Franz Ferdinand, “Leaving My Old Life Behind” (Jonathan Halper Cover)

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 08.13.14 in Listen to This

An obscure Rosetta Stone of warped, ramshackle guitar pop just got a welcome recasting for a bigger stage. On September 15, Franz Ferdinand will release the Scottish post-punk revisionists’ entry in the LateNightTales mix series; the Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action crew’s tracklist for their installment showcases impressively savvy and wide-ranging taste, with music from Life Without Buildings, R. Stevie Moore and Can, as well as Zapp, James Brown and Oneohtrix Point Never. Now they’ve shared their version of “Leaving My Old Life Behind,” a 1968 psych-pop oddity originally recorded by little-known artist Jonathan Halper for Kenneth Anger’s Puce Moment soundtrack. The original, reissued this year on a compilation from Portland. Oregon’s Mississippi Records, is a spindly, lo-fi gem with backwards guitar, predicting the more shambling, Syd Barrett-like side of the Flying Nun Records catalog decades ahead of time. Franz Ferdinand smartly dresses the song up as a full-fledged band number. Thank goodness they kept the backwards guitar. (The guys from MGMT are gonna be so pissed they didn’t think of this for their LateNightTales mix.)