Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Churchill - Change

Churchill: Change

Churchill band
Churchill the band.

Churchill was an alt-rock band from Denver. That's right up the road from me, but I had never heard of them until fairly recently. They had a great sound. "Change" was pretty much their only hit, but it was a classic one, as far as I'm concerned. Perhaps you've heard it, momentarily thought, "Hmmm, that's a cool tune, wonder who did it?" and then completely forgot about it. Well, that's why I'm here!

Churchill broke up quite abruptly over the summer of 2013, just as they were scheduled to play an eagerly awaited concert. Rumors have flown among fans about the cause. The best I can come up with is that somebody who was married to somebody else cheated on that somebody. But who knows, that could be (and probably is) just an idle rumor. Maybe it was just a matter of being offended that their artistic integrity was in jeopardy, as the song "Change" suggests - but I doubt that was the reason. It could have been over anything, and it doesn't really matter now.

It's a shame, but I know personally that, when it's over, brother ... it's over. Concert to perform that evening or no concert to perform. They had "local success," as the charming phrase goes, and most bands don't even get that.

The lead singer, Bethany Kelly, has a great voice. It reminds me of Adele's sound when she lets it rip. The other band members for this recording were Tim Bruns (guitar/vox) and Mike Morter (mandolin/guitar) (Bruns and Morter formed the band) and Tyler Rima (bass) and Joe Richmond (drums). There's a great thumping drum/bass line which drives the song, another reason why I enjoy this track. Bethany, though, with her enigmatic look, sells the whole thing. Unfortunately, the harsh lighting and overdone makeup did not do her any favors in the "Change" video. I wish her well.

I love bands like this. They do their thing, have their moment - and that's it. What they did will live forever, in its purest essence. A band forever at its peak. They are a great advertisement for taking unknown bands seriously. Such talent always is around, lurking and soon forgotten. For example, if you want to hear some good music, look up a band called "Information Society" from the '80s. Good stuff, original sound. They were there for a day, then poof, gone like a firefly in the August gloom. There have been many other great sounds that were silenced too soon. Churchill is part of a vast crowd.

skateboarder suit hat

Anyway, Churchill put out two videos for this song (no, I have no idea where the name came from. I highly doubt it is related to either the famous British Prime Minister or a certain highly controversial college professor in Boulder, Colorado, but who knows). The "official" video is a fairly standard performance video replete with visual tricks. Bethany, as I noted, is given some fairly unflattering looks in it, but the guys come off a lot better because, well, they are asked to do a lot less. You can tell that they are not experienced video performers, which actually lends the video a bit of freshness. Overall, the video is saved by the performers' terrific energy and talent more than polish. Such is life.

The alternate video of "Change" (below) is quite artistic and, in my humble opinion, offers an inventive play on the lyrics. While the official video gets more hits on youtube, the version below is more enjoyable if you want a meditation on what the song may really be saying. Once you watch it, perhaps you'll agree.

Gotta dig the mandolin.

Winston Churchill posing
Winston is pleased.


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