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About "L'Amour Looks Something Like You" by Thomas Dunning

It was December 1997. This was one of the first two songs recorded for the album. We went into the studio at about 10am with the intent of spending an 8 hour day. We were to record L'Amour Looks Something Like You and Nora O'Connor's The Saxophone Song at the same time, using most of The Aluminum Group's musicians for both songs. Specifically, Eddie Carlson, John Blaha and John Ridenour. The Aluminum Group and Nora worked out a deal with the studio. We would spend an hour or so on L'Amour, and then an hour or so on The Saxophone Song. This went back and forth all day, and then all night. The studio was so generous that it seemed like they were robbed the day we laid these tracks down. It would be almost 5am the next day before Ken Sluiter and Dave "The Pulsars" Trumfio(the engineer and producer, respectfully), Frankie Navin, John Ridenour and myself would walk out of the studio with two of the most beautiful recordings of Kate Bush songs in the world. (Frankie still has my winter scarf!)

There was a moment when I was sitting on the couch in the engineering room, listening to Johnnie Navin sing a harmony part on L'Amour when I realized that there was no turning back on this project. Up until that moment, there had always been an out. But here were all these well known and respected Chicago music folks, showing up for my project. This was it, "It's really happenin' to ya! You gotta dance!"

Aside from the orchestral blasts, two of my favorite things about this track are the way Liz Conant makes her keyboards sound like a sweet French horn(or is that an oboe?). And Frankie Navin's R&B vocal improvising at the end of the song. I tried to emulate what he was doing when I recorded the ending of Not This Time in the very same room a few months later. I love where his voice goes over the limit and into feedback, it reminded us of the old 1960's Philly soul groups recordings. You can't plan that kind of mistake, and we were so excited when we heard it, we just knew we wanted to keep it.

The Aluminum Group got signed to Minty Fresh Records(the label that found the Cardigans, Veruca Salt and Komeda), a few short weeks after L'Amour was recorded. You can imagine the excitement around this project at that time, thinking about the possibilities... We thought maybe L'Amour Looks Something Like You might be on the Romeo & Juliet II soundtrack. Anyway...back to reality, or at least Teletubbieland.

Eddie Carlson, as a member of The Aluminum Group, Mouse(Coffee Homeground), and Susan Voelz's Band(The Sensual World), played bass on these three tracks, along with Nora O'Connor's The Saxophone Song, Catherine Smitko's Jig Of Life, and my own Not This Time. His bass playing is truly a foundation on the record, a near-constant thread that almost pays its own special tribute to Del Palmer, Kate's bass player of many, many years. Anyone who listens to Kate Bush knows the value of a good bass player, as her recordings never shy away from creative and unique bass lines. I think Eddie tried to make sure that we did the same thing. Thanks Eddie. (Eddie's other band is Poi Dog Pondering.)

~Thomas Dunning


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