Search This Blog

Saturday, March 5, 2011

352. "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" by Saint Etienne

I'm really not pleased with the way my output is sounding these days. Despite all my best efforts, it's just murky all the time. I have a few more shots to get it right, but at this point I'm sort of resigned to going out with my game a little off. I've probably earned that, anticlimactic as it may be.

I was really surprised at how long this turned out to be when I exported it. I had put all the work into getting to and past the second chorus, the one less than two minutes in that I play with the original chords as Neil wrote them, and figured I could use some mixing tricks and probably my last instance of meandering, stinging lead guitar using the sound that's long been labeled "Kristin lead" to pad out another minute or two. Somehow it ended up pushing the six minute mark. Most likely that means I could've knocked off the guitar wanking a lot sooner, since I was basically following that long solo and switching mix tactics every four measures while I had an excuse to do it.

(Update: In a very rare occurrence indeed, I have replaced the original mix with what I hope is a better version. The fact that I'm doing this kind of thing probably means that (A) I have actually learned something doing this whole long experiment, and (B) it's probably time to quit.)

Crappy as the results are, it was kind of fun. Although this was the first Saint Etienne song I ever heard, back in the halcyon days of MARS FM, and the idea of a group like this doing a Neil Young tune did pique my interest, it ended up being one of my least favorite things on Foxbase Alpha. Not that it's bad at all... it's just that the simple novelty of the idea and the flat-out efficiency of its execution, perfect though they are, don't even begin to hint at the depth of the rest of the record. That and it ain't Sazzy Crackers singing.

The photo, incidentally, depicts me as I looked at about the time Foxbase Alpha was released, rockin' my Miki Berenyi hair color. Within a year it'd start to be mistaken for the Kurt Cobain look and I'd have to ditch it. The '90s: so many things began with so much promise, only to be muscled out of the way by other, less exciting things.

Personnel: Rex


  1. It's not as murky as you think. Perhaps going dryer, compressing, and/or EQ tweaking would help, but really the sound comes through in the result better than it probably does in your cans. Ear fatigue may be a factor.

    Nice sneak of a few lines from "Clubbin' In The Free World" there...

  2. Ear fatigue is the name of the game at this point, my friend...