Sunday, February 22nd, 2009
When Michael Reisenauer, head Pale Young Gentleman, sent out this M.I.A. cover at the start of the year, he said the band chose to cover it because, “it samples “Straight to Hell” by The Clash, which Mike and I have been singing since he bought Combat Rock in the 8th grade”. Which is all well and good but doesn’t really explain why they didn’t just cover “Straight To Hell” in the first place.
But I’m not complaining because if they had, I wouldn’t be able to toss this up in honour of Oscar night. M.I.A. is up for an Academy Award tonight, though not for this song, although it was excellently utilized in the heavily-favoured Slumdog Millionaire. Instead, she’s a co-nominee for “Best Original Song” for another Slumdog song, “O Saya”, which she’ll also be performing. Perhaps from a giant bed? I don’t understand that at all, personally, but okay.
I’m all in favour of Slumdog cleaning up tonight, for the record. Yes it’s (mostly) a feel-good fantasy story, but I thoroughly enjoyed it on pretty much every level, which is not something I can say about many/most films. And I really didn’t get the appeal of Pineapple Express, the film/trailer for which originally gave “Paper Planes” it’s second life after the release of Kala two years ago. But then again, I wasn’t stoned. And while I’m just babbling aimlessly, I’m just sick to death of Seth Rogen. Zack & Miri was an awful film. I will never, ever, ever be able to accept his as a romantic lead. Sorry.
Anyway back on point, the Pale Young Gentlemen cover does a nice job of reimagining M.I.A.’s hyper-kineticness as a downcast bit of folk-pop. Kind of entirely contrary to the spirit of the original song, but I think it works. And you can just hear the grin on the drummer’s face as he hit’s that snare in the chorus.
Built To Spill have also apparently been adding “Paper Planes” to their live repertoire.