They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!
Ric Ocasek, who turns 64 today, may be best remembered for buzzing around in the “You Might Think” video, but between 1978 and 1988 he led the Cars to FM radio immortality with a string of successful singles and albums (and two quality solo albums to boot). After the Cars folded, Ocasek’s skills as a producer became much in demand, and he stood behind the glass for bands such as Bad Brains, No Doubt, Nada Surf, and Weezer’s multi-platinum Blue and Green Albums. In both musician and producer roles, Ocasek’s influence has proven huge and lasting; bands such as The Strokes, Weezer, Fountains of Wayne, and even Nirvana owe Ocasek debts of gratitude for his style and sound, melding ‘50s rockabilly to ‘70s new wave with ‘80s rock and pop sensibilities.
Kris Delmhorst is an incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter from the Boston folk scene. After releasing six original albums in her decade-plus career, she is taking a break to pay homage to a band that influenced her as an eleven year old girl in 1984, The Cars. Beautifully produced, her eleven track tribute Cars is best summed up by the album description:
“Balancing classic hits and deep cuts, Delmhorst has painstakingly deconstructed every hook-laden arrangement, every unforgettable line, creating a sonic palette inventively recast: Ric Ocasek’s herky-jerky bravado is replaced by the amber warmth of Delmhorst’s luminescent voice; the processed, synth-heavy aesthetic of the originals is reimagined through a startling array of organic instruments that includes fiddle, accordion, upright bass, suitcase drum kit, mandolin, clarinet, penny whistle, and harmonica.”