Would You Get Down On Your Knees
I have a long and storied history with Evan Dando. He is one of my original musical touchstones and one of the reasons why I got into this game in the first place. He sang songs full of slacker ennui about drugs and friendship while simultaneously alienating himself from everyone around him. He floated somewhere in between Kurt Cobain and Elliott Smith and he lived to tell about it. It’s crazy to say but I am sure that things would’ve worked out extremely differently for him had he experienced a similar fate. But instead he spent years gigging at T.T. the Bears Place playing country covers. And I loved every minute of it. He would show up announced and open for whomever and just ramble through a few tunes. This being Cambridge, everyone in the audience knew all the words anyway.
The funny thing is, Dando and his band the Lemonheads have always been popular in Australia. It was always someplace he could tour or release an Australia-only EP to keep things floating. Years later, we’re finally seeing the trickle down of his efforts. Here in the states, “Come On Feel” has experienced a bit of a critical revision in recent years, with the basic idea being that it was underrated at the time of release. As a teenager I loved the shit out of that, so I’m not really one to say. But I do know that Bein’ Around, even at the time, took on a life of its own. It was covered at many a coffee house, sung around many a campfire. It was goofy and childlike and absolutely 100% sincere. Maybe the most sincere song in his catalog and I really believe that Evan Dando is asking these things, all fucked up on drugs with Rick James in the studio.
So here is the young Courtney Barnett, who has been making a name for herself on her own merits for the last year or two. The cover is fully in her wheelhouse, showing both her influence and mastery of the material. It can only go up from here.