Thursday, July 09, 2009
Distance Has No Way of Making Love Understandable
You should know by now that I'm a fan of The Bad Plus, especially their last release with Wendy Lewis, For All I Care. (<-Click that to get that.) It is easily one of the best releases of the past twelve months. It combines great piano playing with masterful drumming and bass-work. Add in Wendy's dark, sultry voice and the music becomes undeniable. Not to mention that it's an album of covers, which is my most basic musical affinity. (See Cibelle's cover of Tom Waits' "Green Grass," Marc Broussard's "S.O.S.," etc.) Bonus points if it's a live cover. To those who have ever suggested that I do music professionally--after I first gave you the mean side-eye--I would say that if I did ever make music, I'd prolly only do covers.
Cuz at the end of the day, what makes a good song worth remaking is the songwriting. Lyrics that wrap themselves around each note, rhythms that seem to be lyrics themselves; when it's on, it's on. What's great about The Bad Plus is that they know how to maintain the integrity of the original song while still finding a way to make it different and new.
"Comfortably Numb" is an excellent example of that fact. Taking a Pink Floyd song that is already disturbing enough by itself (the video below will attest to that fact), the trio-turned-quartet find a way to make it as dark and ominous as possible sans actual wrist-slitting. Listening to the cover version, you'd think they recorded it in complete darkness, with maybe a lava lamp somewhere in the studio so nobody ran into each other during the most frenetic sequences.
If you haven't gotten For All I Care yet, you might as well pour piss in your hair. (Did that gross you out? I hope so; that's what I was going for.) I can't guarantee that you'll dig every single last track--my tastes do have a larger range than most--but if you listen to it and can't find at least a few tracks that make you say "UHH!!" you might as well stop visiting this blog because I probably wouldn't like you in real life. No bull.