Thursday, December 23, 2004

Loop the loop.

You'd think that, when I hatched my bombard-them-with-Christmas-covers plan, I might've saved the best for last. But no. I'm just as random as ever. That's what you love about me, right?

Anyhoo, this may (or may not) be my last post before Christmas, so thanks to all of you for reading and an extra thanks to those who've commented or e-mailed thanking me for what I do here. It makes me feel great to know I'm not alone in my sickness.

  • Powder "Christmas Don't Be Late" (Chipmunks cover)
    When I first heard this track, I pictured a twee little gal singing it backed by your standard trucker-capped backup band. Instead, it's these characters. Go figure. I guess it's about time LA got a Dale Bozzio for the new millennium.

  • Low "Blue Christmas" (Elvis Presley cover)
    Another one for your next Slit Your Wrists at Christmas mix.

  • Hanson "What Christmas Means to Me" (Stevie Wonder cover)
    Many of the holiday songs I've posted here used to be clear-the-music-department-of-customers favorites of mine. This, on the other hand, was a standard "how can I get my snotty, slacker, hipper-than-thou co-workers to get the hell away from me for three fucking minutes?" track. Ah, the indie glares I'd get! I just learned that Mercury just re-released Hanson's 1997 Snowed In, from whence I got this, as The Best of Hanson: The Christmas Collection as part of their 20th Century Masters series. Um. Yeah. We all knew Armageddon was nigh.

  • The Maddox Brothers and Rose "Jingle Bells" (Traditional)
    This is my least favorite Christmas song, but I love this old-school hillbilly country version.
  • Tuesday, December 21, 2004

    Shoutin' out with glee.

    I don't got no time for jibba jabba, so just listen.

  • Daniel Johnston "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" (Marks)

  • The Humpers "Run, Rudolph, Run" (Chuck Berry cover)
  • Sunday, December 19, 2004

    Me, I'll be just fine.

  • Vic 20 "Marshmallow World" (Darlene Love cover)
    My Vic 20 never did anything this cool. All I could use it for was graphic-less "video" games in which I had to maneuver my way out of a bog using simple word commands.

  • My Chemical Romance "All I Want for Christmas is You" (Mariah Carey cover)
    My favorite local cable access video show, Ken Mottet's The Otherside, played an MCR video a few weeks back. I found myself just slightly less than intrigued with the music, but knew that a 14-year-old version of me would love it and would become obsessed with the hot geek-goth look of the boys in the band. And, really, anyone who covers my favorite secular pop Christmas song (shut up, it's some of Mariah's best work!) is okay by me.

  • The Masters of the Hemisphere "The First Noel" (Sandys)
    From one of the Kindercore Christmas comps, comes a whimsical little indie First Noel from a band I'd never heard of. Imagine.

  • Donny & Marie "Winter Wonderland" (Bernard/Smith)
    Shit, what I'd give to get back the Donny & Marie portable record player (with microphone!) I had as a child. I loved that thing. I could dance and sing and pretend I was Mormon. Pretty awesome.

  • Ru Paul "Hard Candy Christmas" (from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas—Dolly Parton's version is probably most popular)
    Many thanks to my pal Ray who was able to get this track to me after I hunted for about three months to no avail. I remember watching TBLWIT repeatedly on cable as a child and getting teary-eyed when the whores all went their separate ways. Like Dolly, I kind of always related to whores. Even at 8 years old. I know, I'm weird. Anyhow, it's even better with drag queen banter. I miss Ru Paul.
  • Wednesday, December 15, 2004

    Fall on your knees.

  • Sonic Youth "Santa Doesn't Cop Out on Dope" (Martin Mull cover)
    This cover always perplexed me. It's pretty annoying.

  • Melt Banana "White Christmas" (Well, this is called "White Christmas," but it's really a somewhat fucked-up version of "Here Comes Santa Claus.") (Autry)
    You know I love Japanese covers. The stranger the better.

  • Sufjan Stevens "O Holy Night" (Adams/Dwight)
    I love this so much I can't even believe it.

  • Pond "Gloria in Excelsis Deo" (Bach? Handel? Traditional?)
    Not bad for a band I totally forgot ever existed. (And I only knew because a Sub Pop distributor pushed a promo on me, which I promptly forgot to listen to.)

  • Richard Davies "Do they Know It's Christmas (Feed the World)" (Band Aid cover)
    Okay, who slipped the ativin into this guy's eggnog?
  • Monday, December 13, 2004

    Gets colder day by day.

  • Coldplay "2000 Miles" (Pretenders cover)
    The original used to be a big favorite of mine in high [or was that middle?] school. I wish I liked Coldplay more.

  • Ivy "Christmastime is Here" (Vince Guaraldi & the Peanuts gang)
    A friend of mine in high school could dance exactly like Peanuts characters. It was awesome. (From Nettwerk's Maybe this Christmas Tree comp.)

  • Cranes "Happy Christmas (War is Over)" (John Lennon & Yoko Ono cover)
    Like nails on a chalkboard to me. I remember that when I heard the Cranes were opening for the Cure in 1992, I strategically planned to miss them. I was successful. I don't mind dream pop from time to time, but I can't stand this baby-voiced schtick. Hell, I'd rather listen to Jordy's "Dur Dur D'être Un Bébé" than this. (From Rock for Choice's O Come All Ye Faithful comp.)

  • C3-P0 & R2-D2 "Sleigh Ride" (Anderson)
    This is not as much a cover as it is an insane reworking. And could C3-P0 be more condescending? (From Christmas in the Stars.)

