Friday, February 1, 2008

Listening Too Long To One Song: Tullycraft "Twee"



So, as part of my never ending quest to be a "real" DJ, I've lately been trying to stick to buying records on vinyl as much as possible. I've also been replacing a few cds or mp3s with with vinyl if seems like something that I just have to play at a Squaregirls night, and I just have to play it on vinyl. Take Tullycraft's Beat Surf Fun for example. I knew that I needed to play the song, "Twee," at some point during our night in February, and I knew that it would ultimately be so much more satisfying to have the actual record in my hand to release at just the right moment as opposed to simply holding the control record for Serato (which I'm eternally grateful for the existence of) and releasing an mp3. I'm not a complete vinyl purist, but some songs just have to come from a record. More often than not the records that I continually search for have to be found online. More often than not they have to be found through a specific record label's website. I knew all of these things when I decided to buy Beat Surf Fun. I bought it directly from Magic Marker Records. One thing that I didn't know in the process of all of this is exactly how cool the people at Magic Marker actually are. When I opened the box my eye immediately went to a small button that displayed the word, "TWEE," in big, colorful letters, I was hoping against all hope that it was the button that I thought it was. Sure enough, directly above the word, "TWEE," in much smaller lettering, were the words, "fuck me, i'm..."

I've never, at any point in time referred to Tullycraft as my favorite band, nor have I ever considered them to be my favorite band. Yet, in some strange way they are the band that when I listen to them, make me feel the most "myself." It's in the obscure references that I half get, but more so in the ones that I don't get right away because nine times out of ten I will hear about something weeks or months later, and realize that there is a line in a Tullycraft song about that thing, and I will smile because it makes me feel like I'm in on some great secret. Especially on a song like, "Twee." It seems that for the most part if anyone has a frame of reference for the term twee at all it will conjure up images of sad kids hiding underneath bowl haircuts who exist in their own little world that is made up entirely of songs about unrequited crushes, and tears, and the stars. What most people don't realize is just how defiant twee was (is) in the face of aggressive, predominately macho punk rock, glossy new wave, and/or the majority of what gets referred to as "indie" music these days. Tullycraft have managed to capture all of that defiance, all of the fun, and all of the slight silliness that is twee pop in (appropriately enough) in a three minute and twenty three second pop song. Compared to the production on any of their previous singles that hinted at capturing the same things, "Pop Songs Your New Boyfriend's Too Stupid to Know About," "Josie," "Look How We Killed the Riot Grrrls," (especially "Look How We Killed the Riot Grrrls,) "Twee," could seem over produced. However, it doesn't. Everything about this song simply sounds really fucking confident. From the New Order-esque guitar that kicks things off with a bang (it should also be pointed out that this is track one/ side one of Beat Surf Fun,) to the opening line, "Well She wakes up every morning to the sound of Sarah Records...," to the giddy chorus of "She said Hey, hey, hey won't you listen to me well you can keep the punk rock, rap, beats, and house, fuck me, I'm twee do do do do...," all the way through to then end when the same guitar part from the beginning picks you up and carries you off to the next song. Truly an anthem for every kid who never felt quite tough enough to be a punk, but who longed for something more than the cool detachment of most indie rock. There is a sound clip from an introduction of the band on a radio session included on their singles compilation that seems to sum things up pretty nicely, "Tullycraft from Seattle Washington, ready to pop you into submission." Are you ready?

You can download the song here

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