GREENHOUSES
by Sean
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.

 

The Tough Alliance - "Taken Too Young (cover/remix of Taken By Trees)". The Tough Alliance rediscover "Too Young", by Victoria Bergsmann's Taken By Trees project (& which I wrote about last July). They make it one of the songs of the year. And when I say rediscover I mean they found it in among diamonds, saffron and milkweed pods; in with childhood, sex and distant waters; in with the way you feel, your eyes laying on hers, when all that's green in you curls. [buy things]


(original video source)


Darker My Love - "The Fool".
The One AM Radio - "Wayward Wind".

Two bands record songs from 1956, and what they find there is very different from the usual nostalgia. These songs are not in shades of sepia, they're in shades of white ("The Fool") and green ("Wayward Wind").

Darker My Love slow down Lee Hazlewood's "The Fool" until it can fit in the space between heartbeats. Here's a singer so full of regrets that the day stops moving, that the sun's disc never dips in the sky, that all things are covered in the still light of melancholy. The band's psychedelia is kept gorgeously restrained, just a ghosting of dream at the edge of an insomniac's sight.

One AM Radio's "Wayward Wind" cover is meanwhile perhaps the best track they've ever recorded. Instead of turning the song into a drudge, the often-sleepy group lets it stay a skipping pop-tune; only the corners are dusted with fatigue. It's part Yo La Tengo and part Camera Obscura, the texture of click and thump and ba-ba-ba like all the postcards you've ever sent.

The strangest thing about these recordings is that they were made as part of a cross-promotion with the PF Flyers shoe company, who are reissuing the 1956 Bob Cousy All-American sneakers. And I view these corporate tie-ins with such cynicism - not because I hate all corporations, not because it's an unethical "sell-out" thing to do, just because it almost always produces mediocre art. But here are Darker My Love and One AM Radio making exquisite little songs, making them for a sneaker company, and the thing we learn again, well, it's that artists - it can be okay to get paid. [more info]

Posted by Sean at May 23, 2008 11:50 AM
Comments

You are three for three by me this Frid'y.
The bells are ringing and I feel like dancing.

Posted by Mirz at May 23, 2008 6:04 PM

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about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

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Mitz Takahashi is originally from Osaka, Japan who now lives and works as a furniture designer/maker in Montreal. English is not his first language so please forgive his glamour grammar mistakes. He is trying. He joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. Reach him by email here.

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Dan Beirne wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.

Jordan Himelfarb wrote for Said the Gramophone from November 2004 to March 2012. He lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.
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