Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ooh ah

Wuthering Heights - The Sweptaways

A cover by (brace yourself) a
30 member a capella choir named after the regrettable Madonna movie, "Wuthering Heights" is a silly, saucy, slightly gaudy performance that does Kate Bush -- who can be silly-saucy-gaudy herself -- proud. With arrangements and singing talents no more spectacular than your average high school choir's, the song's a gleeful fan note writ in large looping, girlish script. On their new record, Ooh Ah, these Swedish gals also turn their attention to Lesley Gore, Black Sabbath, Kiss, Jenny Wilson and The Pet Shop Boys and are contributing backing vocals to Jens Lekman's next album. Brace yourself again for the video: The Sweptaways also dabble in choreography.

Preorder Ooh Ah from
The Sweptaways'

Cut Your Hair - Blake Miller

From its title, you expect Blake Miller's song to be a Pavement cover. It isn't. But in a sense, it pays low-fi homage to the band. Like Pavement, Miller, a 19-year old home taper from Columbus, Ohio, pieces "Cut Your Hair" with scissors, scraps and glue. It's all about texture. But where Pavement slapped together its early, crooked collages with killer melodies, production noise and a smirk, Miller assembles his dreamy decoupaged work of (at least) quintuple-tracked vocals with tweezers and a white-knuckled sincerity. He doesn't allow his arresting voice to be upstaged by other instruments; acoustic guitar is wisely limited to infrequent strums. The better to hear harmonies cascade and pool like slow-poured molasses.

From Together With Cats (Exit Stencil Recordings, iTunes). Blake Miller's Myspace.


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