  • Taime Downe (ex-Faster Pussycat) "Silent Night" (Traditional)
    Yep, you read right. (From the We Wish You a Hairy Christmas comp.)
  • Friday, December 10, 2004

    I'll give it to someone special.

  • Spectrum "Santa Claus" (Sonics cover)
    I'll have what they're having.

  • The Cocteau Twins "Frosty the Snowman" (Nelson/Rollins)
    At least half of the Cocteau Twins' non-holiday songs sound Christmassy to me so I'm not sure this was even necessary.

  • Jimmy Eat World "Last Christmas" (Wham! cover)
    Leave it to the, uh, kings (?) of emo to make this song sound even gayer than the original.

  • No Doubt "Oi to the World" (The Vandals cover)
    Even after a decade or more, I still can't definitively say whether I love or hate No Doubt.

  • The Vandals "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies" (Tchaikovsky)
    The Vandals Christmas album is another all-time holiday favorite of mine. You should buy it.
  • Wednesday, December 08, 2004

    Come, I tell you.

    These are from another of my all-time favorite Christmas comps, Sympathy for the Record Industry's two-disc Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus. My favorite track is Spectrum's "Santa Claus," but that's not a cover, now is it? Here are a couple of tracks that belong here. Edit: Well, except that it is a cover. A Sonics cover. With a lot of poetic license. My bad. Maybe tomorrow.

  • Bomboras "Little Drummer Boy" (Davis/Onorati/Simeone)
    There is an unwritten law that all surf instrumental covers must break into "Tequila" at some point. Deal with it.

  • The New Bomb Turks "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home" (Darlene Love/Phil Spector cover)
    Not all punk covers break into "Runaround Sue," nor should they. Still, this is far more entertaining and lively than Death Cab for Cutie's version.
  • Tuesday, December 07, 2004

    Let nothing you dismay.

    Warning: Because I have slew of holiday songs to post before Christmas and I have very limited web space, in the next few weeks, tracks will probably only remain on the site for a day or two. So download early and often, kids. I'm doing my best to let you know so I don't have to field questions like this from mannerless ingrates.

    Now that that's out of the way, these tracks come from what was once my favorite holiday album, the long out-of-print A Christmas Present to You from Zero Hour. That was back when I was all about effects-laden and/or syrupy lo-fi bands nobody else had ever heard of. Especially those on Zero Hour, as I mentioned way back here. Sigh ... was it really a decade ago that I was in my early 20s and had that kind of time? It seems like just yesterday I was stealing all the crap promos from work, but I digress.

    Unfortunately, my favorite tracks from this album are the non-cover songs, such as Kittywinder's "Don't Wanna Hear No Merry Christmas" and Nicole Blackman's spoken-word "What I Want for Christmas," but at least it's not full of the same ol' Nat King Coles, Bing Crosbys, Mariahs and Enyas most Xmas comps are jam-packed with.

  • Grover w/Kevin Salem "Fairytale of New York" (Pogues/Kirsty MacColl cover)
    This doesn't stray much from the feel of the original, but I like it nonetheless. In fact, I may be the only person who actually paid money for Grover's full-length album. The one with the Barbie doll face on the cover. Anyone? Anyone?

  • 22 Brides "A Coventry Carol" (Traditional)
    I think the gals in this folk duo were sisters. It's kinda pretty, I guess. That's about all I have to say here.

  • The Dirt Merchants "Jingle Bells" (Traditional)
    Kinda noisy, kinda poppy, kinda rockabilly-y.

  • The Black Watch "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" (Traditional)
    Back when the Black Watch were on Zero Hour, former Medicine frontman Brad Laner produced their album. And it shows. Very distortion-heavy sonic drones and goth-sounding violin and shoegazery overtones. (And I've never seen an album cover that screams "recommend me to fans of My Bloody Valentine or Medicine" than this.) If I could afford drugs on my measly salary, I'd consider getting into this kind of music again.

  • Space Needle "Silent Night" (Traditional)
    Um, speaking of distortion and sonic drones, allow me to introduce you to the song that saved my sanity on more than one occasion during the holiday season. No, it's not because I find this track aurally pleasing, to say the least. My love for this track comes from the fact that, back when I needed a break during my former holiday retail whoring, playing this track ensured that the entire music department would clear out. Yeah, I had to endure a scowl or two—not to mention the tedious and seemingly relentless dissonance of this "song"—but it was worth it not to have to sell another Yanni album to a bitchy Gold Coaster.
  • Wednesday, December 01, 2004

    All right, already.

    As Joss Stone proved a little while back with her [excruciating, in my opinion] cover of "Fell in Love With a Girl Boy," nowadays a song need not be in the grave before someone decides to resurrect it. Here's further proof.

  • Ada "Maps" (Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover)
    The original might make you want to dance and sing along, this German electronic chill-out version just makes me want to sleep.

  • Ben Lee "Float On" (Modest Mouse cover)
    I loved Ben Lee's first album so much when it came out. I still like his stuff, but it's just not as amazing now that he's no longer 12. Still, I'll forgive his live slip-ups. He used to be cute.

  • Jeffrey Lewis Band "The Modern Age" (The Strokes cover)
    Comic books and anti-folk? Previously stereotypical slacker types are too damned motivated nowadays.

  • Richard Cheese "Hate to Say I Told You So" (The Hives cover)
    I had a few requests recently for more Cheese, and I'm nothing if not a giver.

