Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Profiles in Fandom and Collaboration #7: Chris Andersen

The group featured above is The Christian Pirate Puppets. The guitarist is Toby Goodshank. The keyboardist is Peter Speer. And the singer is Chris Andersen.

The CPP started off as band that set the writings of teenagers and preteens to improvised musical backgrounds on their first 2 CDs, White, Manlike Structure... and Unpruded, before they shifted to original compositions like the video posted above, "Untimely Death, Pt. 2." ("Untimely Death, Pt. 1" is an excerpt from a shitty novel about sex and murder full of the purplest prose not written by teenagers and preteens. Both tracks are on the highly recommended Unpruded, available from Olive Juice.)

Listening to The Christian Pirate Puppets, I was inspired to recruit the very talented Chris Andersen to help us out with a song that just wasn't quite working. The song is called "Red," and it is about being besieged with bugbites at night. For some reason, the song lacked oomph. Elastic No-No Band played it both fast and slow in live shows (one of the fast live versions is included on Fustercluck!!!), but the tune never really made anybody jump for joy -- in the crowd or in the band.

But what if I subjected the lyrics of the song to the kind of recitation Chris did for CPP all the time? His brand of melodramatic mania might goose the song right where it needed it. And, by jove, I think it worked.

To show you what I mean, let me offer you 2 live clips: one of the original version of "Red" and one featuring Chris Andersen.
MP3: "Red" - live 11 March 2007 (slow and mediocre)

MP3: "Red" - live 21 February 2008 (faster and markedly improved - feat. Chris Andersen)

There. See what I mean? It ain't bad without Chris (although the mix is kinda lame so you can't hear Herb very well during his piano solo), but the tune is a heck of a lot better WITH Chris. And the studio version on the record is even better.

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