26 September 2005

wolf parade - "same ghost every night" (from the apologies to queen mary lp, available for purchase here; more mp3's courtesy of subpop are available here.)

in brief : it's not dark yet, but it's getting there.

one of the most important things i think an artist can do is ensure that a song's music and its subject matter correspond. in this respect, and in many others, brian eno's another green world is just about the most artistically successful album in the world. it is for this reason that i believe remixes and covers should exist. take, for instance, the pixies cover of jesus & mary chain's "head on." jim reid sings about sparks, while joey sanitago actually generates them; reid sings about flying, frank black gives the impression that he is (which, if you've seen frank, is not mean feat).

of course, when the original artist gets it as right as wolf parade does on "same ghost every day," it obliterates the need for interpretation. i remember, during a trip to great adventure as a v. young child, wondering what happened in the haunted house when the park was closed. do the ghosts and monsters have dinner together? do they go to sleep? w/ "same ghost every day," wolf parade offer an answer: it is a v. lonely place when there's no one around to haunt. it displays the tenderness and bathos of an early tom waits ballad as played by the bad seeds, ca. henry's dream, and it evokes some sympathy for life's devils. wolves howl, witches shriek, but most effective--and affecting--of all is when the keening organ, itself a spectral moan, circulating in the background of the song throughout its duration, is allowed to play unaccompanied as the rest of the track fades away. it is not the sound of someone closing a door; it is the sound of a door being closed on someone. between the two is a world of difference, the difference between life and death itself.

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