The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
SLR 179 » released October 2012
formats » 7"
status » out-of-print
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart are pleased to announce a new 7" single on Slumberland featuring covers of two of their favorite bands ever, The Magnetic Fields and East River Pipe. The single marks the first new recordings from the band since their 2011 album, Belong, and was recorded in June 2012 at Rare Book Room.
Peggy Wang of Pains explains her personal connection to The Magnetic Fields:
"The Magnetic Fields, for me, were part of an immature phase. I know that has negative connotations, but in hindsight, I don't think I could have fallen harder for any other band at any other time in my life. I had the kind of naive scrawl-their-name-on-my-notebook fixation that any young teenybopper would have had, except back then, I didn't have the luxury of the internet to find out much about my favorite band, and I didn't live in a big city where I might hope to catch a glimpse of my teen idols as they rolled through town. There wasn't even a fan club for me to join. The Magnetic Fields were a band without context."
Now that I'm older, I can look back at the time and see how the Magnetic Fields were a band that could exist outside of a context and still make me fall in love with them. I didn't need to know if they were anyone else's favorite band, I didn't need to know what they looked like or where they were from or any frivolous details a hypothetical Tigerbeat interview might have divulged to me.
The Magnetic Fields might have been the last band I ever unconditionally loved without ever stopping to try to understand why - just the kind of love story I hoped to one day live through."
On the topic of East River Pipe's "My Life is Wrong," The Pains' Kip Berman says:
In the summer of 1999, I haphazardly bought a used label compilation in Cambridge, MA at a record store that no longer exists (R.I.P. Mars Records!). The label was Sarah Records; the compilation was Gaol Ferry Bridge. While ace tracks by Action Painting, Blueboy, Heavenly and The Sugargliders pushed me deeper down the indiepop rabbit hole, my favorite song of the entire compilation--and perhaps of the entire label--was "My Life is Wrong" by East River Pipe.
There was something that distinguished the song from the music around it. Sure, it had all the prerequisites of this particular strain of indiepop--jangly guitars, the tinny kick and snare of a drum machine, and and an intimate vocal delivery intended for living rooms and campus rec centers, not big rock clubs or arenas. But where many of F.M. Cornog's peers sang gently about gentle things--unrequited love or social discomfort--his understated voice evoked a sense of grand ambition thwarted ("God knows I tried to live, this is all there is"). I heard a man striving for something far greater than he knew he could ever achieve, emerging from defeat with this undeniable pop gem as recompense for his struggle. It was full of melancholy, but never pathetic. For all its lyrical self loathing ("I know my life is wrong, you told me so"), it felt inspiring.
Years later, every moment of that song still with me, I want to say thank you to F.M. Cornog. So much of the music that he wrote, made possible by remarkable independent labels like Sarah Records and his later home, Merge Records, are such a huge part of what inspired me to pick up a guitar and write my own music... and sometimes record his.
The Pains have always been quick to share their enthusiasm for all the great bands who inspire them to make music, and with this great, rocking single we see them very concretely pay tribute to two of the finest song-writers in contemporary indie music.
All copies pressed on olive green vinyl and include a code for a free download.
see also » Simple And Sure 7" single
see also » The Pains of Being Pure At Heart LP/CD
see also » Higher Than The Stars EP
see also » Say No To Love 7" single
see also » Heart In Your Heartbreak 7" single
see also » Belong 7" single
see also » Belong CD