Song of the day – 476: Chain & The Gang
He gets me every time… eventually.
It’s weird. Every time Ian Svenonius dreams up a new project I seem to go out of my way to avoid it. I have no idea why. I dig the cat’s groove, most highly. Nation Of Ulysses, check. Interviewed them on time in London – travelled up to the Smoke to talk with them ’bout why they burnt their sneakers on stage, interview coincided with the big Huggy Bear push and I’m sure helped accelerate it – but didn’t stay for their live show at the Underworld that evening. Loved the Nation. The Cupid Car Club, check. Not sure I was even aware of their (admittedly brief) existence until after they broke up, even though I owned the 7-inch. Make Up and the gospel yeh-yeh groove, check. OK, I was more in tune there, infatuated as both I and Ian were with the solid gone – and I mean gone – asexual white boy funk groove of Pere Ubu and James Chance (the anti-James Brown), I could hardly overlook them. Weird War, check. I can’t even recall if I raved about them. Probably, probably. David Candy was cool, but by that point I was preferring his written word… and yes, this cat can write.
And now… what’s that band again, Chain & The Gang. Well, I don’t like the name, you understand… don’t seem like any sort of decent tribute to Kool & The Gang, as it does nothing but remind me of the horribly-named Kunt & The Gang. But I can’t deny this following song… nor do I want to for one second, why would I? (he asks himself, scratching his head perplexed). It has a deliciously fluid groove that reminds me of the wrongly underrated Julie Ruin album (the vocals do too, a little – but only a little). It has great male/female vocal interplay. But of course. It resonates and reverberates and ricochets with laidback Washington DC cool. Man, the video is so Washington DC cool. Trash talking. It even has a one-note piano playing in the background.
Anyway, I’ve got Tamsin’s most excellent mid-year round-up to thank for reminding me of how much I always love Ian Svenonius’ groove (eventually). And for that, I sure am grateful.