Born in the flood

March 7, 2008 at 12:03 pm (Uncategorized)

So my friend Alan sent me a Born in the flood CD a month or so ago. I had never heard of this band, but he said he had “a metaphysical religious experience” when he saw them play (which is funny because he’s a pretty straight-laced guy…so they had to have been good). As it turns out, I liked their music a lot, and actually saw them play at Hodi’s Half Note last Friday. And yes, they were great.

The reason I am including them in this post is that they have a definite Sgt. Pepper’s feel to some of their songs. The song I am thinking of specifically is “A Day in the Life,” towards the end of the album. Both are haunting and melodic. The lead singer of Born in the flood, Nathaniel Rateliff, has a voice reminiscent of the Beatles at times , which also contributes to a similar sound.

Born in the flood is a Denver-based band. Rateliff and his friend Joseph Pope III are originally from Missouri. They moved out to Denver doing volunteer work for the homeless when they met up with Mike Hall and Matt Fox, and then Born in the flood was, erm, born. The band’s EP, “If This Thing Should Spill,” was released in 2007 under Morning After Records. (And is very good, I might add).

Now. Since I keep mentioning Sgt Pepper’s, I thought I’d throw in a little background on the album.

It was released on June 1, 1967. This was a few years after the Beatles had made it big in the U.K. and the U.S., and they were beginning to evolve away from the 50’s Elvis-y sound to something a bit more…psychedelic. It is speculated that, along with much of the American hippie counterculture, the Beatles were partaking in the use of marijuana, acid, and other drugs. There was even controversy over their album because of some drug references. One of these was in “A Little Help From My Friends,” during which they sing, “I get by with a little help from my friends, I get high with a little help from my friends.” Also, the song “Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds” is believed to be about LSD.

Probably the most interesting part of this multidimensional album is the cover art. It consists of the band and a group of their heroes and role models standing in what appears to be a garden. Some of the featured role models are Karl Jung, Edgar Allen Poe, Marilyn Monroe, Fred Astaire, Karl Marx, George Bernard Shaw, Albert Einstein, and Shirley Temple. The Beatles wished to include some other figures, such as Jesus, Hitler, Elvis and Gandhi, but they were taken out for political or religious reasons.

 For more info on Sgt Pepper’s, this was a helpful site.

The cover is well-recognized, and many have played off of it. Here are some spoofs that I thought were funny.

(the original)

(Frank Zappa’s version)
   (The Simpsons)

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