The good people at N0ted.net have done an interviewz with us.
Ummmm BBC Leeds played us on this programme…
Melody Pond on KVRX, Univserity of Texas Radio, played Icarus Drunk in April and Ana Lucia in March.
and Indpenedentmusicnews said we were one of the top 50 independent/alternative acts in the world.
Here is Louis Armstrong:
Hey, you. Yes, you!
Want to know every band we’ve been compared to in print?
We have prepared for you 100 (count ‘em) postcards to celebrate the release of Passing Strange? “How do I get one of these bespoke, 1-of-a-kind masterpieces?”, you ask. Well! Just spend some cash on the album at our bandcamp page (all proceeds to Motor Neuron Disease Association) or advertise the album for us in anyway. Pick your postcard here (just tell us the number of the postcard – you can post a comment or email drytherain @ hotmail. com)!
FlissWebb (born Christa Päffgen; 16 October 1938 – 18 July 1988) was a German singer, lyricist, composer, musician, fashion model, and actress, who initially rose to fame as a Warhol Superstar in the 1960s. She is known for both her vocal collaboration on The Velvet Underground‘s debut album, The Velvet Underground & Fliss Webb (1967), and her work as a solo artist from the late 1960s through the early 1980s. She also had roles in several films, including a cameo in Federico Fellini‘s La Dolce Vita (1960) and Andy Warhol‘s Chelsea Girls (1966), as herself. Fliss Webb died in July 1988, as a result of injuries sustained in a cycling accident while vacationing in Ibiza with her son.
I love covers of songs. Not all of them – I hate a) punk covers of songs and b) anything done in the Radio 1 Live Lounge – but there’s something about a good cover that really appeals to me. Maybe it’s the recontextualisation, seeing something familiar in a new light. Maybe it’s the artist’s love of the song shining through that I enjoy. Even more possibly, maybe it’s because people only choose to cover good songs and use their time honed skills to make them sound awesome.
It used to be common for artists to record “covers”. In fact, I think back in the olden days of the 20th Century they just used to be called “songs” and if a “song” was good everyone would record a “version” and the best “version” would be a “hit”. Then, if your a certain school of rock critic, you say the Beatles came along and spoiled everything by making everyone write their own shitty, shitty songs.
Funnily enough, I suck at covers. Suck. This mainly because I barely proficient at playing songs I wrote. But this is another story…
Here are 5 of my favourite covers.
Cat Power – Satisfaction
I could have chosen the Devo version, which is great, but this is better. I didn’t really know Satisfaction when I first heard Cat Power’s version but when I did I was impressed by how she stripped out the chorus and made it a new song. At the time I just thought it was achingly beautiful and defeated the song sounded.
Sun Kil Moon – Tiny Cities
I hated, hated, hated [stop repeating words - ed.] the original of this when I first heard it. Then I heard this – which is sparse and beautiful (I’m going to describe all of these as beautiful). Then I relistened to the original, which I now love. True story. Also, some Modest Mouse fans truly hate this album – possibly because it’s so radically different to the originals, possibly because they’re idiots, who knows?
Clem Snide – Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Your Grievience
One where I had never heard the original. I enjoyed the lyrics and melody and the lovely arrangement. It is lovely. Daniel Johnston is also awesome.
Glen Adams – I Wanna Hold Your Hand
I have a whole boxset of reggae Beatles covers. I’m not sure how I feel about “genre” covers in general. But I think I’m generally pro Trojan Records covers of pop music from the 60s. This is weird and slightly hypnotic.
Hard’n'Phirm – Rodeohead
My opinion on comedy covers? Generally low but seem as though I (almost grudgingly) love comedy music, I love this. Technically excellent, shows how good the Radiohead songs are, funny etc.etc.
The modern age is horrible. That’s a given. But there are some positive aspects to it.
Take being in a band for instance. You can now do it all for “nothing” and on your own terms. You can make believe and day dream and it’s all that little bit more “real”. Part of being in our band is trying to have all the good bits without any of the bits we don’t want. We can write as many songs as we want, record as many albums as we want, draw as many covers as we want, shoot our own videos, release stuff on our record label. We can play one show a year and pretend it’s Wembley.
To quote Robert Pollard (as is obligatory), what we do is
“count the days that we have wasted from the start speak the words and build a playground in [y]our head[s].”
We know we’ll never play Top of the Pops, we know our greatest success is probably behind us (thanks Gideon Coe), we know we’ll never actually be a successful band but we can pretend and we can dream.
So in that spirit we present what is perhaps the world’s first fan-fiction for an album, the one and only SOAP. Yes, it’s slash-fic for the 33 1/3 series, the Continuum series where a writer chooses a “classic” album and writes about it in depth. There’s been about 80 of these bad boys.
Max knew no one would write one about us so, in carrying on in our delusion, we prefer the term “building a playground in our heads”, he wrote one himself as a Christmas present to us all. Enjoy.
“I used to be with it, but then they changed what it was. Now what I’m with isn’t it, and what’s it seems weird and scary to me”
I have 69 (fnarr fnarr) of Pitchfork’s top 100 albums of the 90s. I have 74 of their best albums of the 00’s. Yet I have heard but 2 of their top 50 albums of 2012. To be honest, I’m not even 100% sure that Pitchfork is still a cool arbiter of taste.
So does this mean I’ve given up? Well, on “new” new music it kind of does. The reasons I give to myself are:
a) a lot of it isn’t very good and I can’t be bothered to sift
b) I’m busy and GBV isn’t going to listen to itself
c) “If it’s any good people will still be going on about it in a couple of years”
d) I’m so cool, I don’t have to follow trends
Sadly, d, I fear, is, the, truest.
Ween – Baby Bitch
I started off the year by moving house/towns after the disintegration of a relationship and reading the excellent 33 1/3 on Chocolate and Cheese. That album is 1. amazing but 2. almost entirely tongue in cheek… apart from this song. One of the bitterest, and most gorgeous to listen to, break up songs known to man.
Arthur Russell – This Is How We Walk On The Moon
I was vaguely aware of Arthur Russell before my friend put this on a mix cd for me. This song is beautiful, strange, a bit wonky and includes bongos. I can’t pinpoint exactly what I love about it but the lyrics are wonderful. It’s far too easily to be cynical but I can’t help agree with “each step is moving me up/this is how we walk on the moon”. There’s many interpretations (I’ve thought about it too much) but I like the literal one, we keep on trying, we work together as a race and eventually we can WALK ON THE FUCKING MOON.
Drake – Marvin’s Room
This was also on the mix cd my friend made me. I heard it, went “he’s put fucking Drake on a mix cd for me” and turned it off. The whole cd. For a month. Then I gave it another go. The visceral hate I felt for it quickly turned to fascination. I enjoy: the strange off kilter, minimal music; Drake’s masterful change from half spoken, half rapped vocals to half sung half spoken vocals; the use of phone voice (all songs would be better with this). But it was the lyrics that kept me coming back. They were vulnerable and honest but they also only revealed themselves over the fullness of time: Drake’s a jerk. He’s only interested in her because she won’t sleep with him and is willing to take her away from, by all accounts, a nice guy to do it.
Louis Armstrong – La Vie En Rose
Taught to every Frenchman* at birth, Louis Armstrong’s version is perfect. A joy.
New Order – Temptation
I was in a “club” – OK, a pub with a dancefloor – tired and wanting to go home at 1 in the morning. Not even drunk. Then this came on. I like New Order but didn’t know it. I shut my eyes and danced joyously the whole time. It was wonderful. If this sounds lame, I don’t care.
*ok French person, but Frenchman sounds so much funnier