Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Al Larsen's side project

While still fronting K Records mainstays Some Velvet Sidewalk, lo-fi connoissieur Al Larsen took a three-month sabbatical to Glasgow starting in the fall of 1994. While there, he toured the U.K. as a guest guitarist for The Pastels, gigging with acts such as Movietone, Cornershop, and Comet Gain. Larsen also spent time with The Pastels in the studio, and what emerged was the five-song EP Klein International Blue, released by Domino Records in '95.

Four of the tracks are original while the fifth is a cover of Van Morrison's classic "Slim Slow Slider." Lyrically, the reputed drug song is a big departure for the enigmatic Larsen, who once penned an ode to ice cream and an album based on the themes from the children's book Danny And The Dinosaur.

However, Larsen and his Pastels crew do pull it off. The song's opening has a hypnotic feel to it, with Larsen delivering vocals more detached than Morrison's. Halfway through, the "slim slow slider" punctures the vein, delivering the hit, as clipped guitar parts rise to a crescendo. Then the track continues to drift along -- blithe, lazy-eyed, lolling – until the final lyrics: "Everytime I see you/I just don't know what to do."

Hear it for yourself. Download: "Slim Slow Slider" by Sandy Dirt. Also, here's the original by Morrison.