where you lead (i will follow)

March 19, 2009

where you lead (i will follow) (carole king)

this is a cover of “where you lead (i will follow)” by carole king, the theme song of gilmore girls.  it was mostly inspired by the fact that i by chance watched a rerun of gilmore girls on ABC family this morning but was more pretentiously inspired by the fact that i remembered the original theme song for the pilot of gilmore girls wasn’t carole king’s “where you lead…” but was actually yo la tengo’s version of “my little corner of the world,” originally a hit for anita o’day in 1960.  this switch seems kind of appropos since the essence of the gilmore girls might seem at first hip and clever but deep down and at heart is really a big smushy piano ballad, you make me feel like a natural _______ and et cetera.  like, the gilmore girls was so cleverly written and sharp that the kind of boring and AOR-y carole king song on the surface seems wrong as their theme and creates this cognitive dissonance — like, it’s not hip and it’s not ironic and it’s not quasi-hip or pseudo-ironic or even tragically hip or post-ironic  — but even though the yo la tengo “corner of the world” is not at all like pretentious or hipstery or faux-avant-dissonant but is actually a lovely georgia hubley power pop thing, it just wouldn’t be right as the theme, it would be the theme for a different show.  i don’t know, i guess i’m being really vague here; i guess the the difference between the two is kind of the difference between when lane’s band has seth cohen in it and when it has sebastian bach in it?  whatever, this tangent is stupid.  sidebar: it’s seems kind of weird that amy sherman palladino wouldn’t have had rory and lane have a rapid fire discussion which namedropped carole king, especially during the super meta period when carole king was the surly owner of the town music store, but i don’t remember it happening and during my staycation in fall ’07 i watched a lot of these reruns so i would know.

anyway, to test out the new computer i got today (yay) and how it interacts with my recording interface and software and everything, i decided to recast the carole king song as a turned inside out kind of organ drone ballad.  although, you know, minus the musicianship.  i saw yo la tengo once and it was kind of disappointing, especially since for parts of college they were one of my favorite bands even so much that freshman year i had this really immature heartbreak experience with a girl where after the heartbreaking part i made her a copy of summer sun, which i was in love with at the time, and i very carefully sharpie-d the cover and then stalkily intercepted her at 8:30 AM outside her class with the CD and this horrible note which included a line about how “this album really means a lot to me right now” and god there are just so many things to cringe about when you have memories in your head it’s amazing anyone can even get anything done.  anyway, the yo la tengo concert might have been disappointing because i drank too much rocketship gin (this was a name i made up for cheap gin mixed with Tang) but i think it was mostly disappointing because they didn’t really play any of their pop songs or ballads (although they did play “mr. tough”) and instead ira just jammed out on the rockers (which are my least favorite tengo numbers, personally) and the sound at the venue was really bad and the combination of sound and shredding and gin gave me a headache and also the sun ra arkestra was supposed to open for them but instead it was just some indie pop band.  sophomore year i had this yo la tengo shirt which i liked but which was just like an inch too short and over time in the wash became more too short until i couldn’t wear it anymore.  anyway, my cover is very rough but i think it’s fun.  sorry if the screaming guitars at the end are the kind of things that are more fun to play than actually listen to — i think i was just excited, since i haven’t really been able to record electric guitar for like six months and this enthusiasm overwhelmed tunefulness and good taste in general.  that’s a thing that happens most of the time, though.

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4 Responses to “where you lead (i will follow)”


  1. Congrats on the new computer, and the CK cover, which reminded me in a good way of the Dinosaur Jr cover of Peter Frampton (or did I imagine that!?) Also, I can totally relate to YLT burnout; I got into them around the time of “May I Sing w/Me” and saw them like 10-15 times in 10 months in NYC, to the point where I was like: omg, I can never again handle an ‘Ira freak-out’ (especially via keyboard) and it sort of poisoned their music for me forever; that said, I’ll never get tired of songs like “Upside Down” and “Detouring America w/Horns” (I think that’s what it’s called…)

  2. songsaboutbuildingsandfood Says:

    thanks! i haven’t heard that cover (weirdly not on youtube) or any dinosaur jr. really but i’ll check it/them out post haste. i’ve always heard good things but never heard them for whatever reason. yeah, i still like YLT, too (although i’m more of the mid-period Heart Beating as One/Nothing Turned Inside Out kind of guy) but man, i know what you mean. i think at the show i saw we were luckily spared a keyboard freak-out.

  3. km Says:

    I read this, you know, in my reader or whatever, and some days, it strikes me that you’re writing in a strikingly personal way. I wonder about that. I like it, obviously I like it, but its tone is so easily contrasted with that of anything else you write… I don’t know what the purpose of me writing this has been. I hope it wasn’t offensive because I didn’t mean it to be, at all. It’s beautiful, I think, when you do it. That’s all I want to say perhaps.

  4. songsaboutbuildingsandfood Says:

    oh no, i’m never offended when people say nice things about me! i’m not quite sure what to say, though. i think when i started blogging i was very uncomfortable with the confessional I Am Writing About My Life kind of blog. not because i don’t like reading them, because i do, but because i just couldn’t imagine writing one about myself. that’s why The Hills was a really good thing for me, because it allowed me this external object to fixate on and obsess over but through the course of writing about it, i feel like i was simultaneously creating this blog persona that had its own characteristics for the reader to identify with and get attached to. not that it wasn’t also a personal thing but it was also a conscious writerly choice. i think the goal of any blog writing is to do that, to, through voice and self revelation and content selection and design and basically everything, create either a relationship or a very good illusion of a relationship with the reader. the way you might really like X writer and would try to read anything by them even if you’re not totally interested in what it is, just because you like them (or the idea of them) as a person. the last few months for a number of reasons i’ve tried to get away from the hills and move on to broader things and part of the way i’ve done that is to try to get more personal, both as a writing strategy and because i finally feel comfortable as a writer directly invoking the personal without worrying every five seconds that i sound like ever other neurotic twentysomething (now i only worry about it ever ten seconds). i don’t know, maybe that’s it? there’s some other stuff it could be.

    there’s some other stuff it could be but that might be it.


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