Monday, April 21, 2008

Raconteurs Tonight Too!
Part 2: Brendan Benson

The first time I remember hearing about Brendan Benson was when Pitchfork listed their top 5 music videos of 2005. That list first exposed me to Jason Forrest's wicked (song and video) War Photographer, re-introduced me to Supergrass via Low C, and introduced me to Brendan Benson via the video for Cold Hands, Warm Heart with cute and vaguely sadistic stick figure animations. BB generally gets the short shrift when people talk about The Raconteurs. Despite having three solo albums and co-writing almost all of the material on both Raconteurs albums, I guess he can't escape the media calling them Jack White and some other guys. Judging from this Newsweek interview, it's a wee bit tiresome for him. But whatcha gonna do? He's already recorded his next solo album, but it won't be released until probably next year once all this Raconteurs business is out of the way.

Brendan Benson - Folk Singer
Brendan Benson - Good to Me

The White Stripes - Folk Singer [originally by Brendan Benson]
The White Stripes - Good to Me [originally by Brendan Benson]

The Mood Elevator - Money City Maniacs [originally by Sloan]
Now this here is actually the impetus for these last two posts. Saturday being Record Store Day, I paid a visit to Zulu Records and bought a handful of CDs including a compilation called One Scene to Another: Plumline Record's Tribute to Canadian Indie Rock. Now really, with a title like that who could resist? From the CD insert: "our favorite Detroit bands from the present cover songs by our favorite Canadian bands from the past. Hope you enjoy." The Canadian bands being covered include Sloan, Joel Plaskett, Thrush Hermit, Jale, The Super Friendz, Eric's Trip (former band of Julie Doiron), The Hardship Post, The Inbreds, Hayden, Plumtree, and Zumpano (former band of A.C. Newman, frontman of The New Pornographers). Note: this album can be bought online here.

Admittedly, I bought this just to hear a Money City Maniacs cover, so imagine my surprise when I skim the liner notes and see that Brendan Benson is credited for "snaps, backing vocals" on the track. As it turns out, Brendan Benson was also in a band called The Mood Elevator, a re-arranged line-up of Brendan Benson & The Wellfed Boys. Nifty.

Terry Reid - Rich Kid Blues
The Raconteurs - Rich Kid Blues [originally by Terry Reid]
Of course you should have Consolers of the Lonely already, but if not, check out this cover of Terry Reid's Rich Kid Blues. Sound a little Zeppelin-esque to you too? Reid was Jimmy Page's first choice to be the lead singer of his new band after The Yardbirds, but he declined and suggested someone by the name of Robert Plant...

Terry Reid - Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) [originally by Sonny Bono; performed by Cher]
The Raconteurs - Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) (live) [originally by Sonny Bono; performed by Cher]
The Raconteurs played this a bunch on their last tour (including on Austin City Limits). Perhaps Terry Reid's version is partially responsible for that cover choice...

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