  • REM "NYC" (Interpol cover)
    God, I know it's lame to be all "cool" and say I don't like REM now, but I really don't like REM now.

  • Grum Lee "Get Free" (The Vines cover)
    Prepare your ears for the acoustic, um, stylings of France's Grum Lee, whose covers have been submitted to and available on various sites over the years. I can't tell if he's trying to make outsider art (which would, of course, mean that it couldn't technically be outsider art) or if he's completely serious (which would mean it could be outsider), but either way, his stuff will probably frighten and amuse you in equal amounts.

  • Scissor Sisters "Take Me Out" (Franz Ferdinand cover)
    Back in the day, everyone and their brother posted this. Well, they probably posted the full (read: a little longer and a lot quieter) version, but whatever. I figured I'd jump on the bandwagon just in case anyone out there missed it. I really love this. It makes me long for the time when Elton John actually wrote good songs. I was hoping they'd play it back in October when I saw the Sisters at the Metro, but no such luck.

    Also: I'm preparing a slew of holiday covers for you. Be on the lookout.
  • Monday, November 22, 2004

    If man is five.

    Like most aging hipsters and/or indie kids who were still in diapers when Doolittle was originally released, I saw the Pixies last week. It was a good show, albeit surprisingly short and encore-free for the hard-earned dough I spent on it. And there weren't even any air-brushed paintings of the band in front of which to have my picture taken as there were at the R. Kelly/Jay-Z show I went to for free a month or two ago. What a gyp! (Holy crap, I'm 32 and I think, while typing that out, I just realized that gyp might be a derogatory term generating from stereotypes of gypsies. If so, my apologies!)

    Anyhoo ... I saw the Pixies and lots of people like the Pixies. Unfortunately, very few of the bands who cover the Pixies appear to actually be even one-tenth as good, but they're certainly better than most of the predictable tracks on that stupid emoey (shut up, it's a word) tribute that came out a while back. I don't take enough drugs anymore to fully enjoy most of these tracks. But you might.

    The first two are from Hey, a "CD" that's downloadable via a along with a Frank Black solo tribute. (Read how you too can get a hold of it here, if you have the patience.) Actually, the third song is on that too, although I got it initially from the Death to the Pixies, We're Better! (as if) tribute, from whence the fourth and fifth tracks come as well. The last track is from what I thought was a Japanese (but now appears not to be) Tribute to the Pixies, from which you might remember that insane version of "Debaser" by Feed I posted a while back.

  • Clootie "Holiday Song"
    An interesting, somber take that kinda makes me want to slash my wrists.

  • Jonus "I've Been Tired"
    I like Lou Reed, he said. And Dylan. And I sound like John Flansburg. And I sighed, "Ahhhhhh."

  • Mother Universe "Debaser"
    This soooo could have been on the soundtrack to Electric Dreams. Or Kidd Video.

  • Pixels "Gigamuffin (Um, an instrumental Gigantic and a cat named Muffin?)"
    Meow Meow like meow meow beats, whistles and sirens.

  • Koos Kreuk "Waar is mijn Hoofd? (Where is my Mind?)"
    This was my favorite Pixies song until a few years ago when it wound up in Fight Club, which is weird considering I liked Fight Club. I'm kooky. Now that I've heard this harmonica-drenched version, I like it even less.

  • Seafood "Levitate Me"
    This makes me miss the era in which I wanted to have sex with Britpoppers. Won't they please fawn over me???
  • Tuesday, November 02, 2004

    Where I belong, I'm right.

    I wish I had more time in my week to point you all in the direction of covers on other mp3 blogs when they arise, but I just don't. Covers are immensely popular in blogland and they're everywhere. Still, I found a few extra minutes today, so here are a few that might interest you.

  • You can find ex-Dismemberment Plan member Travis Morrison singing an amusing cover of Ludacris' "What's your Fantasy" on this page. (This one gets extra points because I hadn't heard it before.)
  • Marc Almond and the Royal Philharmonic sing "Paint it Black" here.
  • SVC has a few covers in this entry, including a longtime favorite of mine, My Bloody Valentine's cover of Wire's "Map Ref 41N 93W."
  • David F has an electronically mangled "My Cherie Amour" here, also heretofore unknown to me.

    Now for some of my own picks:

  • Frank Bennett "Disarm" (Smashing Pumpkins cover)
    Another cover crooner in the style of your Richard Cheeses and the like, but Bennett plays up the Rat Packiness of his namesakes a bit more faithfully than the others while singing a more diverse selection. For instance, I never suspected I'd hear a swinger version of Nick Cave's "Red Right Hand."

  • Maisie "Fixing a Hole" (Beatles cover)
    Italian music blog MusicBoom put together a downloadable tribute to the Beatles a while back that features unique combination of songs by (Italian, of course) indie, lo-fi and electronic acts. It's no longer available at the site, but here's a taste.

  • The Quakes "Killing Moon" (Echo and the Bunnymen cover)
    This is my favorite track from Swing-a-Billy Chartbusters from Germany's swing label, Frankie Boy Records.

    The next two tracks come from one of my favorite tribute albums of the past year or so, Stop Me if you think You've Heard this One Before. Of course, I'm not sure that's a rousing review, since most tribute albums really suck. But the way I see it, any tribute album that can get me to listen to a Mazzy Star song without retching has some merit.

  • The Delays "Ride it On" (Mazzy Star cover)

  • Detroit Cobras "Last Nite" (Strokes cover)
  • Tuesday, I am fading.

