Jesse Jarnow

“walking with the beggar boys” – elf power

“Walking With the Beggar Boys” – Elf Power (download here)
from Walking With the Beggar Boys (2004)
released by Orange Twin (buy)

(file expires on April 6th.)

“Walking With the Beggar Boys” uses the simple tools of rock — a circular guitar lick, a chorus that compares love to a dream, call and response — to create something ecstatic. There is nothing remotely progressive going on, but Andrew Rieger and the Elves go for it anyway. The refrain is perfect pop logic — “love was just a dream, you know I never got no sleep” — that comes at an oblique angle to the verses, which are about pretty much about what the title suggests. A brief Eno-circa-Warm Jets guitar solo gives way to the song’s moment of being: a breathless call and response between Rieger and Vic Chesnutt that recalls “I am the Walrus”: “I was you ” (“You were me.”) “He was she.” (“She was he.”) “They were us.” (“We were they.”) Crank it.

The Elves will be putting out a fine new album in April, Back to the Web, on RykoDisc. (If Warner buys Ryko, as promised, does that make this their major label debut?) They’ll also be touring a lot with The Instruments.


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