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Thursday, May 20, 2010

63. "Still Life in Mobile Homes" by Japan

A friend of mine compiles yearly sampler collections that go well above and beyond the call of duty, often including an entire disc of cover versions, which is always fun. Early this year I created, as I often do, a big bunch of CDRs of music I'd recently acquired for car listening, which tends to be the way these things get done, and Jeff's covers disc for 2008 (well, 2009 as well, but for some reason this one snuck on a year late) was subsumed into that unholy whole. Anyway.

The cover that particularly caught my attention and had me running it back and forth while driving was a version of "Scary Monsters" which turned out to be more and more basic the further you looked into it. It was essentially a vocal, a drum loop that never altered, and a little keyboard on top with nothing filling out the bass. And that's almost something I wouldn't have thought of, odd as it may seem. I know the covers on 39-40 have a certain ramshackly, half-assy quality, but there are certain things on which I won't cut corners, and it's hard for me to leave drum tracks unmolested for the duration of a song, or a bassline unplayed. Unless particularly inspired to do so. So here's to you, The Vile Bodies: your Bowie cover provided me with a natural template for my Japan cover.

(My not playing bass certainly has nothing to do with being intimidated by Mick Karn nohow.)

Oh, and that's Derek, the drummer in Skates & Rays, on the wall there in the artwork. He, like most rock drummers, is a massive David Sylvian fan and I thought he'd enjoy replacing Mao up there.

Rex ~ Everything
Koto music originally played by Zumi-Kai Instrumental Group

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