    I only have 20 minutes left in my lunch hour, so I have to make this quick. First, lemme say that I am totally for democracy, I just couldn't find time in my schedule to participate in the Music Bloggers for Democracy thing. Hell, I can barely manage to post once a week right now. Who knew I could go from unemployed sloth to promotion material in a few short months?

  • Almost Better "Pieces of Me" (Ashley Simpson cover)
    Now that we've all recovered from Ashleegate, I thought I would prove to you that, even when she's lip-synching, I'd still rather hear a saptastic song like this sung by a female pseudopunk nepotist than sung by your standard male emo whiner. Almost better, indeed.

  • Jason Falkner "Photograph" (Def Leppard cover)
    I love Falkner's covers. This one, from the Metal Rules comp, makes me very happy.

  • Graham Coxon "That's When I Reach for My Revolver" (Mission of Burma cover)
    I can take or leave Coxon's solo stuff, but he sure is dreamy.

  • Toy Dolls "Livin' La Vida Loca" (Ricky Martin cover)
    I didn't even realize the Toy Dolls were still around to release albums in the new millennium. Wonders never cease. I think more punk songs need kazoos. You?

  • Backmask "Genie in a Bottle" (Christina Aguilera cover)
    Oh, death metal. How I love your pop leanings. This is death metal, right? You'd think two episodes into Battle for Ozzfest I'd be an expert on the different metal genres, but no. All I know is that that lawyer with the freaky contact lenses gets on my last nerve and I hope he gets axed soon.
  • Tuesday, October 26, 2004

    There is a light that never goes out.

    John Peel is dead. This is by far the saddest celebrity death that's had an impact on me in years. I'm certain my love of music (and covers) would not be as strong as it is if it weren't for John Peel's relentless dedication to exposing new and often strange musicians to a public who'd have otherwise never discovered them. His influence on performers, journalists and fans is immeasurable. I hope that my fixation on the new in music and culture continues into my 60s (and beyond, if possible) as his did. I can't imagine living my life any other way.

    Rest in peace, friend.

  • Flaming Lips "Life On Mars (Peel Session)"(David Bowie cover)
    Edit: Sorry about this cutting off at the end. I suck.

  • Mogwai "Don't Cry (Peel Session)" (Guns N' Roses cover)
  • Tuesday, October 19, 2004

    Kinda like the Michael Moore of the music world.

  • Petra Haden & Bill Frisell "I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)" (Stevie Wonder cover)
    I've been meaning to post some Petra since Fluxblog posted about her unreleased acappella version of The Who Sell Out. (!!!) I had a brief obsession with that dog. in my early twenties and loved me some Rentals shortly thereafter. I love that sweet-voiced girl twee crap. You know, songs that remind you of breaking up with your teenage boyfriend at summer camp and then going out with your best friend to wallow in self pity over a chocolate sundae? Or songs whose lyrical basis is seeing a cute guy at a show? That kinda shit.

    I'm not sure if Petra's jazz connections (her dad's Charlie Haden, you know) were at all involved in the Frisell collaboration, and quite sadly, I'm too lazy even to do a quick Google search to find out, so look into that on your own if you want to know. Heh. Sorry.

    Anyhow, their Petra Haden & Bill Frisell album is available as a Canadian import and is chock-full of sweet little covers of very diverse songs like the Foo Fighters' "Floaty," Tom Waits' "I Don't Wanna Grow Up," Coldplay's "Yellow" and songwriter Henry Mancini's "Moon River," among others. Check it out.

    Oh, and this Stevie Wonder song, while very pretty and uplifting, always reminds me of working music retail when the soundtrack to High Fidelity was released and hearing it constantly and wondering why everyone seemed to love that movie (or book, even) so damned much. And that it was filmed in Chicago only annoyed me more. I swear to God, I was walking in Wicker Park one day last year and overheard some yuppie girl excitedly tell her out-of-town friend, "High Fidelity was filmed right around here. You could be walking where JOHN CUSACK WALKED!!!" and go on to giggle maniacally as I looked on, cynically nonplused.

  • Marianne Faithfull "What Have They Done to the Rain?" (Malvina Reynolds cover)
    This folk staple has been covered by Joan Baez and Melanie and The Searchers and The Seekers (Searches and Seekers? '60s folk combos were really hunting for truth and solutions to the world's ills, weren't they?) and probably many others. Most importantly to me, though, is that the Lili Taylor character in Dogfight sings a very tentative rendition to the lovable asshole as played by River Phoenix, thus inspiring me to hunt out every version I could find, original or otherwise. And because I caught a Marianne Faithfull concert last night on Trio, it's her version I chose to share with you today. And, yes, almost all of my decisions are based on things I see on TV.

  • The Ataris "A New England (Live)" (Billy Bragg cover)
    Speaking of TV ruling my decisions, in the most recent episode of The Surreal Life (which lives up to its name more this season than ever), former American Idol wannabe Ryan Starr whines about singing a pop single penned by Jordan Knight because it's not the kind of music she's into, and if it gets played on the radio (shah, right!) her fans (?????) will think she's "selling out." Um. Did her publicist not inform her that she's the lowest rent "celebrity" on The Surreal Life and that being a part of this show is, indeed, a greater form of selling out than singing some crappy song? Apparently so. Aaaaaanyhoooooo, while our fair Ryan is crying and pleading her case (and eventually totally giving in, by the way), she happens to be wearing an Ataris shirt. And that reminded me that I had this live acoustic cover of Billy Bragg's fantastic song, which—for a version by your standard pop-punk act that only knows three to five chords—isn't really half bad. Much better than their god-awful cover of "Boys of Summer," by far. "A Black Flag sticker on a Cadillac"? Whatever you say, kids.

