In the same week I found out one of my first Chicago music loves would be playing a cheap show in the city, I also learned that that same group — Whisker Music – would be showing up with something new to share with Roscoe Villagers who happened to pop into Beat Kitchen Thursday eve.
No, not a bonus band mate or even a new instrument. Instead, Whisker Music brought with them a new name. They call themselves Mawrcrest, now.
I’m pretty sure they’re pronouncing it like you would Bar-crest – so forget about that pesky “w” altogether. Or, if you happen to be familiar with Bryn Mawr Ave in Chicago (or its accompanied Red Line stop), just say Mawr the way you’ve been trained.
My initial thought that night was that I found Mawrcrest to be hard to say. A week has passed, and my opinion hasn’t wavered much. On top of that: What could it mean?
I was curious, so I asked, and from what I gathered at the Kitchen, it doesn’t mean much anything at all. Mawr is a funny word (true), and hardly used anywhere ever (also true). That in itself makes it unique. And then I think “crest” was attached on the end there to give the new band name a sense of roundness.
And that’s about how Mawrcrest came to be.
I think a piece of my blah ‘tude towards the name Mawrcrest stems from my fondness for the name the band used when I randomly bumped into their act about a year ago for a Mimicking Birds show at – ta-da – Beat Kitchen. Like Mawrcrest, Whisker Music was distinctive. So distinctive, in fact, that whenever I’d toss out the name in conversation – about music, or otherwise – it usually led me down a rabbit hole of follow-up questions: What do they sound like? What does it mean? Do you have anything on the web I can listen to? Whisker Music, then, elicited snappy dialogue.
Though I haven’t given Mawrcrest much of a try yet, I don’t know that the same thing would happen. Perhaps it would. Who knows. I just think the average person will read the name on this page, in the Reader, on a promo poster or something, not feel confident they’re pronouncing it right and then move on to the next thing.
Despite that, I hope to god I’m proven wrong, because these guys really put on a show that sails. And I think it criminal they drew about the same amount of Beat Kitchen crowd – a dozen, maybe? more? – that they did a year ago. The silver lining, though, would be that they’re now headlining shows at Beat Kitchen, instead of opening for other acts.
Even better, I remember a free show at the Whistler some time ago returning more of a bumping elbows kind of crowd. So maybe some venues treat them better than others.