15 December, 2011

This is halfway to exciting to know exists but ultimately is closer to dreadful.

I'm just going to go ahead and warn y'all right now: Unless you're into the noisier side of things, don't bother watching the video to the left, EMA covering Nirvana's "Endless, Nameless".
"Endless, Nameless", it should be noted, is a terrifically difficult song to cover because it's not really a song; it was pretty much Nirvana's way of blowing off steam at the end of a set or a session, usually half-improvised, with only a general outline for the sort of verses and sort of choruses, and with lyrics that weren't even necessarily words most of the time. It kind of existed to fuck with people who only knew the band as sellouts.
The thing is, though, if you're into this sort of thing, you know how that song goes. You know how it's meant to be played. Take a listen to the version that appeared on Nevermind. Take a listen to the live version. That's how the song is played. Those are the notes. Even Muse knows that. (Just a quick reminder, I still don't like Muse. I'll cede that they are consummate musicians, they just don't play anything I like.) (Also, I can't decide if Muse covering "Endless, Nameless" is silly or ooky.)
So, if you're not into this sort of thing, EMA's version is going to sound identical to you.
It isn't.
I hate to pick it apart because I just found out about EMA and don't want to poo-poo her efforts this soon into our relationship. After all, she's a successful musician making this video for Spin. I am a failed musician who became a blogger and I'm not even doing that right.
ANYhoo, on with the problems...
  1. The guitar part is not just feedback when you sing a line. It's high notes. I get that songs are meant to be interpreted when they change hands from one artist to the next but quit fucking around and play the goddamned song the way it's meant to be played.

    And with that one statement, he was closer to turning into this man than he ever was before...
  2. Also? It seems like she's not playing the guitar at all after a while. Wait until you get closer to the end. That one, sustained note of feedback is suffocating in its monotony. I think maybe that's what number one is about: I want her to dial back one of the (I'm sure) three or four distortions she's using and play the goddamned guitar as an instrument and not as a single note square wave oscillator.
  3. I am having a very hard time trying to think of nice things to say about that drummer.
  4. I mean it, I am really having a very hard time trying to think of nice things to say about that drummer.
  5. At 4:35, EMA starts smashing her guitar. For why?
    Listen, I know I linked to a clip up there of Nirvana doing the live version and Kurt smashes his shit up. Here's the deal, though: He could do that because A) He was Kurt Cobain, who B) was playing to a packed Paramount Theater while C) he was in Nirvana. You get to do shit like that when you're those three things. Her? I just heard about her an hour ago and she's inside what looks to be a poorly furbished shed hanging out with some guy on bass, somebody's androgynous sibling on drums, and a camera man. Who is she impressing? Don't break the guitar.
  6. After she smashes the guitar (and by "smashes", I mean "succeeds in snapping the headstock off", she pulls the ol' faux-exhaustion routine where you play like the entire performance has drained you, pardon the pun.* Hate to break it to her but screaming and occasionally remembering to play the guitar for six and a half minutes is not that physically demanding. She's going to be OK.
  7. I am having a very hard time trying to think of nice things to say about that drummer.
Otherwise? We're good, boo.

* Get it? Because "Drain You" is a Nirvana song off the same record and this post... You know? No? No good? Not working for you? Fuck you then.

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