Make Art

11 years ago Jeremy Wilkins (aka Allegra Gellar) covered DONTCHA by the Pussy Cat Dolls real slow and real for me.

(The idea to slow pop songs down and make them deeper, came to me from Daniel Riddle of the legendary Portland band King Black Acid.)

Jeremy took the challenge, though protested that there wasn’t much to work with. Apparently The Pussy Cat Dolls don’t have a lot of musical instruments. And how can you give a throw away pop song meant for advertising, meaning?

But, he cracked it anyways.

I had planned to have Jennifer Folker, a singer I admired from a Portland band called Dahlia sing on the track.

But when Jeremy sent me the demo of the song, with his voice signing on it to help me know where Jennifer’s vocals would need to go – something amazing happened.

Art happened.

I ended up not having Jennifer sing on it, and decided the song was done.

There was something about swapping the gender, having a man sing about having his heart broken and saying, “Don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me” that went beyond shallow, or humor or anything – it got real (a testament to Jeremy’s abilities as a musician).

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 12.08.49 PM
The cover I’m speaking about can be heard here.

Allegra Gellar – Don’t Cha –

Jeremy turned a song with no substance (only sugar) into something that had a whole lot of substance. Now, 11 years later people have caught up to this idea. This slowed down, recontextualized cover of Beyonce, that just played on some kind of Spotify “Chill Mornings” playlist reminds me of what Jeremy and I did so many years ago.

Final note:
Dahlia themselves, were quite ahead of things, or at least were keeping trip hop alive. Active in Portland, OR around 2001 at the Ohm – a bar under the Burnside Bridge that was magical pre-everyone moving here, they sound a lot like MS. MR who broke out in 2014.

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