Local Wire

Michael McDonald @ Celebrity Theatre

It's hard to imagine the guys running the experimental electronic label Warp Records sitting around the label's offices in Sheffield in '95, smoking spliffs and listening to art-damaged singles by Aphex Twin or Autechre saying, "You know, this fucked-up electronic shit is cool, but when are we going to release a fucking Michael McDonald record?" That's exactly what happened when the label isused "While You Wait for the Others," a single by Warp signees Grizzly Bear. The record's B-side featured the manly, throaty vocals of McDonald. "When I was with the Doobies, the style of music was that we all went over the falls with chord progressions, trying to make things as complex and interconnected as possible," McDonald told Paste Magazine, explaining that the collaboration only seemed unusual on the surface. In recent years, McDonald has mostly devoted himself to Motown cover records and greatest hits collections, but he's also turned up on recordings by electro band Holy Ghost!, making the possibility of a weird, Supernatural-style album pairing of indie rock's leading lights and "Mr. Yah Mo B There" seem like a distinct possibility.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.