08.12.13 — “Loomer” as covered by Kenny Feinstein

Kenny Feinstein

I got something very interesting in the mailbag today. A guy named Kenny Feinstein, who is the frontman of a Portland, Oregon bluegrass band called Water Tower, is about to release a tribute to the groundbreaking 1991 My Bloody Valentine record Loveless. A lot of people have covered the songs of My Bloody Valentine in their own particular idiom. He’s chosen to be a little more ambitious. He’s doing their entire masterpiece album. In the style of bluegrass. And it’s good. And it’s not meant to be a novelty, like Hayseed Dixie was with their bluegrass send-ups of AC/DC songs. It’s from the heart. Honest, and respectful.

So if you only listen to one cover song today, make it “Loomer” as covered by Kenny Feinstein (2013, from the forthcoming album Loveless: Hurts to Love). The original, of course, comes from the legendary 1991 album Loveless.

The press release that I got included the story of how Feinstein fell in love with Loveless. Here’s part of that story:

“I forced myself to listen to Loveless over and over because I did not understand it. I was confused by the sounds coming from it,” says Feinstein of his initial reaction to the album. “Finally, when listening to ‘Loomer’ while driving around a mall in Fort Lauderdale I had an epiphany during the chorus. I could not tell if the sound was being made by a human, a synth, a guitar, a bass or anything, but I did not care, all I could gather was that it was the most blissful sound I had ever heard.”

“The mystery was intriguing and painful. That started the year of Loveless for me. I listened to it every day for a year, sometimes a few times a day, sometimes all day. I had a feeling of not being able to get close enough to the album. This hurt me. I tried to get closer and closer, and play it louder and louder, but I could never get as close as I wanted to. So I decided to learn each song as accurately as possible.”

The original album was recorded with a legendarily massive budget over a period of two years. In addition to the regular rock band instruments, and the tons of effects pedals, there was a lot of work done in the studio with the manipulation of the sounds and manipulation of the tapes. By all accounts, Loveless crippled Creation Records to the point of bankruptcy. This tribute record was made with acoustic guitar, dobro, mandolin, fiddle, and dulcimer. Feinstein did most of the playing himself, and brought some friends and a producer in to tidy it up a bit. The sound is, of course, a stark contrast to the original, but it’s a fresh, unique interpretation of a classic album. Tonight’s song exemplifies that.

“Loomer” as covered by Kenny Feinstein

First of all, it’s amazing to be able to hear the lyrics clearly. I’ve never understood them before, and didn’t really feel like I needed to understand them, but it’s pretty sweet to hear them.
There’s something about Feinstein’s voice that I can’t quite place a finger on. It reminds me of something. Neil Young circa “Heart of Gold”? I’m not sure, but I like it.

I really like the other voice in the chorus, but I have no idea whose it is.

Richard Buckner lent his voice and his ukulele to the project, but I don’t know if he plays on “Loomer”

Loveless : Hurts to Love will be released on September 17 via the Portland label Fluff and Gravy Records. You can pre-order your copy here

As extra credit, here’s a video of Feinstein’s cover of “What You Want”, another song from the Loveless… project. Richard Buckner is definitely on this song:

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

4 responses to “08.12.13 — “Loomer” as covered by Kenny Feinstein

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