Thursday, July 15, 2004

DULLI SPEAKS!!!

she loves you is the new album by the twilight singers. it will be released by one little indian u.s. august 24. she loves you was recorded by greg dulli and company following extensive tours of the u.s. and europe whereby their mutual musical empathy, familiarity and passion for this repertoire were kindled to extraordinary heights. most of the interpretations showcased here were an essential part of the live shows and the group’s lusty intimacy with them is evident. these recordings were done very quickly, virtually live in the studio yet are as nuanced and deliberative as a piece of symphonic composition; but played with the intuitiveness and fire of classic bebop.

* for reference - here's the track listing:
Feeling Of Gaze (Hope Sandoval)
Too Tough To Die (Martina Topley-Bird)
Hyperballad (Bjork)
Strange Fruit (Billie Holiday)
What Makes You Think You're The One (Fleetwood Mac)
Real Love (Mary J. Blige)
Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues (Skip James)
A Love Supreme (John Coltrane)
Please Don't Stay (Once You Go Away) (Marvin Gaye)
Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair (Nina Simone)
Summertime (George Gershwin)
Or as mr. dulli would put it:
thirteen years ago i deconstructed six soul songs to emphasize the rather somber lyrics being sung. the songs were all originally pretty jaunty musically and i had a go at matching the music to the lyric. before and since i have had a strong infatuation with interpretation. what a song can reveal in another's hands is sometimes better than the original. two in particular are jimi hendrix's "all along the watchtower" and stevie wonder's "we can work work it out". these are both landmark songs originally done by legends, yet, i feel a little more from the covers. i could go on and on about great cover songs, but instead i shall tell you the story of "she loves you".....

she loves you means she doesn't love me. this is a tale of longing and of love unrequited. of lost love. wasted love. "there's been an accident" love....i wanted the songs to flicker with hope and to shine a light on and comfort a lonely heart.

i first heard "feeling of gaze" on christmas day 2001. three weeks later i listened to it again on my way to my best friend's funeral. the lyrics are sublime..." i feel alone for you, i feel alive with you, i feel a sin fading...celebrate". she says more in that couplet than most writers do in a career. it was the clear choice to lead off the record for it's direct statement of intent.

my friend, dragan gave me a copy of "quixotic" and told me if i could find a bad song he'd buy me dinner. i couldn't and he didn't. "too tough to die" sounded like sex musically and again the words were incredible and belied martina's age. she's an old, old soul and this song was custom built for me. i never try to match someone's phrasing and in this case would have been impossible. one of my favorite songs on one of my favorite albums ever.

in the summer of 1996, i stood on the side of the stage at a belgian festival and watched bjork sing to 50,000 enraptured people and an oncoming storm. as the storm got closer, the wind started blowing so hard, i thought they'd have to shut down. as they began to play "hyperballad", she leaned into the wind with gleeful abandon and let loose one of the
most powerfully transcendent vocals that i have ever heard to this day. the song's lyrics were beautifully ambiguous and i have always wanted to take a spin in this car.

i had been listening to "abbey road" when my friend, dave called me and told me that he'd heard we were doing a covers record. he then challenged me to cover "strange fruit". after i hung up the phone, "i want you (she's so heavy)" came over the speakers. problem solved.

while we touring the twilight's first US leg, i began obsessing on the greatness of fleetwood mac's "california cocaine trilogy". on stage i did a stevie nicks weave of "sara", "rhiannon" and "gypsy". when it came time to cut, i got a hard on for hotwiring the end of "second hand news" from "rumours" to the end of "what makes you think you're the one" from "tusk"...so, i did.

i went back and forth on "real love", but again, the seduction of marrying john lennon's posthumous refrain to mary j's plaintive and funky longing proved too much for me to resist.

"hard time killing floor" by skip james one of mark lanegan and i's favorite blues songs. it's just me, him and the truth. plain and simple.

on the 2000 tour for the first twilight record, we introduced "a love supreme" and "please stay" to each other. it was love at first sight and has been a staple of my post whigs show ever since. skibic and macintyre are in rare form here.

i have wanted to sing "black is the color" since i first heard it and even tried it verbatim back in the 80's. it didn't work. then i heard jeff buckley sing "lilac wine" and i told myself i'd best forget about tackling nina simone...but all it took was a cool summer morning, no sleep and a 1964 Martin acoustic guitar and i could smell the napalm...

last february, i was hanging out in sicily after the European tour and my friends and i were listening to a sam cooke compilation. his version of "summertime" is my all time favorite, as it recalls elvis presley's rendition of "blue moon", which is my favorite elvis ballad, hands down. after the italians dropped me off at the hotel, i flipped on the tv and "twin peaks" was inexplicably on the air. as i lay in bed, i became very conscious of badalamenti's score. i hadn't heard it in years. the next day, i called manuel and said, "let's cut summertime, i know exactly what to do".

and so goes the story of "she loves you".

treat her nice.
gx

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