Ezra Furman with Kelley Stoltz opening. Doors 7PM. Showtime 8PM. Ages 21+
Following the success of last year’s “Twelve Nudes”, Ezra Furman returns with Sex Education OST, songs from season 1 and 2 of the hit Netflix TV show. When the makers of the hit Netflix series Sex Education told Ezra Furman, “We want you to be the Simon & Garfunkel to our The Graduate”, they clearly recognized a kindred spirit. Who better to articulate all that awkwardness and alienation than Furman?
Sex Education is about Otis Milburn, a socially awkward high school student who lives with his sex therapist mother, Jean. In season 1 Otis and his friend Maeve Wiley set-up a sex clinic at school to capitalize on his intuitive talent for sex advice. In season 2, as a late bloomer Otis must master his newly discovered sexual urges in order to progress with his girlfriend Ola whilst also dealing with his now strained relationship with Maeve. Meanwhile, Moordale Secondary is in the throes of a Chlamydia outbreak, highlighting the need for better sex education at the school and new kids come to town who will challenge the status quo.
The Sex Education soundtrack gathers the original songs that Furman composed for the first series and the brand new second series, whilst adding tracks featured on the show that can be found on prior Furman albums such as Perpetual Motion People and Transangelic Exodus. Lining up alongside older cover versions of LCD Soundsystem’s ‘”I Can Change” and Melanie’s “The Good Book” is a new rendition of “Devil Or Angel”, The Clovers’ doo-wop jewel from 1956. It all adds up to a bumper 19-track set of Furman’s trademark enthusiastic emotional catharsis.
“Making music for a TV show was a new experience for me,” she says. “As a fan of many a high school comedy, for example The Breakfast Club and 10 Things I Hate About You, I knew how fun the music can be, and also how emotional. I wanted to rise to the challenge.”
For the first series, Furman was supplied with an extensive description of the show and the episode scripts. For the second series, she says, “They trusted us completely. They were like, ‘you know what to do’. I try to imagine what’s going to be on screen as a jumping-off point, but they don’t need songs that fit, they need songs of a high quality, that come from a real place. That’s why they wanted me, I guess. Also, I guess they noticed an exuberant vulnerability. I lay all my feelings out there.”
Silver-tongued songsmith and true American treasure Kelley Stoltz brings us a new collection of instant classics with just a hint more synthery than 2013’s “Double Exposure”. For those not yet in the fan club, Kelley‘s like a Ray Davies/Brian Wilson/Tom Petty power-pop Cerebus from another dimension in which well placed tambourines, handclaps, and wry observations are a universal language. Criminally under-appreciated, Kelley‘s face should be on Amoeba-bucks for his contributions to the pop canon – I’d recommend the black lipstick smeared stand-out and lead-off track “Cut Me Baby” as his walk on music for the acceptance speech. Each track here leaps off the table with Kelley‘s carefully considered wit and expertly layered arrangements. His innate way around a sticky hook and no shortage of tasty studio flourishes will bring out your inner record collector nerd, guaranteed. It’s got a little glam in it and it’s out on Castle Face.