Eels with Strings
Live at Town Hall
MTV Unplugged established a useful test to see what pop-rock songwriters could translate to a stripped- down environment. These records often involved other stringed instruments, mainly the cello, or whole sections to augment the six-string acoustic guitars. Today, Eels would surely pass the test. The band, fronted by E (Mark Oliver Everett), has, over several albums, produced songs of rich arrangement, instrumentation, real and relatable emotion — all honest and without pretension. These songs are built for a hallowed concert hall and mini-orchestral treatment. It’s not as far a stretch for this band to reinterpret its tunes, but “Flyswatter,” “Bus Stop Boxer” and “Blinking Lights” are just three examples of how much gorgeous stuff goes on in Eels songs.