Fashion Flirting with Sympathy for the Funeral into the Dark of the Lucky Week

I love the Rolling Stones.  The first album I ever fell completely in love with was their Flowers Album, a compilation album released for the United States with three previously unreleased tunes – My Girl (why yes, it is a cover of the Temptations song), Ride On, Baby and Sitting on a Fence.

Like many classics, I don’t remember the first time I heard this song.  I actually don’t remember much about it at all … until I was watching an episode of Criminal Minds and The Neptunes’ remix of Sympathy for the Devil played during the first few minutes of the episode.  A very dramatic episode, and the song complimented the tone perfectly.  Matthew Gray Gubler, who plays Dr. Spencer Reid on Criminal Minds, mentioned at the beginning of the DVD commentary for this episode that the music chosen for Redemption was the best music, he thought, of the entire series to date.

I completely agree.  The episode, as I mentioned, started with Sympathy for the Devil (Neptune’s Remix), and ended with The Funeral by Band of Horses.

And while I love The Funeral – it is so incredibly pretty – I’ve always felt it left me a bit cold. Death without resolution. I love me a depressing song as much as the next angsty estro-powered chick, but I need some kind of uplifting in it to give me that fully satisfactory musical experience.

Imagine my surprise, after I had finished writing this post and was watching Gossip Girl’s season finale.  Suddenly I realized that I knew the song that was playing.  A cover of The Funeral by Serena Ryder & The Beauties.  I find it has everything the original was lacking.

Before finding that above cover, less than 12 hours ago, my uplifting angst void was only filled by a little Death Cab.  Enter: I Will Follow You Into the Dark by Death Cab for Cutie.

I was working at lululemon athletica Polo Park – one of my first ever shifts. I was three days away from finishing my 30 Day Hot Yoga Challenge at Hot Yoga Winnipeg. I was sizing the tanks using a modified wide-legged forward bend when it came on our satellite radio station. J., one of the girls who started the same day as me was windexing the store (we had a dust problem), started talking about all the reasons why she loves this song, and forever more I was hooked.

As I so often do, I was one day trolling Hype Machine (I spend about 30 minutes to an hour of active musical searching on Hype Machine per day, not including the passive enjoyment of the site, where I just let the music play without any specifications or guidane), and came across the cutest cover I think I’ve ever heard.

Amy Millan performs and records with both The Stars and Broken Social Scene, as well as solo. BSS is a Canadian Indie rock band, and the members number from six to nineteen. This collective musical energy, an ebb and flow of bandmates, is something I really appreciate as a music-lover. The music changes and evolves depending upon who is participating.

That kind of music-making was somewhat mimicked in Winnipeg’s Record of the Week Club. According to their website, the Record of the Week Club: “The Record Of The Week Club was a 16-week recording and social experiment bringing together musicians who had never before met. Their task? To write, record, mix and upload a song in one evening. The results? Unbelievable.”

I went to the concert last summer at the West End Cultural Center (potentially my favorite Winnipeg venue), and was completely floored by how wonderful they were. The musicians who were a part of the club would come and go depending upon which song was being played – seven of the sisteen songs recorded were performed that night.  For the second half of the concert, the musicians were broken into 4 groups, and were challenged to write, then perform a song based upon a theme given to them at 3:00 in the afternoon (when the musicians arrived at the WECC; Pictures of the night found here). It was a nod to the club, and it came off brilliantly. All the songs written during that sixteen week period are available to listen to on the website. I highly recommend taking a listen- you’ll get everything from Inuit throat singing to indie to lounge. Every song is completely unique and wonderful.

Last connection of this post is regarding the venue. Twice now I have had the pleasure of watching Sarah Slean perform at the WECC (and twice in Ottawa, once at Carleton’s Oliver’s Pub and Patio, and once at the Château Laurier as a pre-Juno show. She’s a-friggin’-dorable. Also, she has amazing taste in shoes, and is almost always dressed in some fabulous vintage frock. She’s about 5 foot nothing, and has this powerhouse of a voice. Best of all, she easily inspires audience interaction.

And if the audience doesn’t participate, she makes fun of it. For example, last time I went to see her, we forgot to shout out “Declined” in Lucky Me (as you’ll see in the video), and she stopped the song, and told the audience of Winnipeggers that the audience in Saskatoon had done better. We did a much better job of joining in after that.


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