The ballad of Hope Sandoval?, aka Where are The Warm Inventions when you need 'em?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2008/03/23 03:01 -04:00, original URI:

Content of Michael Kaplan's personal blog not approved by Microsoft (see disclaimer)! 

Reader Dana asked me (after reading [Turning]Into dust, aka 'Some feelings may not be available in this blog'):

Do you really prefer the Ashtar Command version of the song to the original? Why?!?

Dana is the one who in response to ♫ And it seems I'm changing, for absolutely nothing will ever be the same as I was today ♫ left the comment about the lyrics. :-)

Well Dana, to be perfectly honest, I actually prefer the Mazzy Star version of the song to the Ashtar Command one.

And not just because of the truly weird backstory of the latter whose Wikipedia article really violates any sense of what I think ought to be in an encyclopedia in order for the band that is really into a strange image to be what appears anywhere.

Although that contributes a smidgen. :-)

But to be honest more than anything else it is a deep abiding love of Hope Sandoval's voice.

The main benefit for me of the longer Ashtar Command version is that it is longer; when one is using it for a mental "montage" thinking about the memories of some past relationship then a longer song means longer to reminisce, and the Mazzy Star version's only real flaw is that it (like the relationships whose memory it inspires) is simply not long enough. Everything else from Hope's voice and the helpless theme her voice imparts to the cello's gentle intrusion overlaid upon it, I feel like I owe her a thank you note any time I listen to the song play, and I simply can't convince myself that it is size that matters most here....

This all makes it quite a challenge to try and cover a song one loves and really make a unique mark there.

Which is not to say it is impossible -- from

I think there are definitely some "cover" versions of songs that made their own impression that I ultimately ended up preferring, but that kind of thing is rare and I set the bar much higher when people dare to tread on already covered ground.

I tend to associated the Ashtar Command song more with The O.C. and the tale of Ryan and Marissa, which while also sad, just mainly made for a cute line from me where I got both compare myself negatively to an actor and compare a former flame positively to an actress. Which, in the words of an ex, means it is for the dramatic effect, as part of the Blog's prose. :-)

But Into Dust isn't part of my prose; it's part of Hope's poetry²....

Where are The Warm Inventions when you need 'em, anyway?


1 - In their How To Be A Megastar 2.0 shows, during a quiet pause in between numbers, someone yells "Free Bird!" and the band starts playing the song intro. This makes The Blue Man Group's blue men stop and do a double-take at the band, which is truly hilarious for anyone who knows the history of people yelling out Free Bird at shows!
2 - Plus which it is much easier for me to put someone willing to consider intimacy with me over a Mischa Barton than it ever is over a Hope Sandoval -- the whole singer/songwriter bias thing!


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