We asked Ellia Bisker and Jeff Morris of Charming Disaster: What's your favorite song?
For musical duo Charming Disaster, it's all in the band's name. The music of singer-songwriters Ellia Bisker and Jeff Morris possesses a certain lightheartedness to it, but its narrative-driven lyrics often explore dark themes.
"Inspired by the gothic humor of Edward Gorey and Tim Burton, the noir storytelling of Raymond Chandler, the murder ballads of the Americana tradition, and the dramatic flair of the cabaret, they write songs that tell stories about love, death, crime, ancient mythology, and the paranormal," the band's website reports.
Fans of "Welcome to Night Vale" may recall hearing Charming Disaster's paranormal love song, "Ghost Story," on the hit podcast. But take out your ear buds and hear the group perform live in the Berkshires when the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based band brings its mix of guitar, ukulele and foot percussion (who doesn't like some live foot percussion?) to The Dream Away Lodge in Becket on Thursday night (8 to 10 p.m.) and Mission Bar + Tapas in Pittsfield on Sunday, Aug. 5 (7 to 9 p.m.).
Before the shows, Bisker and Morris answered questions about their favorite songs by phone.
What's your favorite song (that's not your own ... )?
Morris: It's so contextual, but one of my favorite songs is "Ashes to Ashes" by David Bowie.
Bisker: For me, I think it's "The Dancer" by PJ Harvey. That's one I go back to over and over.
What's your favorite song to belt out in the car?
Bisker: "Black Sabbath" by Black Sabbath is one of our favorites for that — and "Over the Hills and Far Away" by Led Zeppelin.
Morris: We sing that a lot.
Bisker: We sing a lot of Zeppelin in the car.
What's your favorite song about love?
Bisker: What is the name of that of that White Stripes song we were obsessed with ["Forever for Her Is Over for Me"]
Morris: There's marimba in it. I like that and "I Want You" by Elvis Costello.
What's your favorite song about death?
Bisker: Oh my God, there are so many. "You're Dead" by Norma Tanega is really great, but I think our all-time favorite would have to be ...
Morris: "Bela Lugosi's Dead."
What's your favorite song to dance to?
Morris: "Bela Lugosi's Dead." [laughs]
Bisker: I'm partial to "Jump in the Line" by Harry Belafonte off of the "Beetlejuice" soundtrack, of course. So, we have different styles of dancing, and that's OK.
Morris: We do. We do.
What's your favorite song to perform live?
Bisker: "Deep in the High."
Morris: Yeah, "Deep in the High."
Bisker: We get really theatrical for that one. We go out into the audience, and I end up cursing Jeff out in the middle of it. It's really fun.
Morris: She chases me around, usually.
Benjamin Cassidy can be reached at email@example.com, at @bybencassidy on Twitter and 413-496-6251.
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