Fillip

Fillip 9 — Winter 2009

Sunshine Daydream/Maerdyad Enihsnus
Cranfield and Slade

Sunshine Daydream/Maerdyad Enihsnus is a misremembered cover of the Pop-O-Pies’ song Sugar Magnolia. The Pop-O-Pies, headed by Joe Pop-o-Pie, were an early 1980s San Francisco punk group that started as a Grateful Dead spoof/tribute band, originally playing only the song Truckin’. Eventually they started writing and recording their own material but also continued to produce responses to the Grateful Dead, such as a version of Sugar Magnolia. In the Pop-O-Pies’ version, the main body of the song plays in reverse, ending with a forward-playing simplified refrain that repeats the single phrase “sunshine daydream,” taken from the concluding lyrics of the original song.

Cranfield and Slade’s misremembered version, which plays forward on side A and in reverse on side B, is only the refrain section of the Pop-O-Pies’ remake, as if stuck on a partially remembered fragment of the song. The physical and mechanical action of flipping the record over (and over) suggests a perpetual loop, forever inhibiting the ability to fully recall the original.

Cranfield and Slade are interested in the role pop music plays in simultaneously expressing and commodifying—and thereby potentially undermining—genuine feelings such as happiness and sadness. That ambiguity is inherent to pop music, which is somehow felt to be as intimate and precious as it is contrived and indifferent, a mere commercial good. Choosing neither side over the other, Cranfield and Slade consider the dialectic of the two to be most significant.

Sunshine Daydream/Maerdyad Enihsnus came out of 12 Sun Songs, a concept album made up of cover songs from the 60s and 70s about the sun, but it took on a thematic life of its own as a dedicated 7” record.

This project is co-sponsored by the Or Gallery, Vancouver. It was pressed in California by Rainbo Records.

About the Author

Brady Cranfield and Kathy Slade are Vancouver artists who maintain independent practices and work together as Cranfield and Slade and The Music Appreciation Society. Slade has shown her work across Canada and internationally. She is Editor at Emily Carr University Press and is represented by Lawrence Eng Gallery, Vancouver. Cranfield is an artist and musician. His The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones, a public debate by high school students, was part of the recent exhibition The Sound I’m Looking For. The Music Appreciation Society will present The Smiths Research Intensive, a panel discussion and mobile listening unit, at the Vancouver Art Gallery this spring. Their concept album Cranfield and Slade: 12 Sun Songs is forthcoming from the Or Gallery, Christoph Keller Editions, and JRP/Ringier.

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