Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Taken from Pitchfork

Video: The Moscow Coup Attempt: "The Sprout and the Bean" (Joanna Newsom cover)

What do you do if you want to wring new poignancy from Joanna Newsom's beloved ballad, "The Sprout and the Bean"? If you're the Moscow Coup Attempt, you gather together urchins like the ones from the cover of the Walkmen's first album in all their grainy, sepia-toned pathos, and you make a video. You splice these winsome sprouts together home-video style, letting the Model-T cars, sailor caps, and white hair-bows work their nostalgic magic. You recast the song's twinkling harp runs as a plodding, bottom-heavy dirge, and most importantly, you play it close to the hip, surfing along the song's built-in swells without trying to replicate Newsom's avian warble. You close the clip with shots of stern-looking businessmen and military officers, yoking these bean-counters to the song's figurative beans and establishing a trajectory of life. You leave the final metamorphosis of these children from another time affectingly implicit.


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