Monday, October 05, 2009

A Flair For Tasty Pastiche

It's great having a friend who makes me look up words! Today's Song of the Week, 'Gonowhere' by Brendan Bensen, reminds me of one such word: 'pastiche,' defined by Wiki as 'an artistic genre that is a 'hodge podge' or imitation'..

That doesn't sound complimentary, but I think it takes great talent to write and record a song that could be mistaken for Motown or the Beatles or Elton John... and I feel enormous pleasure when I hear such work, when it's really well done. Lenny Kravitz is, to be sure, an accomplished pastiche specialist...

...but the most brilliant star on today's pastiche horizon is certainly Brendan Benson, a 70s rock devotee who burst on the scenes with The Raconteurs (see 'You Don't Understand Me, Song of the Week last November 10), an amazing pastiche band that partners Benson with the legendary Jack White of White Stripes.... and greatly improves upon the Stripes! Now comes a solo album, 'My Old Familiar Friend,' which - shockingly - shows that Benson, not White, may be the true genius of the Raconteurs.

Here's 'A Whole Lot Better,' the lead-off single from his new album, 'My Old, Ordinary Friend,'

Here's the upbeat gem 'Garbage Day' live on KCRW..

No real video for the actual Song of the Week, but the song's such a bullseye midtempo rock ballad that it's worth just listening to while you stare at the album art....

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