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Aug.06 Cover - Steve Wynn & the Miracle 3 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Clark   
ImageForce of Nature
Steve Wynn & the Miracle 3 May Be the Best Band You've Never Heard

I can't often say that every single time I see a certain band, I'm speechless with awe, and moved on a variety of physical and emotional degrees. R.E.M. used to do that for me, in their early years. Not always, but more often than not, Neil Young has had that effect. In recent years Alejandro Escovedo and the band he's assembled have completely mesmerized me, even brought me to tears.

On a certain visceral level, Steve Wynn and the group he's gathered, The Miracle 3, completely bowl me over. It's uncommon that you encounter a rock n' roll band that fits this well together, that transcends concerns of following roles and playing parts and instead becomes this monstrous, living whole where every note and beat seems to fly out of them with fire trails and each song becomes an adventure to experience. That, and they play like they're about to detonate before your eyes, without resorting to grandstanding. It's basic, no frills rock band stuff - two guitars, bass and drums - but seeing and hearing what the M3 can do with it is enough to make anyone a believer again.

Collected piece-by-piece over time, The Miracle 3's final peg fell into place when guitarist Jason Victor came on board for Wynn's tour for his 2001 double CD Here Come the Miracles. Not exactly looking for a steady band, but knowing a good thing when he heard it, Wynn credited his next album, 2003's excellent Static Transmission, to his newly-dubbed combo.

Released last October in Europe and late January in the States, ...tick...tick...tick is even better, rivaling Melting In the Dark, his 1996 collaboration with Boston band Come, as the most volatile and compelling of Wynn's post-Dream Syndicate output. "Melting reminds me a lot of ...tick...tick...tick. I think those albums fit really well together," Wynn concedes. "They're both raw, guitar band records." Wynn's latest batch of songs expose the wounds of ripped, beaten souls struggling to stay sane amidst rampant restlessness, obsession, apprehension and ultimately determination in the face of a world at annihilation's edge. And they rock like a quarry blast.

"Again, similar to my experience with Come, where I wrote that record for that band, that's the way this record was, too," Wynn, 46, explains. "It was very much on purpose. We'd been touring so much, and I knew this was a great band that played these great shows, and I didn't want the band to bend to my songs. I wanted to bend my songs to what the band was doing."

After touring heavily for much of the past year (but no Southeastern dates, what's up with that?), I caught up with all four members in the middle of a rare extended break. Forty-one year old bassist Dave DeCastro, when not touring, does exterior home repairs, and records and performs his own solo material around the New York area. Victor, 33, was over in Croatia visiting his girlfriend. Drummer Linda Pitmon, 40, was in New York City at the place she shares with boyfriend Wynn, doing laundry on a semi-off day from her job as a freelance project manager for a communications company, and gearing up for a show that night with Golden Smog, the loose cluster of moonlighters from Wilco, Jayhawks, Big Star and others, with whom she's been playing in recent years (she's found on eight of 15 songs on their newly released Lost Highway album Another Fine Day.) As for Steve, he was back visiting his old California stomping grounds, preparing for a one-off acoustic reunion, on July 28th, of a lineup of The Dream Syndicate, the college radio favorites he led and made a name for himself with during the 1980s.

This is the story of one of the best bands you've probably never heard.

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