Halloween, Alaska

On Tuesday I stumbled across Halloween, Alaska, thanks to an NPR interview at its Web site. The four-piece from Minneapolis formed in 2002, and recently released the full-length Too Tall to Hide.

The music is a compelling marriage of acoustic instrumentation and electronic technology; a Powerbook is listed as an instrument on the bio. What sold me was a low-key — albeit truncated — cover of LL Cool J’s classic I Can’t Live Without My Radio. Granted, an indie act covering a hip-hop song isn’t all that novel these days, but I find this version absurdly endearing. That could be because I love Cool J’s album Radio or, more likely, it’s because singer James Diers somehow pulls off some of the lines with total sincerity: “Don’t mean to offend other citizens, but I kick my volume way past 10.” Great stuff. Even if you don’t like it, they get points for having the cajones to tackle it.

Buy the CD here, which includes enhanced content and instrumental mp3s.

Halloween, Alaska | Drowned
Halloween, Alaska | I Can’t Live Without My Radio
Halloween, Alaska | Call it Clear (from self-titled debut LP)

For comparison’s sake …
LL Cool J | I Can’t Live Without My Radio

7 thoughts on “Halloween, Alaska”

  1. There was an earlier cover version of I Can’t Live Without My Radio. It was by World Domination Enterprises and is well worth finding. It was on a blog somewhere about 2 months ago.

  2. Dude, I totally posted about this band Sunday. But apparently nobody reads my blog. Oh well, never hurts to promote a band. And i still love you. But in a non-gay way.

  3. The band is fantastic. I’m currently writing a commentary on the lyrics to “Call It Clear”. I always wondered why the lyrics didn’t always rhyme, or were as palpable as other band’s lyrics, but in thinking more about the lyrics I’ve realized they contain a lot more substance than any other band can lay claim to.

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