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Jo The Waiter:Terre Thaemlitz

Artist: Terre Thaemlitz

Album: Replicas Rubato

Appears On (Mixes): Past The Barber and Gymnasium

Song Notes: The second and last Tubeway Army cover on here, this is from Terre Thaemlitz' second CD of Rubato-style solo piano covers (the first was Kraftwerk and the third was DEVO), Replicas Rubato. Rubato is a style of music performance that doesn't pay a strict adherence to time; as such, his (Uh, pronoun note here: Terre Thaemlitz is trans, but on his website he uses the male pronoun, so that's why I'm using it as well; it's not out of a rude and silly "durr he was born a man so he gets to be 'he' now and forever" idea or anything) covers tend to be really drastically removed from the originals; they tend to stand as their own classical interpretations which end up giving you an amusing glimmer of recognizability when you start hearing what song it is. "Jo The Waiter" is probably one of the most faithful covers in this respect, actually. Of the three, my favorite is the DEVO one, Oh, No! It's Rubato; the Kraftwerk one, Die Roboter Rubato doesn't seem as successful to me—partially because Kraftwerk's songs are already really close to classical music in structure that the leap isn't as creative or amusing. Also, all three CDs come with long essays exploring gender issues in the music of the artist spotlighted; I don't know anything about this kind of criticism, and a lot of it seems to kinda go over my head, but folks might enjoy reading his writings on them. The CDs are pretty awesome, though, particularly if you're well-versed in the music of the original artists—although, I got this album before I was really into Gary Numan (I really enjoyed his DEVO album, so I got the other two), and of course, it works very well as an album in its own right, due both to the talented songwriting of Gary Numan and the inventive and wonderful playing of Terre Thaemlitz (or, rather, the programming, as it's done by computer!). He's got a bunch of other records out that aren't covers nor solo piano; I've been interested in checking them out, but I haven't yet. - Rev. Syung Myung Me

 

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