LEANN GRIMES by LEANN GRIMES
I’m not super into remix albums, but when LEANN GRIMES (Shane Conerty) samples songs, he creates these carnivalesque memory-scapes: the song he’s sampling seems eerily reminiscent of a song you heard forever ago, but is ultimately unplaceable. Unlike Girl Talk, for example, Conerty focuses on a single song at a time. And to be clear: these remixes are much more than mash-ups. If Girl Talk is collage, LEANN GRIMES is ekphrasis.
“Memory Noise,” which samples Deerhunter’s wistful “Memory Boy,” one of my favorite songs by a favorite band, is recognizable but still different, not merely nostalgic, but also sort of sad clown circus-y. “Under Cover of Dirt and Crime,” which samples “Under Cover of Darkness” from the most recent album by The Strokes, retains The Strokes’ head-bopping guitar hook, but sounds much more incisive amidst Conerty’s synth backbeats. The opening track, “Cats & Dogs in Idaho,” is killer, like Charles Manson-level killer. I have no idea whom Conerty is sampling, and I totally don’t even care—his tunes are totally mini-artworks unto themselves.
All of the jams are lyrics-free, although Conerty often cuts his music with sound bites of androgynous/dandyish voices. All of these gender-slipping voices sounded familiar, yet I was unable to place any of them without Google. For example, “Ms. Grimes,” a remix of “Mrs. Cold” by Kings of Convenience, begins with, “I can’t believe you never heard of me—I’m a very popular entertainer,” a sound clip from an early episode of the Simpsons where Homer is sent to an insane asylum for wearing a pink shirt to work and meets a giant white man who’s masquerading as Michael Jackson. That’s sort of what LEANN GRIMES is like—the madhouse replicant who is even weirder and radder than the original.
Download for free at http://leanngrimes.bandcamp.com/