#23 – “I Hear A New World” (2004)

Cast Your Pod To The Wind
L.K.: I knew this was a theme song, but didn’t realize this was a cover. A.S. had it the other way around.
A.S.: Yep, I knew this was a cover but I had no idea it was anything’s theme song.
L.K.: Shame Flans’s radio show only lasted, what, two episodes? Not like he has the time to run a radio show on top of everything else he does already, but I read the transcripts of the two episodes and it looked reasonably interesting…
A.S.: It seems like the sort of show I’d more than happily listen to even if John Flansburgh didn’t host it.
L.K.: Yeah, same here. Have you heard the original version of this song?
A.S.: I’m just listening to it for the first time now, which I regret to say, and furthermore I regret that I know so little about Joe Meek when it seems like he had an absurdly fascinating life.
L.K.: “an outer space music fantasy by JOE MEEK”
A.S.: Yeah, this song is ridiculous.
L.K.: TMBG significantly de-weirded this by covering it.
A.S.: A rare case that something made in 2004 would have to be toned down from its original 1960 incarnation. I mean, 1960, people!
L.K.: Those alien backup vocalists are freaking me out.
A.S.: That’s one area of pop/experimental music that I’d really love to learn more about – synthesized pop innovation, more guys like Bruce Haack or whoever.  Joe Meek seems to exemplify this. Really, all I knew him from was “Telstar”, but it appears he produced a whole bunch of records in the early-mid 60s – Screaming Lord Sutch, Gene Vincent, Petula Clark, Lonnie Donegan, and “Have I The Right” by The Honeycombs which is one of the greatest songs ever. And then he murdered his landlady and killed himself.
L.K.: “The British Phil Spector” indeed.
A.S.: I was also thinking that this sort of stuff is the kind of place where both Flansburgh and Linnell’s tastes would really overlap.
L.K.: How so?
A.S.: Because even though this cover was recorded for Flansburgh’s radio show, I feel like Linnell’s interests would lie in the primitive synthesizers and experimental production, and trying to replicate, arrange, and build on that for this recording.
L.K.: Was Linnell even involved in this cover at all though? I wonder. It was arranged by Flans, apparently, and it was sung by his wife. Maybe the whole thing was just done by Flans at his home studio.
A.S.: Hmm okay you’re right. It’s interesting because my ears pick up a lot of the synthier Linnell stuff on the arrangement.
L.K.: Hey, no reason why Flans couldn’t use synths too! If it were Linnell the synth arrangement probably would’ve been a lot fussier since he’s really into faux-Baroque synth things (like the instrumental McSweeney’s theme, “Everything Right Is Wrong Again”, heck, even “Olive The Other Reindeer”). Also it’s got those goofy little drum loop things that Flans seems so fond of, which is definitely more a hallmark of his writing/arranging style than Linnell’s.
A.S.: Ah, good point.  I stand corrected.
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