среда, 21 сентября 2011 г.

Father, Son, Holy Ghost

What I always liked about The Girls apart from them being hapless represantatives of the sunny loveable mint ice cream dimension impossible to reach from where we are was that painfully real sense of being wounded when in love. How the world around appears to be so hopelessly wastedly beautiful. Simple but I still can't say it right, only Christopher Owens can say it right. And that's what he does.
Father, Son, Holy Ghost is the best title Girls could choose for their second album. Timeless, obvious, great title for a great record. And yep, these black tight leather pants, black crop top, Girls denim jacket and the Deathly Hallows symbol on his neck in a new video are so cool.

Girls Father Son Holy Ghost

When I call Girls frontman Christopher Owens, he's bedridden for the third straight day. What's wrong with him? "Well, there are a lot of things wrong with me," he says with a chuckle. But he's not kidding. The singer-songwriter is in the thick of a self-imposed pre-tour drug withdrawal.
"I struggle with an addiction to serious, very heavy opiates," he says later on in the conversation. "Getting rid of this shit is literally the worst hell you can imagine. I don't know why I always go back to it, but I do." The admission isn't as surprising, perhaps, as it should be-- the 32 year old has made a point to keep his music and his life as honest as possible, even if that means telling strangers about his darkest addictions. This openness is inviting, though, and it's all over Girls' strikingly unguarded songs, which tell of love and loss with the wide-eyed naïvteté of someone half Owens' age.
By now, the singer's eccentric back story-- he was raised in the well-meaning but ultimately dangerous and perverse Children of God religious cult before breaking away and subsequently being taken in by Texas artist Stanley Marsh 3-- is something of indie rock lore, and Owens doesn't back away from it. Several songs on Girls' new sophomore album, Father, Son, Holy Ghost, deal with Owens' fraught and complicated relationship with his mother, who allowed another son to die of pneumonia because of Children of God's anti-medicine stance and prostituted herself in Owens' presence while he was growing up. (She has since left the cult as well.) When he sings, "I'm looking for meaning in life, and you my ma," on the new record, you can hear the confusion of his experience as well as universal empathy.

Girls Father Son Holy Ghost

Pitchfork: There are some very talented gospel back-up singers on Father, Son, Holy Ghost, and when you contrast them with your relatively small voice, it can sound...


Christopher Owens: ...funny! I know what you're talking about, and it's part of my neurosis. I was very much aware from the first recording we did that my voice sucks. It's fun to perform and be a singer, but writing songs is what really makes me happy. While we were recording this album I sent a Tweet to Justin Bieber: "Hey Justin, I'm the lead singer of Girls and you should come be the singer in our band. It'd be great for your career." Imagine that-- he'd be like the new Julian Casablancas! I'd give him all my songs and he'd sell millions of records. He would do a better job on vocals and I would be happy watching the shows from the side and writing songs for him. But he never replied. I knew he wouldn't, but I was dead serious. And what I was acknowledging with the Tweet was that everything on this album had jumped up in quality except the singing. But those are the breaks, man.




 I have this movie I watch anytime I get too depressed. It's called Brother Sun, Sister Moon and it's about St. Francis' life. He was another famous dropout, a rich kid who gave up all his goods to become a beggar because of the ideas presented in the Bible. There's a verse that says, "Consider the lilies of the field. They spin not, neither do they sew, yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like these." It's about simplicity. It's a Zen idea.
I watch that movie because it's very beautiful. It's made by Franco Zeffirelli, who's a fabulous Italian gay that made wonderful pictures about the Bible. I like everything he's ever made. He's still alive and asking the Pope if he can be a stylist, from what I last heard. Most of his movies were about religious themes because he's an Italian Catholic. Without ever saying it to you in open language, he presents this idea: "I can be gay, maybe even an atheist, but still love these people and this history." That's how I feel about it.

To me, Father, Son, Holy Ghost is an idea of the presentation of something's origin, something's identity, and something's spiritual quality. I thought it was an epic title for an epic album.

It's saying, "Love is just a song." If you wanted a song, you could just find one, write one, you could get that. And love is something you can make, too, and you don't have to get it back from somebody. I can just love the hell out of someone, and it's just as rewarding as if someone was very much into me. Like, I love Gene Kelly, and I can watch him on DVD whenever I feel like it. It's a wonderful thing in my life and it's real love.
So many people wait around for love to be found for them, for somebody to say, "I love you." But sometimes it's just as much fun to love somebody that doesn't even think about you or talk to you: She doesn't have to love you back, you can just think she's neat, and that's fine.
And the line about keeping my feet on the ground is about drugs. "Just a Song" is the most personal one on the record. It's the closest to what I feel right now. I struggle with an addiction to serious, very heavy opiates, which is the reason I'm sick right now, because I'm cleaning up for the tour. I have to get clean, otherwise I have a bad attitude, or I'm looking for it all the time, or I get sick on the road and I'm bad during the promo, which is not acceptable. I've done this for every tour. Getting rid of this shit is literally the worst hell you can imagine. I don't know why I always go back to it, but I do. It's a big deal to go through, very serious stuff. And that's what that song's about, and I love it.

Text in italic and pictures via Pitchfork

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