The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Monday, October 01, 2012

haLf man haLf eLf, covering "Just like Heaven"

This video was taken from a practice session my band haLf man haLf eLf had in August 2011, in preparation for our gig at a book launching at McNally Robinson Booksellers at Grant in the month that followed. This is our version of "Just like Heaven" by the English Postpunk band The Cure. 

In this video, I was singing and playing the keyboards and cajon; Christine Mazur was playing the violin; Dante Gomez, electric guitar; and Pol Chua, acoustic bass. 

The Cure
The original version of the song we were covering in this video may be found in The Cure's seventh album, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (1987).

One of the most enduring Postpunk bands and one of my all-time favorites, The Cure is also prolific, having released 13 full-length studio albums, the last of which is 4:13 Dream (2008).

My favorite live rendition (January 1991) of "Just like Heaven" by The Cure itself, the musicality of which is much closer with the musical direction of my band haLf man haLf eLf

The Style of haLf man haLf eLf
Deliberately guided by the respective musicality of the genres New Wave and Classical, I ensure that every original or cover song that we make has relatively lengthy but melodically structured (as opposed to improvised) instrumental sections, maximizing the melodic functionality of the violin and the keyboards plus my accessory bellkit.

To emphasize that in my arrangement of "Just like Heaven," I decided to begin the song with one full round of the post-bridge interlude of the original version by The Cure. This final arrangement is the version that we have been playing now.

I like also putting breaks in certain parts of every song to make it more dynamic and ear-catching and to give ourselves a better sonic picture of the song's structure. I also usually give each instrument its solo part, for it to be able to catch the attention of the listeners, avoid their tendency to get stuck with the vocals or with whatever instrument is doing the dominant or carrier melody or to reclaim the audience's attention which is usually lost halfway through a song that is single-textured, continuous (no breaks), monotonous (few chord progressions), or simple-structured (stanza-chorus-stanza-chorus). Most notably, I usually make each song start with a single or few instruments, then building up slowly as the other instruments layer in one by one.

My band haLf man haLf eLf's live performance of our version of "Just like Heaven" at a book launching held at McNally Robinson Booksellers at Grant, in September 2011; in the video with me were Christine Mazur (violin), Janice Bamforth (cajon), Dante Gomez (electric guitar), Pol Chua (acoustic bass), and Robert "Jay-R" Nicanor (drumkit).

The Cure in Toronto, September 2008
Although I first heard The Cure ("Inbetween Days" in 1985, on FM radio, in the Philippines), I with Inna got to see the band live for the first time only in 2008, when they performed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We spent not only for our concert tickets but also for our plane tickets, being residents of Winnipeg, Manitoba. No regrets! It was a dream come true for both of us, being longtime fans of The Cure.

Fifth-row tickets

I and Inna

 I was proudly waving a Philippine flag every time The Cure played a personal favorite.

 A very Gothic-looking Porl Thompson

 The unassuming Jason Cooper and the always-cool and quiet-looking Simon Gallup

 The forever enigmatic Robert Smith

The Eric Draven–looking I

And of course, the official music video of the single-edit version of "Just like Heaven" (1987):


Post a Comment

<< Home