Monday, September 15, 2008

A Monogram guy with Bela Lugosi eyes

I have come across a little band that I have been enjoying immensely lately: Faded Paper Figures.

Faded Paper Figures to me sounds like a perfect marriage of Stars and The Postal Service, and their lyrics are dreamy, allusion-filled, and fun.  But they also epitomize the idea of "literate" pop.  For example, their MySpace page lists the following well-sorted influences:

MUSIC: Death Cab, Morrissey, Pinback, Postal Service, Trash Can Sinatras, Stars, Hot Chip, Lali Puna, Ms John Soda, The Notwist, Deerhoof, Radiohead, Tahiti 80, Wilco, Fischerspooner, Weevil, Jon Brion, LCD Soundsystem, Psapp, Shout Out Louds, etc.

IMAGE: French New Wave, Italian Neo-Realism, Film Noir, Hitchcock, Fritz Lang, Kubrick, Boris Artzybasheff, Billy Wilder, etc.

TEXT: N. Kathryn Hayles, Friederich Kittler, Jacques Derrida, Noam Chomsky, Michel Foucault, Edward Said, Sartre, Heidegger, Donna Haraway, Marshall McLuhan, Walter Benjamin, Paul Virilio, Adorno, Rey Chow, Roland Barthes, Wayne Booth, Mike Davis, Italo Calvino, etc.

This sounds like a band who borrowed my music collection whilst taking the same Film & Lit grad classes that I took.

On their website's lyrics page, the song "I Fell Off My Name" is introduced by a quotation from Horkheimer and Adorno's "Dialectic of Enlightenment," which I know is pretty standard pop fare.  Other songs refer to Lacan and Žižek and Sartre and kinetoscopes and Chomsky, and use words like hegemony with great pop aplomb. (Said lyrics page comes with links for those who are rusty on their literary and social critics.)

"I Fell Off My Name"

Their first single is what turned me on initially, and where the Postal Service/Stars comparisons are most apt.
"North By North"

But my favorite, because of the combination of the acoustic guitar, the electronic beats, and the beautiful melody, is "B Film."


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