalpers).  Though here, that probably wasn’t the case. People are just obsessed. They really, really like Mumford and Sons. And caught up in the moment, I was one of these people…  head down, sad expression, tail between my legs because I didn’t hit submit fast enough.

It was kind of pathetic, really.

But, I’m not a crazed fan. I’m not! At least I don’t think I am.

I don’t know their names… a crazed fan would definitely know names… (and middle names). Except for the lead singer…Marcus, right? I think the problem is… well, I had never failed at Ticketmaster before.

Not for The Killers, not for Bob Dylan, heck! not even for Radiohead.

In a total of about eight minutes the 19,000 seats that can be crammed into Brooklyn’s very own Barclays Center were gone. Gone! This a phenomenon to be studied— by sociologists, by psychologists, by economists… by all kinds of ists! Maybe we’ve got a second British Invasion on our hands. Not that I’m comparing Mumford and Sons to The Beatles, or The Stones… but you know, they’re all Brits. Maybe we like British accents- the independence came before we had our fill. What’s interesting here, though… is we’ve got four British guys playing a new kind of American Folk and Bluegrass. Humpf. An American Revolution disguised as a British Invasion. Maybe this is all Mumfordians saying… hey! We like banjos! (They are pretty sweet instruments, just look at Bela Fleck, and oh, Steve Martin!) Maybe Bonnaroo is our watered-down Woodstock… Maybe folksy hipsters will invade the tranquil peace of Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, San Francisco. Maybe they’ll invade the world, becoming, get this… mainstream. Indie Zombie Apocalypse. It’s so hipster you’ve probably never heard of it…. and probably wouldn’t of, until the whole world collapsed and you died. Yeah.

Oh God.

So, Back to Mumford and Sons.

People love them. Fans post love letters on Youtube and send actual fan-mail… snail-mail fan-mail. AND with good reason! Their first album was about as solid as first albums get. It sounds like a 5th or 6th album… by an experienced band. Oh, and did I mention they sold 2.5 million copies? Two-point-five Million. And then there’s Babel. Someone was complaining to me the other day Babel just a carbon copy of Sigh No More…” I answered “Yeah, I know, that’s my favorite thing about it”.

Babel’s good, and Sigh No More is good. They’re good.

Still, I’m surprised by just how popular they are. But, of course, so are they. I’ll quote good old Marcus here: “We’re just mediocre, slightly overweight English musicians. We’re fat, sweaty, and we try hard”.

Well Marcus, Looks like it’s working.

Tuning out!  Alaska Aks. Trainee.