Foreign Films - Hills Like Elephants

from the album Feral Flocks (2013)

The first thing that attracted me to the band Hills Like Elephants was their name.  As an Ernest Hemingway fan, I immediately picked up the reference to his short story Hills Like White Elephants.    This resulted in me going to the shelves and picking up my early edition of Men Without Women.  This 1927 collection of short stories features some of Hemingway's finest work.

Thumbing thru the book I realized that the story immediately following Hills Like White Elephants is The Killers.  I like thinking that this was a conscious choice, placing them forever ahead of Brandon Flowers and Company.

My favorite tune in their catalogue is Foreign Films.  My first listen brought me back to a day - many moons and several asteroids ago - when I picked up Talking Heads '77 at a used record shop in Milwaukee and spent the next year losing myself in every beat and measure.

This song has many of the same qualities as that classic album.  The bouncing octaves of the keys and bass, the bright rhythm guitar, and - most importantly - the meter and stylings of the vocals that recall David Byrne in his quirky youth.

Any band that can draw a line from Ernest Hemingway to Talking Heads is OK in my book.  Hope you enjoy.

Click Here to watch the band perform Foreign Films at the Adams Avenue Street Fair in San Diego last fall.

Comments

  1. Awesome! I must possess this song. But, funny thing- you liken the lead vocalist to David Byrne, which I get, but I do sense a little Brandon Flowers in there too. Actually, more than a little, but it could be wishful thinking as you know I love my Killers. So maybe...their influence is The Killers, but since the name is taken, they flipped BACK a chapter in old Ernie's book and settled on that name instead. Huh? You go research that possibility and get back to me.
    I do dig this tune mucho though, no matter what the inspiration.

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  2. Screw Hemingway. We should head to Orange County and crash a Beach Goth festival. How awesome would that be?

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  3. Did you bug my car? Can you hear conversations I have with my kid in my Dodge Durango? We were JUST--and I mean 20 minutes ago, listening to this tune together (me, for the 6th time today) and I said to him, "Can you imagine going to a street festival and hearing THAT??" He said it'd be pretty awesome. He loved it. And Mr. Gigolo, he said there is a definite Killers influence, no doubt. They're great.

    Yes, off to the OC...let's go. Actually, I will settle for whatever your fine city has going on the third week of October, or were you going to blow past that one? I have a work thing- a conference. I'm going with my very nerdy (but very nice) co-workers, named Frieda, Agnes and Betty- not joking with the names. They actually aren't as old as they sound, but they are not exactly partiers, and the thought of 3 nights in ATL with just them is already more than I can take. I will need someone to drink with!!! If not you, then lend me your wife or one of your funky friends, please!! Let me know. Besides, it would be way too great to see you.

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