Friday’s Song: Chet Faker x WKND – Lover

How often do we come across new music while on the subway? I don’t mean by eavesdropping on a fellow straphanger as they click ‘next’ on their smartphone. Nor do I mean that if someone’s Beats are playing so loud as to make you want to cry out like your grandmama, “Turn that damn ratchet down!” is what I mean. This is something altogether different. Perhaps it’s a cover band playing for singles during rush hour, or a brass ensemble that’s taken to the trenches of late-night weekend train platforms. It’s just sometimes, a beautiful sound is overheard underground.

The band Sonia Dada formed after such a chance encounter in the Chicago underground in 1990. Band frontman Daniel Pritzker came across his future bandmates who were then busking for change in a subway station. While the band never reached such cultish adoration as their fellow Chicagoans, Wilco, today, they get some love here on The Aftermath.

Offered to appear on the Australian radio station show Like a Version, where the guest artist plays a cover of their choice, hometown hero Chet Faker lent his one-man-gospel-sound to Sonia Dada’s best selling record, “Lover (You Don’t Treat Me No Good)”. Now, this being the Internet Age, Faker’s rather pared down and acoustic rendition of “Lover” could not be left alone for long.

German producer WKND (no connection to the sexahaulic Canadian), has imbued Faker’s version of “Lover” with metal drums and a beat to dance to. The kid has flipped the cover into a remix – and I’m all the more grateful for having come across it @boycalledwknd. Yet, each of these versions are enjoyable in their own way; each a telling of a different time and circumstance, but of the same story.

The Rural Alberta Advantage

I fell in love with music in 2004. A brace-faced, energetic rabble-rouser struggling to adjust to the combination of some difficult changes at home as well as the awkwardness of middle-school, I had recently acquired two powerful tools that helped make everything right: Creative 5.1 surround speakers and a Gateway computer.

The speakers were duck-taped to each corner of my box shaped room, ensuring that the emitted sound painted every inch of the walls. The computer, a hand-me-down from my brother, was equipped with a library of a few thousand songs and Napster, the most infamous computer program in the music industry. For me, it meant an endless catalogue of easily accessible music.

Many hours were spent perusing through websites and forums, searching for “similar artists” as I traveled down a strange rabbit hole of sound. Parsing through the spam, bootlegs, and uninspired songs, eventually I’d find it – the rare gem that both confused me and inexplicably moved me. Rock, Blues, Folk, Reggae, Ska, Punk, Prog-Rock…

At that time, musical movement came in violent furies of passion, which is an eloquent way of saying my shrill prepubescent voice and pale, emaciated body had all the best intentions but none of the required attributes.

Yet safe in my personal box of a room, I was a hero.

All knobs turned to full volume, I’d stand on my chair and wail on a non-existent drum set, guitar or microphone. I’d put my foot on the back of the chair and tilt forward, crashing into the bed at the song’s climax. Shaking off the bruised knee and a brief sense of lameness, I’d dive back into the song full force.

I lived on a quiet road by a wooded area. On the off chance a walker-by heard the muffled cacophony from my room and looked through the window I imagine they’d feel extremely uncomfortable – a combination of guilt from having invaded a personal space and second-hand embarrassment from witnessing such an awkward passion.

Yet my imagined world was far more important than the reality. I was jamming, I loved it, there was no place I’d rather be, and the window to my street was too small to contain my dancing fervor.

Anyway, here’s two cool songs from The Rural Alberta Advantage. I’d be remiss to not say that tonight they’ve reinvigorated my propensity toward air instruments and in-room theatrics. With my window looking out to the Marcy ave train stop, I’m sure I’ve made a few commuters either laugh or roll their eyes.

Still, there’s no better way I could have spent the last half hour than reverberating off the walls to these two heroic tales.

The War on Drugs – Red Eyes

As you can tell from flowebro’s last post, we’re big fans of the roady here at The Aftermath. This past weekend I drove to Northern California for a weekend on Shasta Lake. With a long trip ahead and the heat outside hitting the 100’s, I honed in on one of my favorite road trippin’ songs: Red Eyes by The War on Drugs.

Take a listen to Tom Petty’s musical doppelganger.