Friday, January 19


As I mentioned in the last post, the exceedingly non-Swedish KEREN ANN pulls double-duty as one-half of LADY & BIRD. Her corresponding half is BARDI JOHANNSSON, whose main gig is BANG GANG. The two put out a self-titled album in 2003 which included a rather pristine and haunting rendition of "Suicide is Painless" -- the theme song from M*A*S*H.

The record was re-released in 2006, presumably intended for an American audience. As a bonus, an extra track -- "Do What I Do" -- was affixed to the disc. But it's the "song" that comes before it that served as the genesis for this post.

"La Ballade of Lady & Bird" is just plain strange. Spooky. Creepy. Over a gentle, acoustic guitar, a girl and boy (Lady & Bird, of course) carry on a sad, warped conversation. Perhaps their evil grandmother has locked them in the attic. Or perhaps they're just coming to grips with the pointlessness of existence. Who the hell knows? But it's decidedly strange. Spooky. Creepy.

Which put me in mind of the RADIOHEAD "song" "Fitter Happier." The voices on the former tune aren't computerized the way that the voice on the latter is -- just filtered for full-on eerie, existential echo. Apparently, the voice on the RADIOHEAD track belongs to "Fred," a real-life employee at the Microsoft Corporation. Turns out, he's no one-trick pony. Years later, he would cover the song that broke RADIOHEAD to the world. He really does have to work on his vocal stylings, however; he tends to be a little flat.

[MP3] Lady & Bird/"La Ballade of Lady & Bird"/"Do What I Do" [live/acoustic]

[MP3] Radiohead/"Fitter Happier"

[MP3] "Shitter Crappier"


[MP3] Lady & Bird/"Suicide is Painless"

[MP3] Radiohead/"Creep" [as "sung" by FRED from "Fitter Happier"]

[MP3] Manic Street Preachers/"Suicide is Painless"

[MP3] Bang Gang/"Find What You Get"


F.J. Delgado said...

gotta love Radiohead... Fitter Happier, for all it's wierdness, really helps shape and define OK Computer.

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Christian said...

"Fred" is actually one of several text-to-speech voices on the Macintosh. Text-to-speech is meant to help the impaired by reading text to them - but of course it also makes for an interesting musical instrument.

Oh, and ++ on the Radiohead love.

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