too much typing—since 2003


one of us will rue the day we trespassed where no wolf may tread

My guess is that this particular combination of artists hasn't featured in a single blog entry before (but let me know if you find one, 'kay?). First: Does anyone else think that "White Mountain" by Genesis really ought to be covered by The Decemberists?

More importantly (really: more important than the idea of The Decemberists covering very early Genesis? Must be damned important!): the first song from the forthcoming new Wire album has been released (courtesy Stereogum, where you can also watch a video for the single version of "Outdoor Miner"). The song is called "One of Us," and it opens the new full-length CD due in July, which will be available from Wire's own label, Pink Flag. That rhythm guitar part is a distant cousin of the one in Jonathan Richman's "Roadrunner"...which of course makes the song a slightly more closely related cousin of Wire's own "Strange" (the relation to Richman is clearer in R.E.M.'s version, since those two songs' tempos are much closer).

It's poppier than I would have expected - but maybe I shouldn't be surprised, given Bruce Gilbert's departure from the band. Then again, Wire's always played pop...and those pop explorations have often coexisted with their most abrasive, avant-garde moments. So it will be interesting to see how the new album shakes out as a whole.

Wire "One of Us" (Object 47, 2008)


yellojkt said...

I first heard someone pretentiously say they only like "early Genesis" in 1980 before the pop schmaltz of late-Genesis became the mega-terror it was destined to become.

2fs said...

'Course, this is early Genesis so early it's pre-Phil Collins Genesis. Anyway: I wouldn't say such expressions of preference are inevitably "pretentious"; at any rate, I certainly like Genesis' music before the "mega-terror" PhilCo pop era. I'm only pretentious when I use semicolons, though.

tris mccall said...

coming up, genesis was my favorite old school band. i used to mow the crappy lawn we had to "i know what i like": me, i'm just a lawnmower, you can tell me by the way i walk. flute solo!

phil collins always made sure genesis kicked ass. those peers of mine who swore by rush and led zep (not to mention van halen) told me that genesis was soft. i would make them listen to "dance on a volcano" and "in the cage". take that, wiseguys. maybe neil peart hit harder -- and maybe not. but he was no more inventive.

myth #1 about genesis: they were rock and prog until gabriel left. then collins ruined the band. *trespass* notwithstanding, genesis was rock and prog *because* phil collins was in the band. without collins's drumming, they just would have been fetching art-pop. they would have sounded like anthony phillips's solo stuff: dreamy and educated and intelligent, but not at all kickass.

gabriel sings on the very best genesis albums but many of the records they cut after his departure are almost as good. *trick of the tail* is killer. *wind and wuthering* is s e v e r e l y underrated. *duke* is uneven but it has some of their best-ever performances: "duchess" in particular. the self-titled record from 1983 is state of the art eighties smart-pop -- put that on and in spite of your initial misgivings, you will rock to hit after hit. and then there's *abacab*, which was the best of all the eighties post-prog projects -- better than *90125*, in my opinion, and waaaay better than *three of a perfect pair*. many of those tracks are sinewy: just synth, guitar, and drums, and, like van halen, no overdubs. they sound huge.

it really wasn't until *invisible touch* in 1986 that genesis fell off. you have to blame banks and rutherford as much as collins for that one -- they all contributed material, and they were all trying to have chart hits. hell, rutherford was responsible for mike and the mechanics. give me *hello i must be going* any day.

many dislike banks's approach, but few would say he wasn't a maestro. banks, rutherford, and collins are all-timers on their instruments. the decemberists have gotten better (by firing most of the original lineup) but they don't have anybody close to that caliber. thanks to rachel blumberg, some of the proggy numbers on *the crane wife* were almost kinda half pseudo convincing. those guys were at their best when they were doing madeline the bicycle and billy liar's got his hand in his pocket and other such tweepop, but they're not going back to that. so what the hell, by all means fire up the "white mountain" cover. i'd tune in for it.