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Breaking Artist: Art Brut Storm Back With Their Second Disc

June 13, 2007 6:57 PM ET

WHO: Exuberant English quartet with a lean, crude riff-rock sound and a brilliantly funny frontman, Eddie Argos, who specializes in childlike, half-spoken vocals about erectile dysfunction and other romantic misadventures. After declining to attend university -- he deliberately flunked his admissions exams, choosing to write his essay about the A-Team Argos formed Art Brut in 2002. After an endearingly funny 2005 debut and a series of killer live gigs on both sides of the Atlantic, Art Brut amped up their sound for their great new album, It's a Bit Complicated.

HEAR IT NOW: Complicated gets huge mileage out of a simple sound: Exuberant, garage-y banging overlayed with half-spoken jokes and narratives, with Argos picking through the ashtray of his brain and offering himself as the punchline -- as on "Jealous Guy," where he tries to "accidentally" wake his sleeping girl to get laid. Check out that unique sound on Art Brut's MySpace page.

WATCH IT: Dig the video for Complicated's banging new single, "Direct Hit."

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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