Monday, March 21, 2011

Jam + Cover jam of the day: "This Must Be The Place" + "Bret Easton Ellis Novel"

Artists: Miles Fisher (covering Talking Heads and Bret Easton Ellis) + Netherfriends
Songs: "This Must Be The Place" + "Bret Easton Ellis Novel"
Film/novel: American Psycho

The entertainment value of this video by Miles Fisher is decidedly more dependent on your familiarity with the film American Psycho than the Talking Heads song. I'll confess this song was totally new to me (my knowledge of 1980s music is terrible, even with good music from that era, for whatever reason) so I can't pass too much judgment on the cover version. I will say a few things, though, because I'm already here and I have some opinions. For one, I hope this isn't a "great" Talking Heads tune because I'm pretty underwhelmed. For two, this song wasn't even featured in the American Psycho soundtrack, but it was in the film Wall Street (twice!), as well as Lars and the Real Girl and He's Just Not That Into You, plus the TV shows Judging Amy and Northern Exposure, so there's that. For three, it's been covered by some well-loved indie artists (here's a version by MGMT from a live show way back in 2003, and here's a version by Arcade Fire that was recorded as a B-side to "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)"), so there's also that. Maybe I should be writing about those versions. But no, because, for four, this video is a super homage to so many scenes from the American Psycho film that it has to be shared. I actually watched the film for the first time (straight-through, anyway, I've caught pieces on TV before) a few months ago, then started reading the novel a few weeks thereafter, and I just finished that a few days ago. If you haven't seen the film, this video will seem really weird and incomplete and the song will probably sound like an unnecessarily cheesy 90s electro-pop remake of a classic 80s single. But coupled with a boatload of references to so many classic scenes from the film (working out in the living room, comparing business cards, picking up Christie, axing Paul Owen/Allen to Huey Lewis & The News, pointing to the mirror mid-threesome, etc.) and Fisher's seriously striking resemblance to Christian Bale's portrayal of Patrick Bateman, and the bookending body-bag scenes, and the way that the song actually kinda grows on me ... yeah, it's pretty fun. Is it an outstanding work of musical art? No. Is it entertaining? Hell yeah.

Here's Miles Fisher's version:

and here's Talking Heads' original version:

In case you're curious, Miles Fisher is an actor/musician who you may remember as Paul Kinsey's friend/drug dealer on Mad Men (and for that you may have an "Aha!" moment like I did; a friend shared this video with me when we were talking about the film a few months back, and I just now looked up who this guy is, and now it all makes sense). He also has an EP of electro-pop available to buy, and his videos have a lot of views on YouTube, so there's that, too. Seems like an interesting fellow!

Lastly, I'll share this video of an actually great song that I really like from a (current) artist I really like (and wrote about before) and it's a superb video made by the artist himself. This is Netherfriends' song "Bret Easton Ellis Novel" and it's a great tune and it's perfectly appropriate to share here, so enjoy this stop motion animation:

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