Friday, September 30, 2005

Annie, Stranglers, Kate and Anna

5. Annie “Chewing Gum” (FakeID remix): Norwegian indie-diva Annie’s “Anniemal” disc is one of the catchiest things I’ve heard in years, sort of Kylie Minogue (she can’t sing) meets Saint Etienne (she knows she can't sing but is sophisticated enough that it doesn’t matter). Fake ID is one of mash-up’s biggest stars, like Richard X (who worked on the “Anniemal” album, and the original “Chewing Gum” in particular) some bedroom dude that’s gone onto to greater notice. His remix of “Chewing Gum” sounds uncannily like something Shep Pettibone would have done in 1987 or so, e.g. his 12” remix of New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle.”

6. Stranglers “Golden Brown:” I always thought the Stranglers were just another punk band, and then I heard “No More Heroes” ripped off lovingly by Elastica (they got sued, right?), and “Peaches” used so well in Jonathan Glazer’s “Sexy Beast.” But I first heard “Golden Brown,” the most un-punk of songs, covered live by Bedhead. It’s a beautiful and, like “Another Girl, Another Planet” by the Only Ones, one of the prettiest songs about heroin. Obvious, when you think about it, but you don’t notice it at first.

7. Kate & Anna McGarrigle “Complainte Pour Ste Catherine:” I came really close to using the version by Kirsty MacColl, which has more of a Caribbean soca thing going on. Her version is super pepped up, with big, rousing horns, and yes, she sings in French. It always sounded familiar to me, but for some reason it never occurred to me that it was a cover. So I look at the credits and see it’s a McGarrigles song. I pull out their first album, a folk-rock classic, and lo and behold: there it is! I chose their version since it’s a lot less in your face. MacColl’s version is great but really alive, almost too much so, and the new remastering would have thrown off the flow of the mix. Too bright!

This makes me wonder when Kate and Anna McGarrigle will get around to recording a new album. They keep putting out family reunion albums with Loudon, Rufus and Martha.


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