Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I've been away for so long, so long.

I planned on talking about every track here, but then it would take me another week or two to finally make a post. And who wants that?

  • James Combs "See Emily Play" (Pink Floyd cover)
    Once upon a time, I worked at a place called The Uptown Café in Bloomington, Indiana. James Combs worked there as well at the time, and I remember being a tad "starstruck" when I met him because I was 19 and he was in one of the best and most popular bands in town, Arson Garden. (I've posted a cover or two by AG in the past, remember?)

    I always liked Arson Garden, but my love was nothing compared with that of a slew of my likewise young and dorky music-loving guy friends who were seriously obsessed with Arson Garden. Working with James increased my indie cred a lot. Gotta love when that happens.

    Arson Garden is long defunct, of course, but James's solo career continues and, I'm happy to say, appears to be doing well. (Hell, his songs have been used in both Six Feet Under and Dexter, both of which are in my Top 5 TV shows.) Likewise, his new album to Know You is To Save You is really nice and recently hit No. 25 on KCRW's airplay charts. His stuff reminds me of Elliott Smith and Big Star and other awesomeness so if you're into that type of awesomeness, check it out. In fact, if you're in LA, you can see him tonight at 8 at Tangier. (Check his MySpace for other upcoming dates.)

    Sorry of this is all a bit press release-y, but it makes me happy to see friendly talented people I know making good music. And I'd be remiss not to use whatever influence I have to promote it. You know?

  • The Impossible Shapes "Rider" (Will Oldham cover)
    Hell, while I'm talking (yet again) about Bloomington-based bands, please enjoy and become obsessed with the Impossible Shapes, which features members of lots of other great bands like Magnolia Electric Co., Normanoak, The Horns of Happiness, and more. I'm personally not friends with any of them, but I've mentioned before that my best pal Ryan knows Jason Groth of the Alien Lanes tribute fame, remember? So I feel connected. And even if I didn't, I'd still listen to the music 'cause it rules.

  • 20/20 "Day After Day" (Badfinger cover)

  • Eliza Lumley "How to Disappear Completely" (Radiohead cover)
    This comes from Lumley's Radiohead interpretations album She Talks in Maths. I have to admit, when I got the e-mail telling me about it that included this MP3, I was feeling bitter and angry about the proliferation of awful jazz interpretations and ignored it awhile. But a week or so later the sun came out and I felt more optimistic and now I can say, though jazz is really not my thing, I do like it a lot. I wish more of the coffee shops I stumble into would play stuff like this rather than anything by Diana Krall.

  • Emerson Nogueira "Forever Young" (Alphaville cover)

  • Ethel Merman "I Got Rhythm (Disco)" (comp. Gershwin/s)
    Man, the Ethel Merman "disco" album is one of the biggest mistakes ever made. Yet I wouldn't want to live in a world without it.

  • The Vindictives "How Much More" (The Go-Go's cover)
    Mad props to the Vindictives for not switching the gender. I love cover that doesn't.

  • Fiona Lehn "On Your Radio" (Joe Jackson cover)

  • The Last Town Chorus "Modern Love" (David Bowie cover)
    This is one of my favorite Bowie covers ever. There, I said it. So pretty.

  • Lax Alex Con Trax "Smalltown Boy" (Bronski Beat cover)

  • Mom's Favorite Vase "London" (The Smiths cover)

  • Neither/Neither World "Psychocandy" (Jesus and Mary Chain cover)

  • PC Muñoz "I Go Crazy" (Flesh for Lulu cover)

  • Silver Sun "You Made Me Realise" (My Bloody Valentine cover)
    Dear MBV: I love that you're touring. Please consider coming to the States. ASAP!!!

  • Tahiti 80 "Desirée" (Left Banke cover)

  • Tindersticks "Here" (Pavement cover)

  • Twinball "Don't Pay the Ferryman" (Chris DeBurgh cover)

  • Whip "White Wedding" (Billy Idol cover)
    When I saw that a band I didn't know was covering this, I assumed it was a terrible band and that it would suck. Luckily, I never let my assumptions keep me from giving things a shot. This is a pleasant (inasmuch as dirge-like tracks can be) alt-country/chamber-folk revelation.

  • Western Electric "When You Find Out" (The Nerves cover)
    Speaking of depressing-but-pretty Americana tracks, this languid take on one of my favorite power-pop songs totally took me by surprise. Weird.

  • Yuppie Flu "Plainsong" (The Cure cover)

    the dude abides said...

    i'm a huge fan who is delighted to see that you're back at it.

    thanks for sharing so much greatness.

    Chris Foresman said...

    I went to high school with Jason Groth. He's a complete awesome person.

    Matt said...

    I agree with you wholeheartedly about Last Town Chorus having the Best. Bowie Cover. Ever.
    I've not listened to the one you have posted here, as I've already got it, so am not sure if your posting is the live version or the studio version.
    Both are great, of course, but if you want a copy of the live (assuming you haven't gotten it already), lemme know and I'd post it up for you.

    You do good things here, C.R?, and I, for one, thank you for it. So... screw WoozyFly! I'm not checking their site on principle alone.

    Anonymous said...

    Brilliant, brilliant selection - my particular favourites : Modern Love, Smalltown Boy, London, Psychocandy, White wedding, You Made Me Realise and Here.


    Arlette said...

    Oh, I love that "Modern Love" cover! I was totally hooked when I heard Last Time Chorus do that one live. *hearts*

    Lobstar said...

    Mr H: Yeah, I was particularly struck by "Smalltown Boy." I'd have never expected to enjoy a ska rendition of that.

    alicia said...

    Three years ago, the local college radio station would play that Pavement cover about once a day. Haven't heard it since the old staff was replaced - thanks for the reminder!

    David Gerard said...

    I was wondering if that version of "White Wedding" was like Rowland S. Howard's, which redoes it in 12/8.