“SONG FOR EWE”
with SAM COOMES of QUASI
“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day.
Today’s guest is best known as being half of much loved pop duo Quasi along with Janet Weiss of Sleater-Kinney, but he’s also been a member of hugely underrated concern Heatmiser and today he’s releasing his first ever solo album, with the quaintly British sounding “Bugger Me” (on Domino Records) which helps keep the spirit of Suicide alive, while teetering around on Crystal Stilts. Velvet Sheep is super proud to present to you, Mr. Sam Coomes!
Sam has recorded an amazing nine albums as Quasi over the last two decades. My favs being “(Featuring) Birds” (1998), shortly after I joined MTV and “When The Going Gets Dark” (2006) just as I left it. A killer soundtrack for great times.
Quasi also played as the backing band to the much missed Elliot Smith (Sam’s previous Heatmiser band mate) who I once had a super intense interview with at MTV2, just me and him in a room with a PD150 camera on a tripod.
I noticed Sam had a mutual FB friend so I was chuffed when he connected, and not only that was quick to agree to a cheeky “song for ewe”. It turns out the timing was serendipitous seeing that his solo album was due so soon. “Bugger Me” was that lucky. Here’s a track from it… ‘Stride On’, low on tech, high on atmospheric Hitchcockian stabs…
On the album Coomes is accompanied only by his organ and a mid 60s non-programmable rhythm box he calls “Conny”, and it’s quite a combo. It’s like the 97th tear or if the question mark in the Mysterians turned into an exclamation mark. A graveyard orbit that strides on through to the other side. A curio that you need to observe under a microscope while wearing a deer-stalker and have playing in your Holmes. Sam has said in press for the album he’s been inspired not only by Rev & Vega but The Beach Boys, but who will he choose for his “song for ewe”, there’s only one way to find out…it’s…
“”Everybody’s Gotta Live” – Arthur Lee.
I’ve listened to this song many, many times – thought about it even more. Why do I love it so much? Its a very simple song, theoretically – maybe even cliche.
On paper, Arthur Lee has written many more original songs – more interesting changes, structures, etc. I love the lyrics but they border on inanity. Singing is great but no better than is typical for Love/Arthur Lee.
In the end I love it because I love it, & because it reminds me of the intangible, magical nature of music, which doesn’t give a shit about your rational mind but speaks directly to deeper, more elusive aspects of your being. Its a deep one.”
“BUGGER ME” IS OUT TODAY (AUGUST 19TH) ON DOMINO RECORDS.