Andrew Vincent & the Pirates Slack Happy
Published Feb 01, 2000In Andrew Vincent are housed a number of contradictions. On the surface, he seems like a mid-20s slacker content to plop his butt on a couch to smoke a little weed. Just below that, an arrested adolescent who sings songs about a stolen bike, his high school sub shop job, and his favourite TV shows. But dig deeper still and there's a unique artistic vision, a self-deprecating wit and a deceptive sense of self-awareness. And for all the appearance of ennui, he tackles his artistic projects with vigour, if not discipline æ like hand-sewing corduroy covers for his home-recorded, mail-order-only high school concept album After School Special.
"I like the act of writing, and for posters or album covers, I take the time to do something that represents my personality," he says. That means slow, sometimes sloppy, but endearingly quirky work reflected in his excellent debut To Thine (which on cassette was housed in decorated cigarette packs) as well as his "proper" follow-up, a band album called A Short Trip With the Pirates. Though he fears his recent obsession with Stephin Merritt will result in mimicry, Vincent shares a bone dry sense of humour with the prolific Magnetic Fields front-man. Vincent's character studies and quirky covers (including "Come On Feel the Noise" and popular hip-hop tunes) are masterfully deadpan hilarity. And his adolescent-seeming perspective is part autobiography, certainly, but also a useful writing tool. "There's a childish pleasure in the silliness of it. It's a good vehicle æ a story about 16-year-old love captures a feeling that's true whatever the age. I would feel sorta cheesy if I was writing about my daily life right now æ it would feel sorta forced. But I'm 26, I can't keep writing about high school forever, so look out for some mature themes in the future."