The Players (clockwise from the bass neck)
Greg Salwen, Samira Winter, Tyler Taormina, Michael Brandon, Jason Lerman, Kyle Oppenheimer, Ena Alvarado, Nolan Eeley, Kenny Korb, Cole Verderber, Lorena Alvarado, Brendan Mattox, Casey Jacobs, Michaela Weglinski, and Konrad Kamm
Recently, I was interviewing Brooklyn artist & musician Taraka Larsen. In the course of our conversation about an end of the world karaoke event she and her sister, Nimai, put on several years ago, she dropped this interesting thought about singing other people’s songs:
“You’re willingly opening yourself to being possessed,” she said, “like, if you’re singing an Elvis song, and you’re really good at it, you’re channeling Elvis.”
At the same time, I finally got my shit together and started organizing the dozen or so tracks that other members of PRR had sent me to compile into the compilation you’re currently downloading (thank you for reading this and not, god forbid, looking at porn or Pitchfork).
Taraka’s observation has stuck with me. Why play the hits? It’s not like it’s hard to find the original recording of anything anymore––they’re streamable, buyable, and audible from the quad of your local college.
But nothing quite compares to picking up an instrument yourself and trying to arrange someone else’s song. Our bodies are so different, so unique. Often times it requires more than just a set of tabs from Ultimate Guitar and a six-string acoustic.
I’m at a loss to describe just what that is: I think it takes a loving, deep connection to the song that you’ve chosen to cover. You need to know original so intimately that your stupid fingers can compensate for what it does not know how to do, and replace that essence of the creator with your own.
-Brendan Mattox (aka Marblemouth)
released May 14, 2015
All the artists whose awesome music we covered.
Brendan Mattox for organizing and compiling these songs.
Ken Korb for the beautiful original album art.
And a big, big thanks to Kyle Oppenheimer for mastering!
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