Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Handsome Family Teaches Word Magazine About Romance...Handsome Style

There's a good lesson to be learned about romance from the Handsome Family's husband-and-wife team of Brett and Rennie Sparks. Take My Friend, a brilliantly low-key lament that swings slowly across the front third of the reord. If you tilt your head back and close your eyes you'll believe you've sat on a bench outside a white wooden church somewhere in Macon County. Inside, just through that crack in the door, Brett's stood in the pulpit dressed in robes that have seen many, many better days, he's got three days' growth and the smell of raw gin on his breath. Rennie's sat at the organ, looking at her husband, wondering why no one else can see the good in him.

I know, it's ludicrous. For a start, Rennie writes the words and plays no instruments, but that's the sort of dramatic power that they bring to their songs. Lots of people swear that they live inside their material, but The Handsome Family can feel like they've actually been cast in the movie of their songs and have been method acting like their lives depended on it ever since...