So at this point the jig is up, right? When talking about Gorillaz, we’re more than fully aware that despite being represented by animated characters, there’s a full band of actual people behind them, right? I think that Daman Albarn, animator Jamie Hewlett and Co. are essentially done with presenting this project as an animated band in the sense that they used to do interviews in character rather than as themselves. Yes, the main entities of Murdoc, Noodle, 2D and Russel still exist when watching Gorillaz music videos or even in concert, but as far as promotional duties are concerned, I’ve seen more interviews with the actual people behind the cartoons than the actual cartoons themselves when it comes to the group’s latest (and best) album “Plastic Beach”. This is a stark change from the last two records, and it makes me happier to hear words coming out of Albarn’s mouth rather than a fictional character who may or may not be messing with us. That said, I’m very pleased with this week’s Live Friday, which features Gorillaz and also has a totally legitimate interview with Albarn and Hewlett about the project. What follows is an informative look into the band with the veil lifted, and many burning-ish questions are answered. But really, you may be more in this for the music. The band does 3 songs off “Plastic Beach”, all of which come off sounding much like their album versions. That tends to happen when you’ve got a lot of programmed beats, and all the work done by your guest stars has to be pre-recorded because they’re not out on tour with you. But Albarn does do his vocal stuff live, among other things, and there’s a live drummer, so if you’ve got no idea what Gorillaz sound like live (there’s an equally, if not more compelling visual component to their shows), this is a good indicator for you. And I can’t really remember the last time I heard Gorillaz do a radio session. All that said, this is a pretty great session of you like Gorillaz, and at the very least I suggest you download these songs.

Gorillaz, Live on WXPN 6-11-10:
Gorillaz – Stylo (Live on WXPN)
Gorillaz – On Melancholy Hill (Live on WXPN)
Gorillaz – Rhinestone Eyes (Live on WXPN)
Gorillaz – Clint Eastwood (Live on WXPN)

Stream the entire interview/session

Buy “Plastic Beach” from Amazon