Monday, November 26, 2007

Don't want your stories anymore

Image: Kathy Osborn

Stormy Weather - Bedroom Walls

"Stormy Weather" was never one of my favorite Pixies songs, and it seems weird that anyone would feel so inspired by the original to want to cover it. Black Francis sang some of his least interesting (and most laconic) lyrics morose and humorless, emphasizing the grim inevitability of discord, the it is time-ness of It is time for stormy weather. The guitars, meanwhile, chugged phlegmatically, like they were stuck jogging on a treadmill. The product of a bitter and contentious period for the band, it isn't much of a stretch to imagine the Bossanova track as a very thinly veiled metaphor for tempestuous internal goings-on.

Los Angeles-based Bedroom Walls, which I expect holds a happier lot of musicians, makes a surprising success of second-rate material. Even from the start -- a flat, queasy warble-wobble of guitar -- it's special. The female vocalist (I've actually only heard Adam Goldberg sing for BW, so I'm not sure who she is) dwells at the deep end of her natural range and enunciates breathy and purse-lipped like a Kim Deal fanclub member in good standing. You get the feeling she's been waiting years to pay tribute and is barely repressing her glee through the performance. The whole band, in fact, sound like a giddy pack of fankids when they burst into the jubilant glockenspiel-gilded chorus. If stormy weather's in the forecast, it's the cheery sort of young-winter white crystalline snowfall with lacey six-sided flakes. This could almost be a Christmas song.

From: Dig for Fire: A Tribute to The Pixies (Amazon, iTunes)
Bedroom Walls' Myspace

Hey freeloader! Assuage your bittorrenting, mp3-grabbing burdened conscience. New blog, Dear Rockers guilts you into paying back the musicians you've been ripping off, five bucks and one apology letter at a time (with a helpful find-an-address search function).

Kathy Osborn's photos (above) of domestic malice and malaise, as dramatized by plastic dolls, are amazing -- and for sale (if you got the dough).

And if you didn't already see it, I posted an exhaustive -- or perhaps, I mean exhausting -- holiday gift guide. It includes neato stuff for music lovers and lots of artisan-made items. Claim my taste as your own!


Blogger thevitaminkid said...

Dear Rockers is an interesting idea. I buy many of my CDs used, and I know that the artist isn't making anything off that sale. Some of those are cutouts/promo copies (when you're buying online, they don't always tell you ahead of time whether they are or not), and the artist never got paid for those. Nevertheless, it is legal. Why don't I feel guilty?

5:12 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Yes, "stealing music" (as many in the industry call it) is hardly new in the digital age. (I think the rationale for selling used is that the artist already got paid the first time--which doesn't apply, of course, to promos.) As with many people, my taste was formed by copying friends' tapes and CDs. I didn't pay for those copies, but they got me excited enough about music to buy other albums. And I've spent *plenty* at this point.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Paul Pincus said...

Kathy's work is brilliant!

1:45 PM  

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