In high school drama class you hear a lot of monologues. 16-year-olds desperately trying to exude the soul of an introspective yet beautiful poet is a typical thing to see. Yes, its quite dramatic. This IS drama class. I remember watching a classmate of mine who clearly was reaching in his dramatic range as he tried to perform a particular scene of Hamlet. His voiced crack as he spoke: Denmark’s a prison. I mean the boy was from Torrance and never left California. Frankly I think Bobby thought Denmark was somewhere near San Diego. I remember he was holding a plastic skull while wearing a Joy Division shirt.
It hurt me. It hurt me on so many levels because everything was wrong.
Which is kind of how I feel about Peter Gabriel’s cover of Bon Iver’s Flume.
Peter Gabriel said this about Flume:
“Bon Iver was introduced to me by my younger daughter, Melanie, who’s a big fan. When I first heard this track it immediately registered. I tried singing a couple of his songs, but this was the one that I could feel instinctively. The first arrangement that John did was all based around the brass, and although I loved what he had done, it felt too heavy and lacked contrast. Very late in the day I sat down at the piano and tried to find a really simple part for the verses, which then allows the brass entry to have more meaning. There were a couple of lines of lyrics that felt awkward at first, but the more time I spent with it the more natural it became. It is a beautiful song.”
And this is what he did to it
Peter’s version just feels so empty.
I’ve listened to Bon Iver’s original several times now to get this bad taste out of my mouth.