...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
The Secret of Elena's Tomb
/interscope; 2003/




more info:

Elena Lucrezia Piscopia Cornaro

A learned Italian woman of noble descent, born at Venice, 5 June, 1646; died at Padua, 26 July, 1684. Her father, Giovanni Battista Cornaro, was Procurator of St. Mark's. At the age of seven she began the study of Latin and Greek under distinguished instructors, and soon became proficient in these languages. She also mastered Hebrew, Spanish, French, and Arabic, earning the title of "Oraculum Septilingue". Her later studies included mathematics, philosophy, and theology. In 1665 she took the habit of a Benedictine Oblate without, however, becoming a nun. In compliance with her father's wishes she entered the University of Padua and after a brilliant course of study received the doctorate in philosophy. The degree was conferred 25 June, 1678, in the cathedral of Padua in presence of many persons eminent for learning and rank. Elena was a member of various academies and was esteemed throughout Europe for her attainments and virtues. The last seven years of her life were devoted to study and charity. She was buried in the church of Santa Giustina at Padua and her statue was placed in the university. Her writings, published at Parma in 1688, include academic discourses, translations, and devotional treatises. In 1685 the University of Padua caused a medal to be struck in her honour. In 1895 Abbess Mathilda Pynsent of the English Benedictine Nuns in Rome had Elena's tomb opened, the remains placed in a new casket, and a suitable tablet inscribed to her memory. (catholic encyclopedia)

The cool thing about Trail of Dead is that you often feel like looking for clues regarding their songs and inspirations. The mysterious, almost cryptic side of the band just makes it even more enjoyable. We need depth. I think the only other band that conveys the same impression (on me at least) is Radiohead, even though Yorke's references are more contemporary. 

This is more than I was asking for, really. I'm still listening to Sources, Tags and Codes, Madonna and And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead and I don't think I'm going to get bored of them soon. But well, here comes a 5 tracks ep from the four Texan hoodlums. 

It does not reach the wild intensity of their previous releases, but it's really good nonetheless. Maybe it's just the sunny weather we've had for the past weeks, but it feels like summer. The last time I felt a connection between sunny spring and a record it was when I bought the Fountains of Wayne's Radiation Vibe ep (feat. Janice's Party, Karpet King and Imperia as b-sides) in 1999. I was in love with a red-haired guy back then. Now he's 20 pounds bigger and almost married. Stupid crushes. Anyway, back to the TOD ep. The first song, Mach Schau, according to my dad's girlfriend, means "make show" in German, it was what the Beatles were told to do when they were hanging around playing gigs in Hamburg. The songs on the ep sound just like And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, nothing excitingly new or surprising, apart from the laid-back feeling. Dear Conrad shouts "Mach Schau" during Mach Schau and "Make some noise" during All Saints Day. I just thought I'd point that out, i'm too hungover to make a meaning out of it. Crowning of a Heart is mellower, a gorgeous lazy noisy ballad with the Another Morning Stoner arpeggios cut & pasted into it. My favourite is the acoustic, two chords ballad Counting off the Days. You can see sun rays pierce their way through white clouds. There's bagpipes too. In the beginning there were only those four songs on the ep but they decided to add Intelligence, the disco-rock result of a Jason Reece side project. I like this song a lot but I haven't decided if it fits or not. Probably not. But it's ok, I'm a saint, I forgive their mistakes. 

-Barbara H

/apr 15th 2003/