Typically, a live album is the product of an artist either flush with massive success or on the desperate end of a career. However, in the case of Rainer Maria, neither of those two descriptions are accurate: This modestly popular indie rock band's recent efforts have earned the trio acclaim from fans and critics. Their Anyone in Love With You (Already Knows) presents the finer concert moments of Rainer Maria's history on a DVD/CD set, giving a glimpse of its hard-edged pop and a perspective on its progression, from Wisconsin start to NYC transition years. "I think songs evolve after playing them for eight years, so we wanted to get them out," says vocalist/bassist Caithlin De Marrais.

The band, named after late poet Rainer Maria Rilke, formed when De Marrais and Fischer attended a University of Wisconsin poetry workshop. "I never really imagined myself playing in a band," says De Marrais, who fancied poetry and dance over music at the time. "I was like, 'Hey, I'll play bass.' Little did I know that I couldn't play it." After going through notebooks of poetry and sorting through potential songs, the band compiled material for a couple of 7-inch releases and a self-titled EP. They followed up with efforts like 1997's Past Worn Searching, 1999's Look Now Look Again and 2001's A Better Version of Me, which landed a No. 1 spot on the CMJ music charts.

While earlier efforts incorporated "couples rock"-styled male/ female vocals, De Marrais dominated 2003's Long Knives Drawn. She compares the switch, and the band's musical progression as a whole, to a relationship – no surprise given De Marrais and Fischer are an item: "Any relationship you're in changes ... you won't be satisfied if it stays the same."

More by Omar Perez


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