  • Dr. Ammondt "Quate, Crepa, Rota (Shake, Rattle, and Roll)" (Big Joe Turner/Bill Haley/Whoever cover)
    To help cope with his divorce in the late '80s, Dr. Jukka Ammondt, a 50-something Finnish ethnomusicologist, decided start recording Finnish tangos. Who knew such a thing existed? Subsequently, he paired his love of '50s rock 'n' roll with his love of dead languages, bringing us a Latin Elvis tribute as well as Rocking in Latin, from whence this track comes. His most recent effort features three songs sung in Sumerian. Ah, academia!

    On his site, he acknowledges:

    Despite that my singing career is at the same time an intellectual joke, I have also a serious message to the people: "Don't stop, find always new ways to break the borders- your own and the others." I think that's the most important thing in the creativity.

    Damn. Just when I wanted to kinda mock him, he acknowledges his "intellectual joke" and gets all positive and inspirational on me. This album cover is still fair game though, yes?

  • Re: Moon River

    Maybe lack of sleep is making me extra cranky, but I feel the need to tell everyone that I KNOW HENRY MANCINI WROTE MOON RIVER!!! I've had a few comments and a handful of e-mails about it. I KNOW!!! I knew when I posted it that he wrote it. But, since we're talking covers here, I went for the Andy Williams reference because his version is plausibly the most famous.

    Please, forgive me for the mini-rant. I do appreciate your feedback, but after the 10th or so person submitted his or her "correction," it started to bug me.

    So, um, yeah. My next post, which will hopefully occur later tonight or early tomorrow, will feature some actual MP3s. Promise.

    Significant back-scratching.

  • If you missed it back in the day when I posted the Macha & Bedhead cover of Cher's "Believe" and The Mountain Goats' rendition of Ace of Bass' "The Sign," get thee over to Oct. 17 post at The Of Mirror Eye now. There's an O'Jays song as covered by the Sun City Girls there as well. Thanks for the homage!

  • Thanks to Israeli fan Dovi for the heads-up on The Girls, an Israeli band who covers Blancmange's "Living on the Ceiling," which you can download, along with a few of their non-cover tracks, on this page.

  • Jon, of the new Lestermix, just found out that his old band's cover of Gary Numan and the Tubeway Army's "Oh, Didn't I Say" is available for download here.

  • Spin might not want my input, but Keith at PWI does. Head over to that link, where you can download a song (not a cover, sorry) from one of my favorite obscure '80s acts, The 27 Various, and read my "sick" cover suggestions.
  • Saturday, October 16, 2004

    I can’t tell you, but I know it’s mine.

    I just found out (from my Live Journal friends page, of all places!) that I was not quoted or mentioned at all in the Spin article on the MP3 blog phenomenon, despite having rambled on to the interviewer for about an hour. Don't get me wrong, I don't believe I doled out any astute or otherwise worthwhile insights or anything, but I was hoping to maybe make a tiny "here are some sites to check out" sidebar or something. But, no. I guess that means I'm still officially cool. You know, all under the radar and shit.

    So, yeah, don't worry about me. I'll be okay. I'm as jovial as Babs is while she sings this:

  • Barbra Streisand "With a Little Help From My Friends" (Beatles cover)

    For reals, yo.
  • Tuesday, October 12, 2004

    There's such a lot of world to see.

    No rhyme or reason to today's selection. Just stuff that's hitting my shuffle play lately.

  • The Frogs "Vacation" (Go-Go's cover)
    Holy God, the Frogs are insane. But you gotta give it up for a cover I started off hating but wound up liking the more I heard it. The playful irreverence grew on me, what can I say? As for the bulk of the vocals: I won't tell on them for kidnapping the cast of a grammar-school production of Oliver! if you won't. Definitely one of the most unique covers available on Unsealed: A Tribute to the Go-Go's. "Whatever!" indeed.

  • Elbow "Independent Woman" (Destiny's Child cover)
    An interesting novelty, I guess. Not even half as impressive as their original work, of course. Click here to see Joel Veitch's all-kitten band version.

  • The Innocence Mission "Moon River" (Andy Williams, among others, cover)
    I can't believe this Christian-rock Sundays sound-alike is still together. This is my friend Ray's favorite version of this song. It's pretty.

    Also: Thanks to all those who've sent e-mails or left comments of support and/or information about songs I've posted in the past. Though I might not be able to respond to everyone individually, I do quite appreciate it.
  • Friday, October 08, 2004

    Will you recognize me, call my name, or walk on by?

    Remember me? What seems like four years later, I keep my promise for covers of songs from John Hughes movies. Of course, I'm doing so from work so I hope you'll forgive the slapdashness of it all.

  • Billy Idol "Don't You (Forget About Me)" (Simple Minds cover, The Breakfast Club)
    Maybe it's just me, but I have a difficult time buying Billy Idol singing a song like this. When the Billy Idol who resides permanently in my mind as an aging punk with an attitude sings a slow song, I want it to be about sex or drug trips, a la "Flesh for Fantasy" or "Eyes Without a Face." While I'm sure Idol is emotionally multifacted, desperate longing is not an option on my Idol menu. No substitutions, please.

