So if someone told you that, as a memorial to a friend's dead sister, they'd recorded a mournful, twinkly cover of the entire soundtrack to the 1980's homo carnival Footloose (a movie about John Lithgow bellowing about the evils of dancing and Kevin Bacon boldly and baconly defying him), what would you think? Well, we are faced with that stumper today, as we've stumbled upon a musician called Doveman who has done just that.
A beery-eyed-at-the-bar-at-4:30am-thinking-about-college sad hipster jam version of the title track? Um, sure. How about the weepy ebb and flow of a dirge-like rendition of "Let's Hear It For the Boy"? Hermmm, OK. Basically it's Friday and we're hungover and befuddled and don't know what to make of this. So we're foisting the question onto you, dear readers. Haunting elegy for a lost loved one, or peculiar and misguided hipster fantasia? (Or, I guess, both?) Listen to the tracks here and read Doveman's friend, Gabriel Greenberg, describe the album below.
When I was very young, my half-sister Jenny died tragically. She was a teenager, and it was the 80's. She left behind a wardrobe of brightly colored clothes, rainbow stickers, life-size paintings, doodles on lined paper, and hundreds of tapes. These constitute most of my memories of her. It's sad for me to look at these things, and usually I don't. But a couple of summers ago I found a tape of hers with a startling cover photograph — this was Footloose. I couldn't stop listening: it was a portrait of 80's love, desire, pain, freedom, and frenzy; of being a teenager in a time of change. By listening, I could step into Jenny's shoes, see things from her vantage point. I could be emancipated by rock and roll and walkmen, just as she had been. We could listen together.
I asked my friend Thomas to cover the album, which, sheltered as he is, he had never heard before. I was clear that I wanted to him to cover the whole album - the point wasn't to rework any one song, but to re-imagine the picture they made together. With a new Footloose. we could reply to the past, tell our own story about being young.