When Jacob Marshall of the band Mae called the band’s year-long creative and community-building Morning-Afternoon-Evening project “the most concrete thing we’ve ever done with our music,” we don’t think he was referring specifically to the footers for the home the band helped build through Habitat for Humanity in its Virginia hometown.

But he could have been. (Meh - the foundation in photo #6 in this slide show appears to be block rather than poured concrete, but still...).

Full disclosure. The Beat is a big Mae fan. This is a band that has never shied away from thinking differently, and big.

We spent much of our print piece on the band’s approach to making music in what we called a post-record label music industry and the projects the band has partnered with, along with its fans, to do more than just write, record, release, repeat.

The Beat assures you, lest you think Marshall sounds like he’s a little too proud of what Mae is doing and a little too much like the standard creative type whose muse was crushed by the industry, the sentiments are genuine. We wish you could have heard the tone in his voice, even at the start of our conversation, when he related he was calling from “the floor of our 15-passenger van on a rainy drive from Hollywood to San Luis Obispo. Livin’ the dream.”

Apparently, "livin' the dream" includes making an empty water cooler container a regular part of your instrumentation - note photo #5 of the above-mentioned slide show and the acoustic in-store gig here (studio version here).