THIS YESTERDAY IS WORKING
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.

 

Mohammed Ali in a sweater


Adam & the Amethysts - "Drinking in LA" (Bran Van 3000 cover)
Freelove Fenner - "Mint" (Chevalier Avant Garde cover)

CJLO's You're Related: Montreal Artists Covering Montreal Artists compilation has three highlights: Snailhouse's doing Land of Talk's "It's Okay", Freelove Fenner doing "Mint", and Adam & the Amethysts' rendition of Bran Van 3000's cancon classic, "Drinking in LA". Each of these covers is its own song, beautiful and stand alone.

First let's talk about "Drinking in LA". Bran Van 3000's 1996 single (a hit in Canada, Italy, Ireland, Britain and Scandinavia - bot not the USA) has always been a strange creature, part booze-up party song, part hangover. Now a two-piece, StG favourites Adam & the Amethysts mine the song's melancholy, honing in on that central lyric: What the hell am I / doing drinking in LA / at 26? It's a question of fade, growup, entropy, disillusionment. Wisely, it is not reduced to a droopy acoustic cover: the original's strange happy-sad is still present, just in different proportions. There is joy in Rebecca Lessard's backing whoops, in the canter of snare. And the band have imbued this childhood favourite with their own markers of nostalgia - swimming reverb, drifting synths, harmony. Inadvertently, it recalls the Red House Painters, early Cat Power. And for my money, it is every bit as good as the original.

Conversely, Freelove Fenner are covering a song I've never listened to, by a band I've scarcely heard of. But their "Mint" is neat like spearmint, golden like taffy, one minute and fifty-nine seconds of righteous skimming softshoe. This song would sing in an empty ballroom, reflecting on open surfaces; and it would sing in a full one, while the dancers try their moves. There is a guitar solo like a sunlight doing parkour, like a small dog chasing a larger dog, and I want to listen to it until I die.

[Download these and the rest of You're Related, with proceeds to benefit the wonderful people at CJLO 1690AM.]

---

Remember James Irwin? His luminous debut album is streaming now at Soundcloud.

We are giving away tickets to see Eleanor Friedberger and Hospitality in Montreal. Concert is on Saturday! Click here for contest details. And if that weren't enough, we are also giving away two tickets to see Khaira Arby and Pat Jordache at Sala on Monday. Khaira totally rejuvenated us in 2010, and the Jordache are one of the city's best indie rock bands. To enter, email sean@saidthegramophone.com with the name of your favourite thing in Timbuktu (Arby's home town). See you there.

Finally, I said it before & I'll say it again: I'm coming to Russia! Next month! If you live in Moscow or St Petersburg I would love to meet you, because I will be a lonely and stupefied Canadian.

(photo source)

Posted by Sean at May 3, 2012 11:29 AM
Comments

I'm only getting the first few seconds of the Adam and the Amethysts track...

Posted by Jack Fear at May 3, 2012 6:14 PM

Same here. Damn, I'd love to hear it

Posted by Mitch Fillion at May 3, 2012 7:08 PM

hey, it's up! And well worth the wait, too. Cheers!

Posted by Jack Fear at May 7, 2012 9:50 AM

i am moscow now. are you here? muscovites are unfriendly. i am not a muscovite.

Posted by Mary at May 12, 2012 11:08 AM
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Sean Michaels lives in Montreal. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here.

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