Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cover jam of the day: "Tugboat"

Artist: Citay (covering Galaxie 500)
Song: "Tugboat"
Album: Dream Get Together (Today)
Label: Dead Oceans (Aurora Records)
Released: January 26, 2010 (1988)

I was reminded of this song just last night. I had some friends over to play poker and I was scanning the record collection trying to pick something to put on and I thought, "Hey, I haven't listened to this Citay album in a while", so I put it on. The end of side two came around and "Tugboat" started playing and I couldn't help but sing along. It's a classic Galaxie 500 tune and a good choice for a cover song, I say. I can't recall whether they played it live when I saw them, but seeing those seven band members squished onto the "stage" in the corner of a room reminds me how much their lush, fully-instrumented sound adds to the song, which was originally played by a spare guitar-bass-drums trio. It's a good cover in the sense that it's faithful to the original but it adds a certain je ne sais quoi; that is, it doesn't sound like Citay trying to BE Galaxie 500, it sounds like Citay playing a Galaxie 500 song in the way that Citay plays any song. Hopefully that makes sense. Anyway, I also have Today on vinyl and just played the original version. Man, they were so good. I can't find a video of the original album version, so the live video below will have to suffice, but hey, it's pretty cool that there's YouTube footage of them playing live in 1989, you know? (It's taken from the awesome DVD Don't Let Our Youth Go To Waste, a collection of early video footage of the band. The DVD is out of print, but the Carnegie Library has a copy.)

"I don't want to go to your party, I don't want to talk to your friends, I don't want to vote for your president, I just want to be your tugboat captain. . ."

Bonus: British Sea Power covering this song live!

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