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Saturday, January 29, 2011

317. "Violet Town" by The Church

About the cover artwork... there are at least five different covers for Remote Luxury, although one of them (the best one, really) only applies the the five-song EP by that title. Comes in handy for keeping the visual side of things a little more interesting. Better still is the cover image for my cover of this song, which, were it an actual 45 sleeve, would seem to imply that Skates & Rays is covering an entire Green Day LP as the b-side.

Anyway, I return, finally, to the task of covering the entire LP by The Church. This is the second track on the album. Again, I hope to have relieved it of some of its original stiffness. The track was really difficult to craft, though... in some ways is was a throwback the the difficulties in the earliest days of 39-40, when stuff just didn't come out right and I had to backtrack and rethink things on the fly, and even then it was a struggle. My first plan was to have Eden and Miranda play a couple tracks each on viola and cello to give me a nice fake string quartet as a bed for the whole thing, but scheduling didn't allow for that. And it just got tougher from there. The final arrangement is very good, I think, but unfortunately all the performances betray the clunkiness of all that retrenching and reorganizing, not to mention a few drum loops that kept slipping off tempo before I caught them. At some point, though, you have to call it a day.

I guess at this point I should start to talk about my take on the songs on Remote Luxury, which strike me as really, although probably accidentally, of a piece with each other. It feels to me very much a "coming of age" album. There are, as always with The Church, songs of travel like this one, often songs of a deluded group on some kind of fool's errand in exotic but tiresome territory; in this case, though, it's just a town in Victoria, AU, and I therefore relate it to a lament on the grind of touring as a small, poor band. This one might be a sort of "Pleasant Valley Sunday" type of thing, although the vibe is of a bit of a sinister, seemingly deserted place. My relationship with the lyrics is a bit pretzel-like: what I found on the internet corrected a few things I've always misheard in the words, but was clearly totally wrong on a few other points, so what I sing is a hybrid of the real, the imagined-by-me-for-decades, and a few on-the-fly inventions depending on what I felt best fit the theme I imagine for the original LP, and which really will pervade my "re-imagined" version of it (more on which as the album develops).

Personnel-wise, this is by any measure a solo track by me, but I am crediting it to Skates & Rays as the full Remote Luxury cover album will be attributed to us as a band and this'll just be one of a few tunes on it on without the rest of the guys.

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