Friday, August 05, 2005

A Good Band Is Easy to Watch on DVD

The Beulah tour documentary DVD, A Good Band Is Easy to Kill, is out. Buy it! Buy it! Buy it! It was directed by Chuck Norris -- not the Chuck Norris, but it's nice to imagine. There's even a small chance I'm on it, as it contains footage from every stop on their final tour, and I was lucky enough to be at Lee's Palace in Toronto on October 21, 2003 to see them play one of the best concerts I've ever seen.* Now you can see it too.

If you haven't heard Beulah -- and too few have -- you're probably wondering why I rave about them so. What are they like? Well, the obvious reference points of the Beatles and the Beach Boys are too vague to be useful; who hasn't been influenced by them? And it probably doesn't help most people to say that they're an Elephant 6 band, or that they're a little like Summerteeth-era Wilco or a Californian Delgados. Maybe it's useful to mention that they write (or wrote, rather) sunny, horn-driven pop songs about such topics as the lead singer's father breaking his neck in a near-fatal car crash -- the same sort of perverse contrast between music and lyrics as in the Smiths' "Girlfriend in a Coma". And bitter, funny ones that simultaneously crib from the New Seekers' old Coke jingle "I'd Like to Teach The World to Sing" (but, unlike Oasis, manage to fly under the radar while doing so) and give a shout-out to Stephin Merritt. And a lot of ones that in retrospect seem, fatalistically, to be about the band's inevitable breakup.

Download some tracks like "A Good Man Is Easy to Kill", "Gene Autry", "Emma Blowgun's Last Stand", "Don't Forget to Breathe", and "Waiting for Sunset", and you'll see what I mean. Then buy everything Beulah-related that you can. Maybe they'll get back together if we finally throw enough money at them. It was your failure to buy Beulah albums that broke them up in the first place. Atone for your sins, murderer.

*Lead singer Miles Kurosky, for his part, was able to admire one of the best T-shirts ever seen: my ever-popular "Wolf Buddy" shirt. He told me after the show that he'd nearly pointed it out from the stage, but hadn't wanted to embarrass me. What a considerate rock star!


Anonymous Paul F said...

Expecting nothing, I downloaded all the songs you recommended, wow! I’m actually very impressed, and surprised I’ve never heard of these guys before. It is a shame they split.

8/12/2005 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Lynn said...

Told you they were awesome! At least Miles Kurosky's working on a solo album. Now go check out the last three Delgados albums. (And I do mean last -- they broke up too.)

8/12/2005 09:06:00 PM  

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