Video: The Handsome Family: “Weightless Again”
From Through the Trees, released twenty years ago on Carrot Top Records.
This is a new video made for an old song. “Weightless Again” is the song that originally turned me on to the Handsome Family. Rennie Sparks describes it as “Maybe our most American song: it’s about suicide, drug addiction, deforestation and Moby Dick as well as the great angst that only comes from the lack of real cream for coffee.”
It’s one of those songs that just socks you in the gut.
Remember the first time we slept together
You said it felt like when you learned to float
This is why people OD on pills and jump from the Golden Gate Bridge
Anything to feel weightless again
Once you hear something like that, you’re going to follow that band to the ends of the earth. At least I am.
And now Through The Trees is turning 20 and, to celebrate, Loose Music is releasing a deluxe edition on March 9 featuring heavyweight sky blue vinyl and an exclusive bonus CD, comprised of 15 tracks of “demos, session tracks, live performances, and bickering,” alongside the story behind Through The Trees, written by Rennie Sparks.
The Handsome Family: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.
Video: The Handsome Family – “King of Dust”
Jeez, I stop paying attention for a minute and when I open my eyes the Handsome Family has released four more videos from their latest album, Unseen, released last September. I guess it’s been nine months since they shared the video for “Gold”, and after that they’ve cranked out quirky, homegrown videos for “Back in My Day,” “Tiny Tina,” “The Red Door,” and now “King of Dust”.
I’m so happy these guys are still together and still putting out great music.
Continue reading A bunch of new Handsome Family videos
YouTube: The Handsome Family – “Gold”
A great new Handsome Family song from their album Unseen, due September 16. It’s crazy to realize they’ve been putting out spooky, heartbreaking music for over twenty years now. I’ve been a fan for almost that long. In the very early days of GLONO we did an interview with Rennie Sparks. She gave better responses than my goofy questions warranted, which just goes to show how cool she is.
I was elated when the HBO drama True Detective chose their song “Far From Any Road” as its theme song for its first season. They were finally getting the attention they deserved. Hopefully all those new fans continue to dig what Brett and Rennie Sparks are whipping up in their Albuquerque home studio.
I also love that the Handsome Family still maintains their own web site. It’s awesome.
MP3: The Handsome Family – “When You Whispered” from Honey Moon, out now.
I love this band, and can’t wait to pick up their new album. Might run out and grab it at lunch.
A couple of recent Handsome Family interviews:
• Still Handsome after all these years by Jim DeRogatis
• Handsome Family takes on the toughest subject of them all by Greg Kot
Previously on GLONO: lots.
Handsome Family: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, wiki
Magnet talks to the Handsome Family‘s Brett and Rennie Sparks. On songwriting:
Brett: When you’ve been called “the Gomez and Morticia Adams of country music” enough times, you will fucking take off your little gothic cowboy hat.
Rennie: You have a gothic cowboy hat? Is it made of cobwebs and lizard skin?
Brett: I got a cobrasnake for a necktie.
Rennie: Honestly, though, when you try to write songs you don’t think about what other people will think about it.
Brett: I kind of do. I want to write things that will satisfy my … spectral need. [Laughs] I want to make my stuff so that it works for people. I don’t have exclusionary intentions. I’ve been through all this shit; I wrote abstract, atonal music, I worked in prepared piano music, I went to school and studied bullshit harmony and counterpoint for no reason, but I try to take that stuff and roll it up into a little ball that people can play with.
Their new album, Honey Moon, is due April 14 on Carrot Top.
We interviewed Rennie Sparks about a hundered years ago: The Glorious Noise Interview with the Handsome Family (2001). Those were the days.
MP3: The Handsome Family – “Darling, My Darling” from Honey Moon.
“All the Time in Airports” by the Handsome Family from Last Days of Wonder. Also: “Tesla’s Hotel Room”. Great moody, creepy stuff by a consistently great, moody, creepy band.
The Handsome Family – Singing Bones (Carrot Top)
A novelty can get you attention, but what then? Successful acts use their novelty to get a foot in the door and then let loose with the real deal once inside. Ask the White Stripes—or the Handsome Family.
The Handsome Family got their foot in the door as a husband & wife duo (Rennie and Brett Sparks) singing spooky dirges supported by a drum machine that was started and stopped by hand on stage. It was quirky, it was neat, and it was novel. But the Handsome Family realizes that only goes so far and they’ve expanded their sound (and their charm) on Singing Bones. Sure, the lyrics still lean into the creepy zone, but the instrumentation and production are now worthy of Rennie’s lyrics and Brett’s musical arrangement. Purists may shout out “Judas,” (can you imagine?), but Singing Bones is the Handsome Family finding their confidence as recording artists.
The Glorious Noise Interview with the Handsome Family
I recently had the opportunity to interview Rennie Sparks, the lyricist/autoharpist half of the Handsome Family. Check it out!
Continue reading The Glorious Noise Interview with the Handsome Family