“My Life is Wrong” (East River Pipe Cover) by The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Kip on choosing to cover this particular ERP track (we predicted they would!):
“In the summer of 1999, I haphazardly bought a used label compilation in Cambridge, MA at a record store that no longer exists (R.I.P. Mars Records!). The label was Sarah Records; the compilation was Gaol Ferry Bridge. While ace tracks by Action Painting, Blueboy, Heavenly and The Sugargliders pushed me deeper down the indiepop rabbit hole, my favorite song of the entire compilation—and perhaps of the entire label—was “My Life is Wrong” by East River Pipe.
There was something that distinguished the song from the music around it. Sure, it had all the prerequisites of this particular strain of indiepop—jangly guitars, the tinny kick and snare of a drum machine, and an intimate vocal delivery intended for living rooms and campus rec centers, not big rock clubs or arenas. But where many of F.M. Cornog’s peers sang gently about gentle things—unrequited love or social discomfort—his understated voice evoked a sense of grand ambition thwarted (“God knows I tried to live, this is all there is”). I heard a man striving for something far greater than he knew he could ever achieve, emerging from defeat with this undeniable pop gem as recompense for his struggle. It was full of melancholy, but never pathetic. For all its lyrical self loathing (“I know my life is wrong, you told me so”), it felt inspiring.
Years later, every moment of that song still with me, I want to say thank you to F.M. Cornog. So much of the music that he wrote, made possible by remarkable independent labels like Sarah Records and his later home, Merge Records, are such a huge part of what inspired me to pick up a guitar and write my own music… and sometimes record his.”
download the track for free here!
and preorder the Jeremy 7” over at Slumberland Records.