Handsome Furs - Bury me standing (Sub Pop)

In the ongoing project to plough through the summer music mountain at UOH Towers, I came across this gem from Canadian husband and wife duo Handsome Furs, Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry, a tune which we had on the show a few months back.

It's taken from their current album, Sound Kapital, on Sub Pop, their third album which came out at the end of June. I haven't heard the whole album but I'd be surprised if it gets any better than that song, (mostly) electronic music with a kind of renegade, rock 'n roll spirit. Touch of Depeche Mode about it, actually, speaking of renegades. And there's hope for married couples everywhere when you watch this footage from the band's performance at the Capital Hill Block Party festival in Seattle earlier this summer.

There's a degree of conviction about them on stage that's very endearing. Plus they seem to enjoy each other's company, which is a good sign in a marriage. Their bio on the Sub Pop website is interesting too.


I particularly like the description of the influence they've drawn from the developing world - Eastern Europe, China, South America - both in terms of difficult lives lived and music made. As opposed to the very often much less difficult choices faced by bands in the western world.

They also run a tour blog, which features some high quality prose by wife Alexei. You can find it here.


I'm going to reprint this entry, from August 24th, St. Louis, because it says a lot about the kind of people they are.

The first gift Dan ever gave to me was William T. Vollmann’s enormous novel “The Royal Family.” It is a seedy account of a prostitution ring in California but it is also tremendously romantic and dirty and tender. It will always be one of my favourite books and it was the best pick up line a girl like me could ever receive. At a coffee shop in St. Louis, Dan passed a table with a young beautiful man reading just this opus and he gravitated towards it. He let his hand fall on the book cover before he even introduced himself. He struck up a conversation with Scott Thomas Smith about words and private investigation and punk rock that could only occur between the chance encounters of sublime minds. I arrived with our espressos and Dan introduced me as his wife made possible by the pages now before him. It was sunny and, for freaks, we were all feeling pretty friendly. And so, of course, we guestlisted this perfect specimen of humanness for our show at Off Broadway, uncertain that he would be interested by our little band but hopeful that he might take the chance. Scott Thomas Smith arrived with a beaten brown folder. It looked like it had been permanently living beneath his arm, against his side, held like another sort of limb between his real limb and body. It looked like a part of him and, yet, he offered it to us. It is not always easy to show thanks. Especially when you are the recipient of an unknown package. But we smiled and knew we were lucky and did our best to make the right sort of impressed faces because we were rightly and truly and wholly impressed. And then we stole away with it. Excited. Upstairs and backstage, I removed its elastic and began pulling out the ink-stained contents from its accordion jaws. A CD-R of his band Jet Black Airlines. His novel “Down With Strangers,” penned when he was nineteen. A dedication, with disclaimer, scrawled on the inside cover personally addressed to us both with our names spelled correctly. His zine “Skeleton Car Keys” that includes a “Feminist Babe of the Month” centerfold featuring Emmaline Pankhurst. Two shorts titled “To Understand the Enemy” and “The Political Re-Education of a Clean Cool Dude.” And finally a full-length screenplay, handled “Hiroshima.” I hugged Dan. It was the only thing I knew to do. I felt so overjoyed. I felt like I’d been given something of myself. Like something I would have made, cocky but also uncertain of its worth. As I looked through its pages, falling in love with each typewriter-written word, I felt like I had been given another organ. One that might make me live better – not longer but fuller. And this gift launched our night. And this gift was shared with the audience, through our joy, and the audience gave it back. Like they too had pieces of me that they had mended and made stronger and returned. I didn’t feel like I had room for it all in my body but I made room. I feel more like myself. And if I now face “Death By Life,” (another of S.T.S’s genius titles), I will die happily lived.

I love that, "accordion jaws". Literature, politics, punk rock. Serious people, this pair.


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