HEPNOVA is dedicating our cover version of Green Island Serenade (綠島小夜曲) to jailed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. As a song that was popular in Taiwan, China, and across the Sinosphere, we think it is a poignant symbol of cross-strait solidarity. On the surface, the lyrics are a pop song about a man admiring a silent woman from afar, but it has also been interpreted by many to be a veiled protest against government censorship and oppression.
Petrosino Square is a new track and first time lyrical collaboration with Joe Gualtieri. Hepnova co-pilot Nicholas DiBiase and I cut the track over the holidays. It’s a somber, shifting, and moody track whose title and inspiration come from the mini park at the crossroads of Little Italy, Chinatown and SoHo where Joe and I would hang out in during the warmer months. Like every Hepnova track, this one draws from various musical influences, from the strong emotional poetry of Björk, to the melodic lyricism of Radiohead, to the moody atmospherics of Massive Attack to the Automator-esque beats of Gorillaz. In any case, I’m a much better composer than music writer, so just check it out and listen already.
Far from the burning iridescence
Safe from the searchlights of the past
Witnesses no more, but outlaws at last
You start to tense, begin to brace
As I press the revolver to your face
I see you aﬂame in this love so heady
Like a bomb thrown by Sacco and Vanzetti
When I saw you there in Petrosino Square
Is this paradise or my worst nightmare?
When the workers arise
I look into your eyes, your beautiful lies
Oh your beautiful eyes/lies
Your eyes your lies
Haven’t seen you in awhile and
I’m not sure how to start
Whether to thank or to blame you
For the anarchy in my heart
Your eyes your lies
The electric guitar solo (you know, the part where you wonder, “who invited The Edge to this Silk Road hoe down?”) was played by the brilliant Dr. Bob Devine. And the crazy synth sounds you hear near the end come from the legendary Swedish SidStation.
Here are some reviews we have been getting:
JC calls You’re For me “a down-and-dirty country banger in the style of Johnny Cash.”
Mediocre Student says, “I like JC’s voice. and the pipa at the beginning. it’s like Detroit Chinatown. Your music has kind of a limping, offbeat rhythm which is a nice contrast to the incessant and calculated thrust of the bullshit Gaga house music I’ve been hearing in the Castro.” (*Actually the “pipa” sound is just a really cheap toy nylon string guitar, but also probably made in China, so I guess we are on the right track.)