  • Automatic 7 "Pretty in Pink" (Psychedelic Furs cover, Pretty in Pink)
    Modern pop-punk is not my cup of tea and this version is not different enough from the original to make any real impact on me. And yet, here it is.

  • Halo Benders "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" (Smiths cover, Pretty in Pink)
    A quirky little indie-pop whine of a version from the Halo Benders, a side project of Built to Spill's Doug Martsch and Beat Happening's Calvin Johnson, among others. I like geeky rockers and I like this cover.

  • Free Loan Investments "If You Leave" (OMD cover, Pretty in Pink)
    This twee, influenced-by-'60s-orchestral-pop track comes from a "synthpop" (a modifier which confuses me a bit given this bands sound) tribute to OMD called Messages and is reminiscent of the stuff from Tullycraft and the Softies and others on that out-of-print Double Agent 1980 comp I love so.

    Edit: The reason the Free Loan Investments track doesn't sound as if it should be on a synthpop tribute to OMD is because, um, it isn't. I got my OMD tribute albums mixed up, and this track is actually from Pretending to See the Future: A Tribute to OMD. My bad.
  • Monday, October 04, 2004

    Shed a tear 'cause I'm missin' you.

    This is just a note to say that I'm sorry for posting so sporadically. I've been kinda sick this past week and hope to post in the next few days.


    Friday, September 24, 2004

    I can't believe I gave my panties to a geek.

    Seemingly like all [okay, maybe not the Amish] women of my generation [and Kevin Smith], I once had an unhealthily obsessive relationship with the movies of Illinois' own John Hughes. I saw myself in all the freaky female protagonists and longed for the day when my handsome, popular prince charming would lure me out of my black nail polish and tattered clothes and lead me to the promised land of open-mouthed kisses and makeup the color of things actually found in nature. And guess what, my pretties? That shit doesn't happen. The wiry geek with headgear doesn't get to fuck the prom queen. The dreamy wrestler never makes out with the bi-polar liar with dandruff. It's all a sham. And, despite all these inexplicably doe-eyed Gen Xers who in retrospect still give Hughes icon status, ultimately Hughes' little fantasies were no more significant to me than all millions of cheesy Cinderella stories out there today. Well, except for the fact that I know the dialogue of every Hughes flick by heart. (Seriously, Hollywood, I don't care about presidents' daughters and how tough it is for them to find romance, so just stop!)

    But there's one thing about John Hughes movies I still appreciate: the music. That's not to say that all of the music he used was good, by any means, but at least it was different from the pop machine utilized in other movies of the era, most of which were stuffed full of Kenny Loggins, Carly Simon and Bob Seger. And, as connoisseurs of Hughes' soundtracks well know, he and his minions loved the covers.

    Some Kind of Wonderful:
    SKOW is, ostensibly, my lingering favorite of Hughes' films, if only because it's far more realistic for two outcast friends to eventually hook up when one's nonsensical dreams of dating the popular gal fail. And that "practice" kiss scene between Eric Stoltz and Mary Stuart Masterson still makes the 12-year-old inside me completely melt.

  • March Violets "Miss Amanda Jones" (Rolling Stones cover)
    Ah, the energy that's building when this song plays. Amanda is getting ready for her date with Keith, which she really has no desire to attend. She's flicking her hair around under her dryer and Keith's dad is riding him about college, which he no longer has the savings for because he spent all of his damned money trying to impress this dopey, spineless sycophant Lea Thompson expertly plays.

    I was not previously familiar with The March Violets when this movie came out, nor am I quite down with them now. The quick Internet research I performed a minute ago leads me to believe that many people consider them a goth band, but having only heard this cover, I have a difficult time believing that since this sounds only slightly darker than Katrina and the Waves' "Walking on Sunshine." But whatever. It is what it is.

  • Lick the Tins "Can't Help Falling in Love" (Elvis Presley cover)
    I think I have to credit this cover with introducing me to how distinctly different a cover can sound from its original and, thus, spurring me on to investigate other cover songs. This quirky, dancey little Celtic folk version of Elvis' ubiquitous ballad always made me picture Leprechauns dancing around a May pole on a glenn somewhere. Or maybe I was just having "Safety Dance"-video flashbacks.

    Ferris Bueller's Day Off:
    When I was in the 8th grade, I took a weekend painting class at the Art Institute of Chicago. One day, the instructor didn't show up and I wound up wandering around the museum (past some of the same paintings Ferris & Co. pondered in the film) trying to find my mom and my friends who'd come up with me that day. After doing the Museum thing, we headed off to do the shopping thing. But as we neared State Street, there was unexpectedly a mass of people milling about. It looked as if there were a parade, but nothing was moving. We asked a random passerby what was going on and, lo and behold, we were told, "They're shooting a new Matthew Broderick movie." Of course, we promptly joined the crowd and wound up spending the day as unpaid extras in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and at one point found ourselves toward the front of the faux float about a foot away from Broderick as he lip-synched "Twist and Shout" about a hundred times. Eventually, we wound up toward the back of the float, and, of course, are not seen at all in the movie, but it was a cool experience.

  • Dream Academy "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get what I Want (Instrumental)" (Smiths cover)
    Hughes apparently really liked this song, as versions of it wound up in both of his 1986 films. The original was in Pretty in Pink, which Hughes wrote but didn't direct and this pretty instrumental cover was in the aforementioned Art Institute scene of FBDO and was pretty and perfect.

