bonnie "prince" billy and tortoise
so apparently these two indie behemoths have decided to collaborate on an album of covers. given the quality of the recent tortoise output, I'd normally be likely to yawn and spend my dollars elsewhere (like on the new angels of light, akron/family
split cd). however, our friends over at 20 jazz funk greats
(a fantastic mp3 blog I've been frequenting lately) put up a copy of their cover of devo's "pep talk"
(from freedom of choice
), and suddenly I'm sold. there is very little resemblance to the original outside the melody and some of the guitar work. devo's version is stripped down to the very minimum required for a rock song; even the synths are low-key. even mark mothersbaugh isn't quite as robotic as normally. he's not emotive by any stretch, but he is at least somewhat human. tortoise, on the other hand, start the song off with basically a bunch of long, blabby, farts made into a bass-line then layer on all kinds of off-kilter guitar, drum machine, and other random goodness. there's a lot going on but it works perfectly. then throw in will oldham, who is probably the antithesis of mothersbaugh, sounding like he's throwing off lines between cigarette drags. I have no idea what the rest of this album holds (it's hypothetically already out, but I can find no sign of its existence anywhere in the internets. anyone know anything more?) other than the covers include the minutemen, elton john, bruce springsteen, quix*o*tic, lungfish, and more. but if it's all as good as this one track, all will be well.