You’re not likely to find many Carpenters numbers floating around the blogosphere due in part to the age profile of the writers involved. I’ve always had a sneaking regard for the siblings because an uncle of mine used to wax lyrical about them. Their music was in general mostly coffee table but given the right occasion Karen’s voice can be truly affecting. What an interesting experiment then to let some contemporary shakers and movers tackle the subject, giving the material their own curious bent in the process. ‘If I Were A Carpenter’ is a great listen and in one or 2 cases it is damn near indispensable. Sonic Youth would hardly be ideal candidates you’d imagine but their version of ‘Superstar’ is a revelation. Without ever losing their offbeat tendencies they crafted a hallucinogenic piece that while initially standoffish has an eerie charm all of its own. The bass is rotund, Thurston Moore’s vocals are stoneresque and the feedback recalls Hammer House style creaking doorways. As far from the Carpenters take on the Leon Russell/Bonnie Bramlett song that you’re might expect to hear but just as enjoyable. KD
Sonic Youth – Superstar
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