Monday, June 13, 2011

The Night Sky: Black Star

Gillian Welch: Black Star (Radiohead cover)

[live & unavailable]

Blame it on the black star
Blame it on the falling sky
Blame it on the satellite
That beams me home...

In Radiohead's universe, it seems perfectly natural for a couple's growing distance to be projected into the night sky. After all, Thom Yorke is well known for his tendency towards pensive and disconnected first-person narrators struggling with ways to make sense of a topsy-turvy world, their alienation couched in skewed, cryptic lyrics.

But where the sonic build of spit and static crashes through the original recording [purchase], thickening it with angst, bass and drumbash, in Gillian Welch's universe, intimacy brings the sky close. Gentle guitar lines stream out like cosmic rays of acoustic goodness. Voices shimmer and soar as they intertwine. The world is right. The combination is exquisite. It is, without question, one of my top ten favorite covers, ever.

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