Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Second Hand News

When I first heard the song, I thought it was obscure single from Kindercore band Masters of the Hemisphere, released only as a 7-inch Singles Club A side. If you were a member of the club, Kindercore would send you a different 7-inch every month featuring a song from two different Kindercore artists. Subpop would do this too, which is where I first heard bands like The Mountain Goats and John Vanderslice. Unfortunately, more often than not, the fun was in the artifact of having a collection of a dozen or so 7-inch records than finding a new band to fall in love with.

The glaring exception was Masters of the Hemisphere. From the first time I put the record on, I was in love with the song. It had a great acoustic guitar chug and a melody that soared. For years-years!-I would fish threw my small stack of 7-inch records and pull out this Singles Club release to listen to this one song; usually three or four times in a row.

When I began to mature a little and became more open to music released by bands that were older than I was, I went on a mission to find some great classic rock that would inspire my fledging indie rock sensibilities. One such record that was continuously recommended to me was Fleetwood Mac's "Rumors", so when I saw a used copy for $1 at Des Moines' Zzz Records, it wasn't a difficult purchase to make.

I sat on the record for a couple of days, maybe, before I blocked out enough time to give the whole thing a listen. Listen: The vinyl sliding out of the paper sleeve, the crackle of the needle on vinyl, the chug of an acoustic guitar. My jaw hitting the floor.

Yes, I was, and still am, largely sheltered from classic rock and roll that many people view as staples of a well balanced music diet. I was also surprised to find out that I was semi-familiar with many of the other songs on "Rumors", but this was largely due to my familiarity with car commercials and the like.

So this Masters of the Hemisphere song that I loved was only a cover song. I was overwhelmed, I almost felt betrayed. I gradually came to accept the release as a well done cover, true to the original.

But now that I'm familiar with it, the cover is not as good as the original.

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