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Listening

Ram On

As culture maintains its steady cannibalization, at least we have good covers albums to look forward to. One case in point is the new L.A.-based interpretation of Paul McCartney's classic Ram.

As anyone who's been to the movies recently, or listened to a radio, or watched another stale episode of supposedly edgy satire (SNL? Family Guy? Fill in the blank?) has surely noticed, our cultural arts could now persist for eons untold in a state of half-wakefulness, cannibalizing the more salient aspects of previous human endeavors to continually replicate something new out of something cherished. A self-selecting mash-up, an autochthonous reinterpretation, a covers album. The pertinent question being, yeah, so what? Where's the problem?

Out of Los Angeles comes a particularly strong argument for putting our creative efforts on auto-pilot: a loose collection of Angeleno musicians covering Paul McCartney's second (and best) solo album, Ram, has been curated by the folks over at Aquarium Drunkard, with requests for donations to No More Landmines. The original work (recorded, it bears snarky mentioning, in NYC) proved definitively that McCartney could not only succeed but shine following the break-up of the Beatles (a break-up that some of us late-twenty-somethings are still just coming to terms with). The new interpretation, Ram On L.A., cobbled from many disparate voices, speaks to the pop brilliance of the original, but of course casts each track in its own distinctly distorted light.

Though Earlimart's contribution on "Too Many People" is stellar, I'm finding myself more strongly drawn to Secretly Canadian-signed Bodies of Water's take on "Dear Boy." This track, as well as their previous work, is well worth a listen.
biopic

TMN Editor Erik Bryan is living the dream. He grew up in Florida, but he’s from all over. He likes playing chess, making cocktails, smarting off, and not freezing to death in Brooklyn, where he currently resides. More by Erik Bryan

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