Here Is One Hand, Here Is Another
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.


London readers: I'm sorry and I hope you're all OK.


Kind of Like Spitting - "Thirteen"

When Elliot Smith covered Big Star's "Thirteen" he turned the sentimental psych-pop ballad into a melancholy finger-picked nostalgia (i.e. an Elliot Smith song). Kind of Like Spitting carries the song further in the same direction. There is nothing about this version that doesn't mean high school to me. No note, or phrase, no emphasis or delivery that isn't authentically of the high school boy. I recognize that tape hiss: it's the pervasive 'hsss' of late night four track love songs.

KoLS (why this name, Kind of Like Spitting?) chooses mostly on the side of restraint, and always on the side of good. He changes a line: "If it's no, well, I can go" becomes "If it's no, then I can go." This is a better, starker, less snot-nosed line. Less a threat than a regrettable fact. He holds back from running his vocals on the second line ("meet you at the pool"), as the other two versions have it. This has the effect of making the later runs ("Paint it Blah-ah-hah-ah-lack," etc.) more striking; more true to his tentative, grand, clumsy love. When he doubles his voice, he finds his way to the most gentle and careful harmonies. While sung in the present tense, it is set in a past shared by us all (remember?). [Label]


Thanks for asking, Dan. Here are two (very roughly mixed (why so much vocals?)) new recordings.

Removed due to band upheaval. I probably should have asked them before posting the songs in such rough shape. Sorry about that. Hope I didn't get your hopes up too high.

Posted by Jordan at July 8, 2005 4:05 AM

Just discovered you via Lonesome music, some interesting stuff here .... Ill add you to my Blogroll @ RetroBabe!

Cheers IanB

PS: Nice sentiment toward London btw ! ;)

Posted by IanB at July 8, 2005 5:40 AM

always awesome to see ben (kols) getting some love!

Posted by justin whye at July 8, 2005 8:18 AM

I love "Pines Trees Are Electric Guitars" - it's a great song. It takes a while to get to the electric, drum-kicking second half, but it's worth the wait. Really, really enjoyable.

In the interests of being honest and maybe (hopefully) constructive, I find "Pretty Girl" a bit repetitious. It's not a bad song, but I think it could use a really distinct chorus, one that is much more different not only in lyrical content from the verses but also in textural content, if you know what I mean by that. I may not be explaining that very well.

Do you guys play gigs in Montreal often? I'd love to see The Cay.

Posted by Sam at July 8, 2005 10:55 AM

I half-believe G.E. Moore is right. I'm a Demi-Mooreian, Ian. Not you, Ian. Imma listen to all these when I get to a good computer.

Posted by dan at July 8, 2005 11:01 AM

j-dog, the vocal recordings on both of these tracks are -awesome-. I love the lake tenor of your voice on "Pine trees", and then the way Christine sounds when she chimes in. And you nailed it on those first lines of "Pretty girl", saying the same things in the same way but not repeating yourself, oh no no no.

Posted by Sean at July 8, 2005 3:00 PM

Thanks for the "Thirteen" cover! I'm accumulating quite a collection now.

Posted by Alia at July 8, 2005 3:25 PM

yeah, sean has it right, it's repitiOUS, but not repititiON. it's like an echo, what comes back is never exactly the same. I feel like this album will be like a play, like you could draw a string through the whole thing, which could really be neat.

Posted by dan at July 8, 2005 3:37 PM

Thanks for the kind words.

Sam - your criticism is appreciated, though you will not be allowed to return to the site. I will email you next time we play a show.

Posted by Jordan at July 8, 2005 7:16 PM

jordan! where did you get that archit. in helsinki song?....

Posted by claire at July 9, 2005 5:22 PM

i recommend Dodge Dart by Kind Of Like Spitting.
thanks a lot for Thirteen!

Posted by Arif at July 10, 2005 6:41 AM

Claire - same place as I got the Holopaw track from. Why? You want some credit? Hahaha. Never.

Posted by Jordan at July 12, 2005 2:18 AM

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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.

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