Pushing “Dead” Stories and the Crafty Musician

Bryan Fuller, who brought us the brilliant and short lived story of the “lives” of grim reapers, Dead Like Me, now brings a new perhaps more subtley and carefully worked series called Pushing Daisies.

The story is basically this: From an early age a boy named Ned learns that he has an uncanny ability to bring the dead back to life with a touch. He also learns that if he touches that reliving thing again it will return to its dead form. Interesting and very specific story, which seems random, until they throw in the clincher. At age 19 Ned learns that his first crush/first kiss girl-next-door has been murdered. Having brought her to life, and not wanting to return her to her dead state, he (and she) cannot act on the desire to touch once more, under less morbid circumstances.

And the specificity of this plot is what I think will help carry this show through and hopefully maintain a longer life than DLM. If I were to make any criticism of DLM (and I criticise with much hesitation) it’s that the creators tried to bite off more than they could chew. It would have been enough to focus on the life of George and her fellow grim reapers, but there was a nagging insistence to see what was happening in the lives of George’s family, post-George’s mortem.

Pushing Daisies isn’t particularly funny but it’s very cleverly written and the actors are very charismatic. The story seems to move quite quickly too, and I noticed a quickening in the way the actors spoke (somewhat resembling the charming rambling of the characters of Gilmore Girls).

At the moment you can download the pilot episode at all good torrent websites, programs and splinter download affiliates. I’m really looking forward to the next episode. I didn’t mention before but Ned also investigates the way in which people died by bringing them back to life for a minute to ask them who their murderer is etc. It’s going to be fun to see what directions Fuller takes these characters in.

Check out the extended preview for Pushing Daisies

Meanwhile, I was doing some music shopping on the weekend and I noticed a cd cover with reviews making obligatory comparisons to Elliott Smith and Led Zeppelin when I noticed the name, not of the artist but the title, Silver and Fire. Then I looked again at the artist’s name which I’d skimmed: Martin Craft. Finally it hit me: Long Time Listener had finally released M Craft’s album in Australia! This is a man whose music found me last year while I was trawling many a blog. And I can say the comparisons with Elliott Smith and Zeppelin are not entirely drawn outside the lines. His voice suits the style well and if nothing else you can’t help but appreciate the variety of songs on the album. We’re talking groove funk jams like “You are the Music” and “Sweets” down to lo-fi softly sung reflections like “Teardrop Tattoo” and pop gems like “Love Knows How to Fight.”

I don’t know a whole lot about Martin Craft except that he likes to write music about loneliness and coupledom. He is from Australia and was once part of a group called Sidewinder whose music I never heard. He now resides in London and is a talented musician.

Martin Craft – The Soldier

Martin Craft – Solitaire [buy]

You can hear more of Martin Craft’s music at his myspace page

And his err, other myspace

And you can hear “Love Knows How to Fight” at Long Time Listener’s myspace page

Bonus new tracks available at The Daily Growl’s blog

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