The Coulda-Shoulda-Woulda Files: Beulah Unearths “Gene Autry”

Time for another installment of the Coulda-Shoulda-Woulda Files, where we search through our record collection in search of a lost gem.

Artist: Beulah
Song: “Gene Autry,” 2001
What happened: Few albums were as doomed-from-the-start as Beulah’s lovely The Coast Is Never Clear: Not only did songwriter Miles Kurosky undergo treatment for bipolar disorder while the record was being recorded, but the band’s label, Capricorn, was falling apart, forcing the group to shuffle over to the newly formed Velocette Records. And then, just after everything was settled, they were stuck with an ominous Sept. 11, 2001, release date.
Why it should have been a hit: “Autry” has gently tumbling piano lines, a short-but-sweet trumpet solo, and even a great video; how this missed out on indie-domination is anyone’s guess, but this song, along with the rest of the Coast album, made our 2001 slightly less traumatic.

Beulah – Gene Autry [MP3, link expired]
Beulah – Gene Autry [YouTube]

  • any such name

    goddamn this was a good album, though i think i prefer when your heartstrings break for the long-titled “if we can land a man on the moon, surely i can win your heart”

  • acb132

    excellent pick here. pretty much all beulah records would qualify for this feature, unfortunately for the band i suppose. shameless plug, i did an interview with beulah singer Miles Kurosky last year.

  • Elwood182

    Super-underrated. In my opinion, YOKO is a lost classic and the ultimate final album for any band.

  • the rich girls are weeping

    I still miss Beulah. I mourn their break up often, I’m serious. They were a great band and put on a bloody fantastic live show. I totes smile whenever one of their songs pops up on my iPod en shuffle.

    – cindy hotpoint

  • acb

    miles kurosky, the former frontman, is supposed to be coming out with a solo album. i interviewed him about it last year:

    still no idea of when it’s coming out though.

  • h. ross piroshky

    such a pretty album.

  • acb

    sorry for posting twice … forgot my username for a second.

  • TheFrap

    Everyone should check out “A good band is easy to kill” which is sort of a tour film for their fourth album YOKO. As a documentary you don’t get full songs during the film, but when you get to the bonus material… Complete songs and lots of them. It can be bought online for about $10.

  • dukerayburn

    I love this band more than I probably should. Inventively classic, in a way, and completely obsessed with perfection. This was one of the first independent albums I bought as a teenager, and I still go to it often. Thanks for the documentary recommendation, Frap. I’ll definitely check that out.

    Could they, maybe, reunite? Idolator, can you make that happen?

  • Rousedower

    Aww, Beulah! I love all three of their albums, but give a slight edge to Coast is Never Clear. (“A Good Man is Easy to Kill” is almost a perfect song, IMO.)

  • Rousedower

    Erp. Apparently they had four albums. I never knew about the first one (until about 5 minutes ago).

  • O.D.B. McDowell

    this was a good album fo’ sho’. a little too precious maybe. not sure why this album got shelved while the shins were meanwhile getting to break out.

  • Dragonforce

    It’s utterly depressing to me that Beulah never found the the type of commercial success that they deserved. In a right and just world, Beulah would be rich beyond imagination, free to craft beautiful pop gems that simultaneously lift spirits and break hearts.