Thursday, April 10, 2008

Suomi awesomeness

I have had a chance over the last couple of days to give the Leningrad Cowboys album a precursory listen (all three CDs, all the way through).

Their version of Sweet Home Alabama is not on the album, unfortunately. Luckily it can be found on YouTube for anyone interested.

The album is pretty good. To be a band and take this grand scheme on the road must have been a hell of an undertaking. It also seems to be a huge cross-cultural mishmash. This is what I mean-

A lot of the album artwork is very Mexican looking. A painting of a skull that's reminiscent of something you'd find on Dia De Los Muertos adorns the CDs. The costuming on the band and backup singers also reminds me of Mexican folk art. Hanging from the sides of the stage are giant middle eastern carpet designs. The band is Finnish. They brought along the Red Army Air Force Ensemble (and these guys are great to watch in the videos on YouTube), UMO Orchestra, Angelique Kidjo, The Wild Magnolias, Jamar and the Galaxy, Johanna Rusanen and Zsar Aleksander II. I don't know who those folks are. Have to look them up. Songs on the album range wide. "Black Hole Sun" (sung by an female opera (maybe? Sure sounds like opera training) singer with a heavy eastern european accent), "Those Were The Days" (yes, that oooold song), "Sweet Home Chicago", "No Woman No Cry", "El Cuarto de Tula", "Keep on Rockin in the Free World" and "Kashmir" (also sung by that opera singer). All of this with full orchestra backup, choir backup, balalaikas and other Russian instruments, regular type band which includes an accordion and various guitars painted and designed in all wildness. So far my favorite song on the album is "Easy Livin". Mostly because I love the song anyway and it's the first time I've heard someone else do it.

Can't wait to listen to it some more and am dying to play it on the show.

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