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My Landlord/ Paper Birds (The Slip)


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So everyone really will have to get a copy of the Ice Cream Truck asap it is just unbelievably good. I've listened to it straight through a number of times now and it is really all of an incredibly high level of musicianship even for them. You can tell from the pictures and first hand accounts too especially since Marc is actually smiling and doesn't look perpetually as if he's posing for a yiddish catalogue.

I was finding listening to this particular song My Landlord (which is actually titled Paper Birds) that there are resonances of the Broken Social Scene's Anthems For A Seventeen Year Old Girl and something else. I've since concluded that what I was hearing in the opening part of the song was a semblance of Pavement's song Here from the Slanted and Enchanted album. After a few exchanges this is what I've figured out.

So I've listened to the Ice Cream Truck in some detail now and will put up a review soon. My sense is that this is one of their strongest performances ever. It is just that good. My Landlord lived up to expectations as did Proud. I didn't have the setlist printed off when listening to it but I want to say that My Landlord is effectively an homage to the Broken Social Scene. I notice now it was My Landlord> Fear of Falling and I don't know if the copy I listened to was tracked off into two or one. Anyways the chorus of what I thought was My Landlord is most definitely (100%) a comp of Anthems For A Seventeen Year Old Girl. I think the body is another BSS tune to. The lyrics are totally Brad's and their is a sort of bridge that has the My Landlord lyrics that is definitely their own but I want to say the body is one BSS song (Stars and Sons maybe I haven't quite figured it out cause it's slowed down a touch) but as I said what could be called the chorus is Anthems replacing these lyrics:

'Bleachin your teeth, similing flash, talking trash under your breath [under my window]

Park that car, drop that phone, sleep on the floor, dream about me'

Thought you'd find that interesting. I don't think it's a rip off in the least it's a poignant homage but definitely noteworthy.

Another fan pointed out he heard the same thing and indeed in hindsight it is noted in the 7/17/04 Knitting Factory setlist for the same song. The same guy also pointed out that in the 3/6/04 Nellie Jean he detected a Cause=Time tease at 4:10.

By this point I'd narrowed in on what I thought I was hearing.

I finally figured out what it was I was hearing . If you're listening to the Ice Cream Truck version (is there another?) they do some sonic youthy atmospherics (maybe a loop or two going backwards because there's an eery asp type sound that sounds as if it might be backwards) and then there is what sounds like a casio toy keyboard that's running out of batteries- this coalesces into what I'm calling the verse of My Landlord. I am now quite certain this is directly lifted from what would be called the post chorus of Pavement's 'Here' off of Slanted and Enchanted (a real gem). Compare if you like:

D E

And all the sterile striking it depends an

A

empty dock you cast away

D E

And rain upon you forehead where the mist's

A

for hire if it's just too clear

I don't think he goes as far as what would be the 'last quarter stance' line as follows:

D E A

Lets spend out last quarter stance randomly

D E A

Go down to the outlet once again

Again as I mentioned the song then goes into a completely original section (not that it wasn't already unique) that carries what could be called the My Landlord chorus (distinctively original Slip) which then goes into what could be called the post chorus which again is most definitely a comp of Anthems. I can't recall the lyrics but it's something like 'break that head' in place of 'drop that phone' etc.

Brad's since put up the lyrics to Paper Birds so I can directly contrast the two songs.

Paper Birds

I often think about her when the night comes and I'm hugging the road

I know I couldn't trace her I can barely begin to place her chronologically

Just a flurry of white dresses and second guesses, now less is much more to me

If I really think about it its all I ever think about

My landord

s'been shooting

bullets into paper birds

when he's drunk,

he's immaculate,

especially before noon

What I'm trying to do

with these paper birds

is to find a better way to bleed,

one that's more accurate...

and I'll practice my aim

maybe master my game

and know my song well before it leaves my lips

Your head is cracked, your feet are scratched,

your warrior blood can handle that.

Your head is cracked, your teeth are black,

your warrior blood can handle.....

When the lady finished crying I knew I had to say something to comfort her

But all I've learned from love is that what you love can be what destroys you

Yeah, its just a flower fading, congradulating your vanity's champion

(alternate)(Then how[in what form] does it exsist when there's nobody around to fu©k it up?)

It's the blood I want to shed before I'm old or even dead

It's the blood I want to shed before I'm old or even dead

It's the blood I want to shed before I'm old or even dead

It's the blood I want to shed before I'm old or even dead

My landlord

s'been shooting

bullets into paper birds

He's the last

of a dying breed,

the pharmacist with wings

What I'm trying to do

with these paper birds

is to find a better way to bleed,

one that's immaculate

and all

these targets

that I hit

can go on

my refridgerator

for all my friends to see.

So what I was contrasting then was these lines from Paper Birds

I often think about her when the night comes and I'm hugging the road

I know I couldn't trace her I can barely begin to place her chronologically

Just a flurry of white dresses and second guesses, now less is much more to me

If I really think about it its all I ever think about

to either of these passages from Here

and all the sterile striking it defends

an empty dock you cast away

and rain upon your forehead

where the mist's for hire if it's just too clear

or

and all the spanish candles unsold

away have gone to this

and a "run-on piece of mount on"

trembles, shivers, runs down the freeway

If you play the progression or just speak it out syllabically they are virtually identical. Likewise the passage from Paper Birds that directly echoes Anthems For A Seventeen Year Old Girl is as follows.

Your head is cracked, your feet are scratched,

your warrior blood can handle that.

Your head is cracked, your teeth are black,

your warrior blood can handle.....

lifted from

Park that car, drop that phone, sleep on the floor, dream about me'

Brad has said this about the parallels (although I think the passage I am saying is from Here is a little closer then he may realize). I think it was one of those deep subconscious type things or he and Malkmus had an original idea.

OK. You got me. I definitly copped the middle part from Anthems. I'm working on rewriting it. Sometimes I get away with these things and they're less opaque, more interperative. This was blatent.

BUT, the rest of the song(including the verse, which you said sounded like Pavement, which I went and listened to, which may have a similar phrasing, but which, to my ears, is very different) was pure late night adrenaline inspiration and didn't seek to emulate anything except what it was becoming.

Your insights, Luke and John, are so appreciated, and I only feel the need to defend myself because I love this new song so much. Otherwise, let the associations rip. They show me influences I didn't even know I had.

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hey luke,

i went to the 2 boston shows last week as my last phish shows... first night set break a fella walks up to me and says "are you mary?"... it was brad barr... ended up watching most of 2nd set with him... thought you'd sh!t your pants over that one... :) :)

Mary

:)

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Oh yeah I heard I was in for this one. I bet it goes something like 'I was walking down Queen Street just being my usual career minded hot ass hipster self when this guy is getting in an argument with what looks like his girlfriend and she storms off and I'm like 'are you alright?' and he's like no I could use some company though I'm a little shaken up. Six pints later (I realized it was Jeff Tweedy at hello) he's serenading me with Jesus Etc. accompanied on salt shaker and butter knife'

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