    Pretty in Pink:
    Yes, I related to Andie in PIP. Yes, I thought she should've gone with Duckie instead of Blaine. Yes, I liked this movie at the time. Yes, I still watch it from time to time when I catch it on cable.

    Now for the "but": But its message sucks. Sure, Andie doesn't change who she is to get Blaine to fall for her, but the coolest character in the damned movie, Iona [Annie Potts], has to become a fucking yuppie in order to find love. And what about Blaine is so appealing? Yeah, Andrew McCarthy's kinda cute in that dopey, dough-faced way, but the Blaine character in no way deserves Andie. In the version of this movie that exists in my mind, the movie doesn't end with Andie and Blaine kissing in the parking lot. It my version, it ends about a month later when they break up because they have absolutely nothing in common. Then Andie dates Duckie a while until he comes out of the closet. Then she goes away to college and has her heart broken a million more times by people she actually had real connections with. You know, like guys in bands.

    Yes, I'm bitter. No need to point this out to me, I already know.

    But, again, the chosen music was pretty good for the most part. Indeed, it introduced me to New Order and, therefore, Joy Division. Ditto Echo and the Bunnymen. So, there's merit there. (And others agree, as the PIP soundtrack has at least two cover tributes, see here and here.) I remember reading an interview with Hughes and Ringwald before the release of the movie in which they discussed how none of the music in the film was an afterthought. They also discussed Hughes' decision to use Ringwald's favorite band, The Rave-Ups, in the club scenes. Curiously, however, those tracks were not offered on the soundtrack, which always kinda pissed me off.

  • Danny Hutton Hitters "Wouldn't It Be Good?" (Nik Kershaw cover)
    This cover always seemed pointless to me. I was aware of the Nik Kershaw version only because, after seeing its video the first time on Friday Night Videos at my friend Sherie's house in Bloomington, Sherie promptly ridiculed me for never having heard it. I guess what's big in Southern Indiana isn't always what's big in major cities. Go figure. And, Sherie's ridicule aside, I didn't get what the big deal about it was. I found it to be mediocre pop snoozefest on par with John Waite's "Missing You," which I likewise hated despite its obviously ironic lyrics.

    Anyhow, this version isn't much more exciting than the original except, I guess, that it's performed by the band of a former Three Dog Night singer. If that's the sort of thing you find exciting.

    Next time: I'll post covers of some of the original songs from Hughes soundtracks.
  • Wednesday, September 22, 2004

    Get these hard times right on out of our minds.

    The track from the last entry should be working now. Sorry about the delay.

    Monday, September 20, 2004

    In a blizzard he was lost.

  • Langley Schools Music Project "Wildfire" (Michael Martin Murphey cover)

    I know, I know. Everyone and their brother posts Langley Schools tracks. But A) the Langley covers are pure pop wonders and B) I was recently reminded of my favorite (read: only) "Wildfire"-related story, with which I will now bore regale you:

    About seven or so years ago, I was working as a lead clerk in a Borders music department. Um, yeah. So my Christian-rock co-worker Gretchen started a monthly open mike event and kept begging me to attend. Hesitant to perform any songs I had written in front of other human people, I kept "accidentally" forgetting. Eventually, I went just to watch.

    Now, the store at which I worked was (and possibly still is) the largest store in the chain and it had some deal with a local halfway house from which it hired people for the "Operations" staff (read: janitors). These folk were, for the most part, former alcholics/drug addicts and most were quite tolerable. Then there was Joe Star.

    Man, Joe was the bane of my existence for years at that place. He was simple-minded and right-wing (well, he would have been right-wing had he known much about politics) and always said really inappropriate things that would've gotten anyone else fired, but since he was, uh, special, the higher-ups always seemed to look the other way.* But, seriously, he was often overheard in the breakroom commenting on a female employees' breasts, ranting about "faggots," talking about how he wanted all cops dead, etc. I often made a game of listening to his rant and then telling him something like "um, my dad's a cop" just to watch him backtrack and apologize. (My dad is not a cop.)

    Another thing Joe talked a lot about was music. He was really into people like Aliotta, Haynes & Jeremiah and the like. He'd often interrupt me while I was helping actual customers by shouting things like "hey, hey, Liza ... have you heard anything about this Kenny Loggins album?" and I'd respond exasperatedly with something along the lines of "um, no, Joe ... not in the past 20 years anyhow." [As you probably know, most music retailers make you sign a contract to be a total snot to practically everyone.] Joe once told me he aspired to and was successful at buying himself a new piece of musical equipment every time he got a paycheck. I was forever wondering how his one-room, dorm-style apartment (he described it, I never saw it for myself, of course) was able to fit all the guitars, amps and keyboards he supposedly had.

    So, fast forward to the open mike. I finally decided to attend when Joe, tan as ever and wearing his trademarked tapered-at-the ankle jeans with his super-shiny dyed jet-black hair, approached me in the breakroom and told me he'd be singing there. This I had to see.

    The open mike progressed as most do ... uncomfortably. Gretchen sang some God songs, a few other people played, and then it was Joe's turn. And, oh my God, was an irony-lover's dream come true!

    I noticed as Joe approached the mike, he did not have an instrument. My pulse raced and my thoughts quickened: "Holy shit. Is Joe going to sing acappella? Fuck. Somebody hold my hand, or I'm going to explode with laughter."

    But that was nothing compared with what really happened. Joe stands before the mike, backpack in hand. From said pack, he produces a fucking Walkman. He places the earphones of said fucking Walkman over his sparkling black mane and presses play. Yes, my friends, Joe Star proceeded to belt out "Wildfire" along with his tape deck, despite the fact that none of us in the audience could hear the music.

