San Bernardino County Sun on Petra Haden Sings

Brian Cady brianinatlanta2001 at
Sat Mar 12 07:31:38 CST 2005

PETRA HADEN: "Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out" 
By Quinn Hanchette
Staff Writer
PETRA HADEN: "Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out"
(Bar None)  
When Mike Watt of the Minutemen asked Petra Haden to
take on a note-for-note a capella re-creation of one
of his favorite albums, few could have imagined the
result. What started as a DIY side project has earned
the L.A. singer and violinist, daughter of jazz
musician Charlie Haden, praise from Pete Townshend
himself. No wonder. Haden's gorgeous interpretation of
"Sell Out" - a precocious and tuneful poke at commerce
and pop art circa 1967 that many count as the best
thing the Who ever did - shows off Townshend's
maturing songwriting skills to amazing effect. She
sings all the parts, and as if her multi-octave range
weren't impressive enough, Haden shows true creativity
in capturing the album's sonic highlights, from the
shimmering arpeggios of "Tattoo" to the hive-like
drone and braided harmonies of "I Can See for Miles."
There is something new even for those who know every
note of the original; for me, her take on "Rael" gives
the song the majesty the band couldn't quite capture
until they re-recorded bits of it for "Tommy" two
years later. Haden even manages to sustain the
irreverence of the original record, right down to the
radio jingles and phony ads. The buzz surrounding her
achievement has surprised the singer, but she is
assembling musicians to perform the album live and
telling interviewers she hopes die-hard Who fans won't
"kill" her. No worries, Ms. Haden - can we get you to
do "Lifehouse" as an encore?

-Brian in Atlanta
The Who This Month!

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