Monday, June 21, 2004

 
Last week I wrote about the Dentists and today it's all about a woman who covered one of their songs, which is how I found out about them in the first place. Her name is Lida Husik and here's her version of Strawberries Are Growing In My Garden (And It's Wintertime).

I was doing some googling before writing about her and I found, to my surprise, that glenn mcdonald (of TWAS) has already just about perfectly expressed my feelings about her in his review of her album Joyride, whence comes the above song. His column is here, and it's one of a very small number of cases where he and I have similar opinions about anything relating to music. (By this I don't mean that I disagree with his opinions...it's more that we live in separate universes that might explode if they ever made contact). I'm thinking especially of his idea that the album is rarely quite as engrossing while you're listening to it as you thought it would be.

I've now re-written this post several times...I keep changing my mind about which of her albums I like the best. Popular opinion usually goes with Joyride and Fly Stereophonic, but I was listening to her debut Bozo for the first time in years the other day and it has some rock energy (especially on the tracks that she recorded in 1989 -- 2/3 of the CD is w/Kramer, 1/3 is earlier stuff recorded at Inner Ear Studios) that's lacking on her other albums. Since Bozo is probably ever-so-slightly harder to find I'm going to post a few tracks from that, but I'd still recommend Joyride or Fly Stereophonic as the places to start. Just so you know, as I go to press you could purchase almost all of Lida's discography (including every CD I mentioned) for a total that's well under $20, via half.com. In fact, you could buy Bozo, Joyride and Fly Stereophonic for under $10 total, with shipping. Good to know.

Probably the most intense track on Bozo is Farmhouse, which has an urgency on the chorus that she never really revisited. The "Who you wanna talk to sample" comes from here, and if you're a fan of The Simpsons you may want to click that link. I also really like Snow, and (getting bonus points for the title) Hateful Hippie Girls.

Finally, for reasons relating to some things I'm going to be posting later this week, here's Lida covering a song called Ein Symphonie Des Grauens (google "Nosferatu" to make that title seem less strange) which was originally by an English band called The Monochrome Set. Lida's version appears on Fly Stereophonic. I honestly can't think of any other songs, by anyone, that really sound like this one. It's not a difficult song, but the way its dissimilar parts are seamlessly joined together is a thing of wonder. Ok, maybe the lyrics are just a little bit on the strange side. As far as I can tell, it should be "Eine" but maybe there's some reason for the "Ein" that I don't get. Any German vampire movie/Monochrome Set fans out there?

Trivia: Lida's cousin Anne Husick [spelled correctly] was at one time a member of Band of Susans, a group that should be showing up for a No Wave friday any time now. Anne's web page is here, and she has very cute cats. I wrote to her to ask if she knew anything about Lida's recent activities: she didn't have much info, but was under the impression that Lida has retired from music.



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