Boston Herald on Petra Haden Sings The Who Sell Out

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at
Fri Feb 25 06:08:53 CST 2005

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Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out
(Bar None)
3 stars out of 4

Review by Larry Katz
Friday, February 25, 2005

Punk bass icon Mike Watt had an idea for
singer/violinist Petra Haden. An extra-wacky idea. He
urged her to record an a cappella version of "The Who
Sell Out," a personal favorite of Watt's, recorded in
1967, long before Haden was born. 
Haden, who had never heard The Who classic, pursued
Watt's nutty notion from 2000 to 2003, laying down
multitrack vocals and covering the entire record
including its phony commercials. She not only
duplicates the words of chestnuts including "Mary Ann
with the Shaky Hand" and "Rael," she sings the
signature instrumental riffs, too. 
Making like indie rock's answer to Bobby McFerrin,
Haden pulls off the stunt with aplomb. No, she can't
re-create the sonic punch of Pete Townshend's guitar
or Keith Moon's drums, but why complain? Rather than
surpass the original, she's made a true alternative
version. Also check her other new CD, "Petra Haden and
Bill Frissell," a set of covers made with the eclectic
guitarist that ranges from Coldplay's "Yellow" and Foo
Fighters' "Floaty" to Stevie Wonder's "I Believe" and,
no kidding, "Moon River."

-Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month!

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