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You're yearning, burning for somebody to tell you that life ain't passing you by

8.14.2008

Today I learned about a project that consisted of an artist's re-imagining of the Footloose soundtrack. Here's the story:
When I was very young, my half-sister Jenny died tragically. She was a teenager, and it was the 80's. She left behind a wardrobe of brightly colored clothes, rainbow stickers, life-size paintings, doodles on lined paper, and hundreds of tapes. These constitute most of my memories of her. It's sad for me to look at these things, and usually I don't. But a couple of summers ago I found a tape of hers with a startling cover photograph - this was Footloose. I couldn't stop listening: it was a portrait of 80's love, desire, pain, freedom, and frenzy; of being a teenager in a time of change. By listening, I could step into Jenny's shoes, see things from her vantage point. I could be emancipated by rock and roll and walkmen, just as she had been. We could listen together.
I asked my friend Thomas to cover the album, which, sheltered as he is, he had never heard before. I was clear that I wanted to him to cover the whole album - the point wasn't to rework any one song, but to re-imagine the picture they made together. With a new Footloose we could reply to the past, tell our own story about being young. This is what he made.
-- Gabriel Greenberg
The artist:

26-year old Thomas Bartlett is one of New York's most in-demand keyboard players, collaborating & touring with artists such as Glen Hansard (Once, Swell Season), The National, Martha Wainwright, Antony, David Byrne, Bebel Gilberto & Yoko Ono. Doveman is Bartlett and his select group of collaborators. When listening to this music you should keep in mind artists such as Frederic Chopin, Cat Power, Keith Jarrett, Talk Talk, and Chris Whitley -- unless you don't know any them or are not a fan, in which case you should keep in mind Nick Drake, The National, Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, and other, trendier bands whose music has recently appeared in car commercials. Doveman does not rehearse, but they sure can play.
I love it. So much. It's simply perfect and wonderful and depressing. I love all the songs, but I think I love 'Almost Paradise' most of all. Oh, and neither of them has seen the movie, but are waiting to make it a special event. Listen to it here:


Here's the website.

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