Thursday, March 18, 2004

Hmmm, I mentioned Dump yesterday when I was talking about Christmas (the band) (it's kind of annoying having to write "the band" every time I mentioned the name of that band). I wasn't planning on featuring any tracks by Dump, but then I realized that I hadn't listened to anything by them/him in a really long time. Just to recap, Dump is the solo project of Yo La Tengo's bass player James McNew.

So anyway, I was surprised to discover that I actually like his version of the Silver Apples song You and I quite a bit. In a weird way, it's surprisingly faithful to the original.

Especially because of his album of Prince songs That Skinny Motherfucker with the High Voice?, James may be best known for his cover versions. Here's (as far as I know) his longest original song, International Airport, from an EP of the same name. James has said that it took him almost a month to record this on his four track, and that he did it as his summer project. Having fallen victim to the vagaries of cassette multi-track recorders more than once myself, I just want to say that that must have been such a nerve-wracking month. Well, maybe not -- he seems like a pretty calm guy. I actually lived right down the street from him during the time that he was recording this... used to see him walking around the neighborhood all the time, but I never struck up a conversation. I thought about it from time to time, but realized that I didn't actually have anything in particular to say to him and that it's kind of silly to talk to semi-famous musicians just because they're semi-famous musicians.

Finally, inevitably, this brings me to the Happy Flowers, with whom James McNew played on occasion. Most of you have probably heard this, but it's so darn wonderful that I'm going to post it anyway for the benefit of that one person in Siberia who's never experienced the glory that is the Happy Flowers. What's especially amazing... no, make that utterly amazing... about I Said I Wanna Watch Cartoons is that it actually gets better and better as it goes along. I was knocking around the Happy Flowers web-site the other day and it's actually got a lot of pretty cool stuff. I highly recommend clicking a link or two. FYI, the album that this song is from is called Oof, and it did get released on CD. But, if you buy the CD you'll miss out on the lovely full-size artwork that comes with the record.

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