Friday, June 06, 2008

June jangle

Image: New York Times/Westminster Dog Show

Leave That Scene Behind - The Wave Pictures

It's not a matter of "getting past it." You either hate Dave Tattersall's voice, or you hate it less. It's whiny and nasal and so maddeningly atonal you want to reach through the speakers and grab Tattersall by the shoulders and shake him til his ears fall off (they're not doing him any good anyway). So why do I crush so hard on this nerd and this song and his rickety band and inconsequential--but oh so lovingly detailed--lyrics?

From Instant Coffee Baby (Amazon), Myspace

Whole Wide World
- Wreckless Eric

I'm embarrassed to say how few of the tracks on the new John Peel favorites collection I already knew (very few). But even if I couldn't say how, I recognized this song from somewhere. I didn't think it was ever a radio hit in the US, but didn't want to google it (Google just makes everything too easy). Then it came to me: the underrated Will Farrell & Emma Thompson & Maggie Gyllenhaal vehicle, Stranger Than Fiction, which has one of the best soundtracks of recent memory. That could have something to do with the fact that Britt Daniel helped out (so lots of Spoon songs and smart picks like post-punk classics "That's Entertainment" and "Mind Your Own Business"). And it's not difficult to hear "Whole Wide World" as a Spoon antecedent--as something that could even inspire a musical career--with its elegant and discrete pieces, its chug of bass, dash of tambourine, guitar squiggle, drum thumps. Nothing extraneous, everything perfectly in its place.

From Perfect Unpop: Peel Show Hits and Long Lost Lo-Fi Favourites: 1976-1980 (eMusic)


Blogger PhilH said...

I see what you mean about The Wave Machine. It's awful. And yet so so good.

I don't know which is the original, but Whole Wide World was also recorded by Laptop, and a far superior recording too, in my opinion. Not fond of the Wreckless Eric version.

6:13 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Safe to say Wreckless Eric's was the original since it appears on a collection from the mid-70s to 1980 and Laptop is called, well, Laptop. But just to be sure, I checked Allmusic and yup. But I haven't heard the Laptop version--haven't even heard of Laptop, truth be told.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whole Wide World is Wreckless Eric's song, and no cover can touch the original. But Laptop's synth-pop version is on "The Old Me vs. The New You." The Dogs also do a rock version on "Short, Fast & Tight," fwiw.

10:01 AM  
Blogger PhilH said...

Every day's a school day.

I picked up the Laptop version on a freebie CD being doled out on Freshers' Day at uni all those years ago...

Apart from that I haven't heard of Laptop either.

Still say it's better though. ;-)

10:25 AM  
Blogger PhilH said... a really naff synth-pop way though, as you so rightly say.

10:27 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home