song of the week: thao & mirah ~ love is a battlefield
December 29, 2011 in song of the week
What do you get when you splice together two amazing musicians and a quirky producer? An indie supergroup hell bent on destroying all things sonic in your brain, and reshaping them anew. Some mad scientist at Olympia’s Kill Rock Stars had such an idea, and took the DNA from Thao with the Get Down Stay Down, Mirah, and Merrill Garbus of the tUnE-yArDs, then genetically engineered Thao & Mirah.
Their self titled venture topped many best of lists this year, and you’ll see no complaint from me. This duo is a match made in indie heaven. Mirah is a Northwest indie goddess, with the voice of an angel. Thao Nguyen is a Northern California indie pop rocker who is reminiscent of Cat Powers. Merrill Garbus the purveyor of organic loopy quirk, produced the album and found a way to exploit their similarities and differences in a way that meshes into a heavenly cohesive sound.
These two spread together like bread and butter, why hadn’t they done this before? I took my wife to see them life for her birthday in May, not surprisingly they were wonderful. You could tell these two ladies really know each other, and I like to think that helps create such great music. Pop at times, but full of off-beat indie cred too.
While I’ve been gushing about how incredible this album is, our song of the week is absent from it. Love is a Battlefield was recorded for The Bay Bridged’s New, Improved, LIVE. Yes this is a cover of the Pat Benatar classic, don’t let that taint the song. After hearing this version you’ll consider erasing the Benatar original, and any subsequent covers from your memory. This should be the definitive version.
Replace that 80’s rock guitar with a xylophone, add some booming drums, and Mirah’s voice. That’s all you need. What drove them to play this song so minimalistic, I’ll never know. I’m just really glad they did, because this is a song for the ages. You’ll be humming it all day, if not all week.
This is the first time we’ve featured a song not present on an album or single, so you can’t buy this anywhere. Don’t fret. You can download this song absolutely free from, The Bay Bridged’s New, Improved, LIVE: Thao & Mirah. Enjoy.