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Motion City Soundtrack revisiting past, preparing for future

for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

Motion City Soundtrack fans can't complain about not hearing the group's older material this year.

The Minneapolis modern rock quintet is rolling into cities for two nights on its current tour, playing its first two albums 2003's "I Am More" and 2005's "Commit This to Memory" in their entirety during the first show and then 2007's "Even If It Kills Me" and 2010's "My Dinosaur Life" the next night.

"It's interesting, because when you sequence an album, you don't think about when we're going to play them live," notes drummer Matt Taylor. "When we recorded 'I Am More,' that was literally us going into the studio and playing like we do live, so that sounds more like the album when we play it live than any of our other records.

"We learn things subtly about the moods of the records as we play them. You kind of get transported back to the headspace you were in when you recorded or wrote those records, into that era of your life. That can be kind of cool, for us and our fans."

While it's perusing its past, Motion City Soundtrack is also gearing up for the future. Taylor, 32, says the band has already recorded its fifth album and is hoping for an early 2012 release. Work on the as-yet-untitled set began in February, he recalls, and MCC took what Taylor calls "a very relaxed kind of approach to writing songs this time."

"There wasn't really any sense of, 'Omigosh, we have to hurry up and bang this out,' " he says. "Usually there's a big scheduled that's laid out and pressure to meet it, but we didn't have that feeling this time. We just went in and wrote songs together every day.

"We're really happy with it. We feel like we've made the record we've wanted to make for a long time; it sounds like us but doesn't feel like we were pushed or hurried or anything. There's a very broad-scope of sounds, from very stripped-down and intimate to orchestral to poppy, upbeat stuff and some really dark stuff. It's definitely all over the place this time, which is what we wanted. We just finally had the time to do it."

Motion City Soundtrack performs Friday and Saturday, Sept. 23-24, at Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 per night, $40 for both shows. Call 313-961-6358 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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