Tuesday, October 09, 2007

If I Was a Carpenter

It’s pretty much accepted that there’s some sort of magical vocal alchemy, some deep genetic harmonizing, some filial vocal cord synergy, that occurs when brothers sing together. The Stanley Brothers, the Blue Sky Boys, the Delmores, the Louvins, the Kinks, the Proclaimers, the Osmonds, ... Nelson. And I think we can all agree that sisters pack a comparable mojo – the Boswells, the Andrews, Tegan and Sara. But the sibling dynamic proves more mysterious when it’s brothers and sisters. Who knows what kind of chromosomal, yin/yang, Freudian business is at work. Dark struggles work their way out in the music. This came to mind when listening to the newest from the Fiery Furnaces, which is, I guess, genius, but in a thorny, get-out-your-abacus kind of way, that isn’t really, you know, actually enjoyable. And is there anything scarier than the music of brothers-sister group the Free Design? When the over-achieving kids from the choral society and the Montessori school decide that the square world of mom and dad and work and society and conformity is all a big soul-sucking plastic sham, that’s what you get, in fine multi-part harmonies and whipped-cream production, complete with thematic burlap wallhangings decorated with felt cut-out letters spelling out some deep message about togetherness. Or, all you have to do is listen to the Carpenters, like Frankie Lee says. Funny that he posted their extra-terrestrial jamboree, because I’d brought this one back from my most recent trip to the homestead, found among a stack of long neglected CDs in the basement. This is one of those songs that you don’t really want to give away its title, because some of the magic, that sure-fire Carpenters magic, is in realizing what famous song that they’re actually singing, because you surely won’t guess by the quasi-baroque piano intro. So let’s just call it "Track 7."

"Track 7" - The Carpenters


Lefty said...

Jesus H. Christ.

Frankie Lee said...

Good stuff...I love the way her voice drops down when she sings "and he don't care". And the production stuff they throw in there is so great--the tolling bells and organ burblings & such.

Anonymous said...

Mommy, I feel sick.