Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Music for Elvis Impersonators to Dance To

A couple of nights ago I was playing drums for a local production that included an Elvis "interpreter" - this guy had an awesome voice and sang a killer version of "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You." He didn't use the live band (which was me and a guitarist and a piano) and instead relied on prerecorded music. His singing gave me newfound respect for that song which I had previously asigned to Elvis's kitschy stuff (which is, well, pretty much everything dude ever recorded except the Sun stuff) - I didn't realize how powerful it can be when sung well.

However, he did this sort of slow motion dance to the song and (at least during the rehearsal) he did it under blue lights which gave the effect of it being somewhat dream-like... -his dance included the Elvis limp wrist hand shakes, sashay to the left and right, hip twirls the whole nine yards. yeah, yeah, I know but somehow it worked... He never overdid it and never succumbed to Elvis impersonation cliches. I think he was more trying to recreate a Teen Idol in the '50's (the show was called The Fabulous Fifties and no I had no input on the name of the show or what songs they did)... anyway, dude was trying to recreate what a typical teen idol might look and sound like (if they were a bit, um, arty) in the 50's... he didn't even dress like Elvis although when the song went live in front of an audience, he did a "thank you, thank you very much' but he never did an imitation (in his own voice).

But after several rehearsals even I got tired of listening to it, so I fired up the Ipod Shuffle and this song "Seasons" came on. At first I thought it was a Yo La Tengo cut (well, I know the voice is different but the song does appear to have some influences from Hoboken's finest) ...I realized I was confusing it with the Autumn sweater song.

At any rate, the whole f'ing effect was surreal - Elvis dude dancing faux slo-mo and this song playing and mostly synchronizing to his singing.

I then listened to the CD in the car today and realized where it came from.

"Seasons" - Bellefea

from their 2004 EP Family Tree - highly recommended if you like slow but noisy stuff with female vocals - you can download another cut from their web site. The band is playing in DC the 25th of June (Warehouse Next Door). I should add that the band was originally recommended by John (Mountain Goats guy) of Last Plane to Jakarta. He also liked this same exact song although I didn't realize it at the time.

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