November 20, 2012

Under different circumstances, I’d like to be able to tell you that hearing this cover of “Flagpole Sitta” by Los Angeles’ soft-core outfit Broken Anchor was an enjoyable blast from the past. Ho, ho, I’d say. I certainly remember this song from the ’90s, back when irony didn’t exist. Do you not also remember it? Come, let us all remember it now together in unison. That would’ve been fun. But alas, the modern rock radio stations in my particular geographic region have seen fit to remind me of the arch Harvey Danger song’s existence daily for the past 15 years since it was released. Tell you what anyway though, it’s still a jam.

Being so intimately familiar with the song, there were a few questions I had going into this cover, foremost of which was, Oh no, I wonder what weird sort of modern update to the iconic “I want to publish zines and Rage Against Machines” line they were going to force in here. “I want to get re-tweets, and #Occupy the streets,” mayhaps? I was legitimately nervous about it! But then they went and skipped over that entire part which seems like kind of a cop out, but OK, fair enough, I suppose.

The song, which is perfectly lovely, I should point out, is a vastly slowed down piano and banjo rebranding of the original, somewhere in the Iron and Wine mold, I suppose you might say, if you didn’t have very many handy references points for this type of music that is. Better still would be saying it sounds precisely like the type of tear-jerking montage soundtrack you’d splice onto the ending of your network drama if you happened to be owned by the same giant company that also owned the record label on which a song like this was released. In fact, Broken Anchor vocalist Austin Hartley-Leonard has had  songs of his featured on shows Burn Notice, Hart of Dixie, Jane By Design and The Ghost Whisperer, only two of which I’ve heard of, and none of which I’ve seen, but I’m sure we all get the idea.

The video is nicely shot, and it even has a famous acting person starring in it in Rachel Leigh Cook, if you count sleeping on a floor then opening your eyes at the end as a starring role (gonna have to check SAG regulations on that). Although I do have one gripe on the set up of the story here though: someone needs to tell every video set designer ever that no matter how raging the party was the night before there never comes a point where all of the people decided to fall asleep on the floor wherever they happened to have been partying in some sort of mass-exhaustion wave. I spent a pretty significant portion of my life as a hedonist scumbag, and I’ve never heard of it.

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