Unknown Mortal Orchestra recorded a portion of their latest record Sex & Food at a K-pop studio in Seoul because the band’s frontman, Ruban Nielson, wanted to be near the Korean Demilitarized Zone. He’s said in recent interviews that he wanted to get a feel for David Bowie and Iggy Pop’s mid-’70s sessions in Berlin, right by the Wall, and the DMZ was the best equivalent he could think of in 2018. (It’s unlikely that Nielson was specifically trying to recreate the story of Bowie driving around an underground parking lot at 70mph, threatening to ram his car into a concrete wall, before running out of gas and collapsing into a fit of laughter. But it’s a good excuse to look that story up.)
Nielson took a slightly more conventional route into Bowie homages yesterday, covering the Hunky Dory classic “Oh, You Pretty Things” for a Sirius XMU session. It’s faithful, right down to Nielson’s delicate rasp, and it captures some of the apocalyptic terror that Bowie wrote into the original. It’s absolutely better than Peter Noone’s 1971 version.
Listen to it at the top of the page.
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