Since moving to Oakland, songwriter Ezra Furman has become a popular, though often enigmatic figure, in the Bay Area. As the leader of Ezra Furman & the Harpoons, or any of the many other collaborations the artist engages in, Furman delights with great songs and heartfelt delivery.
With a new album, Perpetual Motion People, released two months back on Bella Union, Furman today unveils a cover of the song “Androgynous” by the Replacements, one of five cover songs recorded for a special edition of the album that’s due out later this year.
Since Furman personally identities as gender-fluid, this new take on the classic 80s song written by Paul Westerberg speaks volumes about finding happiness any way you can. Listen to the track below, a simple shot of guitars and vocals that absolutely nails the emotion of the original.
It’s like she’s trying to have it both ways; i.e. epic political-allegory video with “shocking” visuals and a metaphor thought up by a junior high student and, also, this. Wasn’t it enough that she disregards the divide between genres? Does she also have to go out of her way to blatantly disregard the divide between underground and mainstream sensibilities? Because this shit is a cruddy autotuned Eurodance jack, and I have now never looked forward to an album less. “Born Free” was contrived but no one noticed it outside of the let’s-all-write-about-it video and hey! Wow! A Suicide sample! This, I hope, pulls the curtain back and shows that M.I.A. is now just playing the game like everyone else instead of making challenging, incredible, fucking vital music like the wonderful M.I.A. of old. Meaning the M.I.A. of six years ago. Could it really be all over? Is six years all it takes to drain someone of all their creativity? And they start singing about iPhones?