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Chris Robley Week: Centaurea


01/22/2008
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(antiMusic) With a CD called The Drunken Dance of Modern Man In Love, and a nickname of the Stephen King of Indie Pop, Chris Robley caught our attention. He kept our attention with his moody yet intriguing music. We asked Chris to pick some of his favorite songs from the CD and tell us about each. Here is Chris with today's song " Centaurea ".

The first time I ever kept a first vocal take in its entirety. Granted, the melody is lower and easy to sing. But still, I'm giving myself credit here. It was also one of the only times where a complete lyric came on so suddenly that I felt as if I were taking dictation. I woke up late one night, went out to the living room, and started scribbling fast. Besides some minor revisions, the words, imagery, and rhyme scheme is exactly what came spilling out.

The national flower of Germany belongs to the genus Centaurea. This is a song about that liminal twilight at the end of a war, where peace is coming over the horizon but no one can feel it yet. Things grow twisted from the rubble and ruin, growing, but most likely laying the foundation for the next conflict, too. The lyrics are specifically about WWII and the music is a kind of Mariachi/Tom Waits hybrid, so when someone told me this song made them feel like they were in Spain in 1936 I can't complain that they were too far off.

I played guitars, timpanis, crash symbols, and sang all the vocals. Arthur Parker played upright bass. Steve Keeley played the eerie tremolo fiddles that dance in the background. Benny Morrison dusted off his clarinet for some sweet Parisian lines. Mike Danner played accordion. Adam Selzer played castanets. And most importantly, James Gregg came in to play trumpet dressed in his very best Desert-Rock shoes.

Learn more about the CD, listen to the songs and more right here!

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