the family closet: fill your heart

couldn’t get an original done as i was cranking out this year’s holiday song. since i have nothing original to offer, figured i’d share the results of my work – a cover of a cover, featuring my son and daughter on vocals. we’ve been doing this for the past six or seven years, and they never disappoint.

just as a side note, this song marks the intersection of two of my favorites: david bowie’s “hunky dory,” the album this version apes, and paul williams, who wrote the lyric.

the bowie influence is probably obvious from other efforts, but paul williams is another favorite, particularly his work on the movie “phantom of the paradise.”

“phantom” is my answer to the icebreaker “what’s your favorite movie?” i admit that its obscurity helps it to the top, but it blends so many of my favorite themes into a single experience, a genuinely comic, genuinely tragic horror movie that spoofs the music business, and has a great soundtrack by mr. williams. it even features an intro by rod serling.

its romantic and nerdy and smart and well executed. which strikes me as a pretty good description of my musical output of the past decade.

so where was i? right, the holiday song. so “fill your heart” was originally on the tiny tim debut album, which makes it all the more perfect a choice for bowie. i had heard the song a thousand times without ever listening to the lyric: in my end to end delight with “hunky dory,” this song was always the light and bouncy segue from “quicksand” (another favorite) to “andy warhol.” when i finally listened to the lyrics i was blown away by the mix of profundity and whimsy, like a hippie existentialist. i guess that’s as good a description as any of bowie during the short-lived “hunky dory” era.

as i strained this year to come up with a good tune to cover (“this will be our year” and “pennies from heaven were the last two) the song popped in my head and seemed perfect. it was fun to do, and seemed a nice new year’s message.

btw: my resolution is to release something every week in 2010. so expect some improved consistency, a few more of knick knacks from the family vault, and probably one or two 25 second tunes.

happy new year. let’s hope it’s a good one. without any fear…

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