    It was unadulterated outsider-art brilliance!!! My favorite part was that, during the non-vocal parts of the song, he stood staring out at the audience completely expressionless.

    I swear, it was so funny I almost came. I managed to hold in my ecstatic laughter by clenching my hand hard into Gretchen's thigh. But it was difficult.

    And even though I went on to continue despising almost everything about Joe Star—especially the strange cosmic joke that has him currently living somewhere in my neighborhood area so I see him ALL the time and he ALWAYS feels the need to try to talk to me—"Wildfire" has been special to me ever since. I really wish video camera cell phones existed back then. (And, of course, that I'd have had one on me at the time.)

    I swear, if I were a performance artist that's the kind of shit I'd do all the time.

    *Actually, he was eventually fired for some inappropriate comment he made to a customer, I think, but it took years.
  • Saturday, September 18, 2004

    I don't have to dream alone.

    My latest horoscope via the awesome Free Will Astrology:

    Young rock bands often do cover tunes, copies of songs originally performed by well-known musicians they admire. Art teachers sometimes give their students the assignment of reproducing the great paintings of the old masters. To take maximum advantage of the current astrological influences, I suggest you use this strategy in your own unique way, Cancerian. Pick a hero, either dead or alive, either famous or unsung, whose approach to life you admire. Find out as much as you can about that person, and then engage in a flurry of imitation. Dress, talk, think, and dream like your hero. In every situation you're in, ask yourself what he or she would do. Have imaginary conversations, fantasize abundantly, and move through your days and nights as if you are that person.

    Today I choose Wendy O. Williams.

    I remember perusing my father's seemingly infinite record collection as a child and stumbling on not one but two Plasmatics albums. At the time, I'm not sure what perplexed me more: the fact that this band existed at all or the fact that, should this band actually exist as it appeared to, my father would own two of its albums. Then again, the late '70s and early '80s were heady times for my dad and his friends, whom he often entertained while I was supposed to be asleep in the back bedroom.

    Anyhow, a few years after finding the albums, I remember reading about Wendy O. Williams and crew and knew instantly that I felt then what I feel now about most seminal art-punk-metal outfits: I'm glad that bands like this exist, but I'm not particularly interested in listening to them.

    Still, getting arrested multiple times on obscenity charges and regularly attacking guitars with chainsaws while wearing nothing but black electrical tape over your nipples and leather bikini bottoms is pretty fucking badass.

    In the mid-1990s, I was hanging out with Syd Straw at an Iris DeMent show and she introduced me to the Plasmatics' bass player Richie Stotts, who was in Bloomington working on, I believe, a master's degree in geology at IU. I was drunk and probably said stupid things to him about my dad's record collection, but later that night I felt pretty fucking cool for having met the giant former blue-mohawked guy from the album covers.

    So, yeah, Wendy O. Williams was hardcore and today I feel fucking hardcore. But, luckily for everyone, I have no plans to head out sans shirt. Rather, I'll just keep my tape-obscured nipples at home and scream profanities at anyone who calls me and maybe set fire to all the laundry I don't want to do. And dye my hair. And drink a lot and get really high.

    Just remind me not to off myself when the adrenaline wears off.

  • The Plasmatics "Dream Lover" (Bobby Darin cover)
  • Tuesday, September 14, 2004

    Lumber up, limbo down.

  • Hole "Hungry Like the Wolf" (Duran Duran cover)
    You know, I was pulling for our, uh, fair Courtney for a long time. You have to admit that for a few years there she was pretty bad-ass. When Hole was on MTV's Unplugged, from whence this track comes, back in the late 1990s, I really thought she was going to get her shit together. Still, I thought it would've been nice had she taken the time to actually learn the lyrics of this ubiquitous DD tune before performing it. I guess I'll never understand that punk/grunge/insert-whatever's-cool-now penchant for covering songs you don't really know and whose lyrics you can't be bothered to investigate.

  • Melissa Auf der Maur "Love Is the Drug" (Roxy Music cover)
    This live cover of ex-Hole (heh) Melissa Auf der Mar is significantly more worthwhile than Courtney's mutilation of Duran Duran. And that she's covering a band that influenced Duran Duran rather than covering Duran Duran itself increases her indie cred tenfold.
  • Tuesday, September 07, 2004

    The problem is, for many years, I've lived my life publicly.

  • Telly Savalas "If" (Bread cover)
    A holdover from last week's brief soft-rock fixation, this track comes straight from the William Shatner School of Spoken Covers. When I was a little kid, my grandmother watched a lot of Kojak, and I must admit his rumored sex appeal was lost on me. But I was only about 3, and I liked the idea of lollipops so it was all good. Now, thanks to the barrage of forced nostalgia that VH1 is consistently shoveling down our throats ad infinitum, I have to admit that, thanks to a few choice Kojak clips, for a while there I was starting to get it. Unconventionally handsome, tough, virile, bald? Lust seems a reasonable reaction to that to me at 32. Then I heard this.

  • Jamelia "Numb" (Linkin Park cover)
    Nu metal, when in ballad form, is the new soft rock. Whiny geeks lamenting the fact that their girlfriends are smothering them? Cue the damned violins, my heart is soooo breaking for them. New run-of-the-mill dance/R&B chanteuse Jamelia's piano-heavy version is surprisingly pretty good. I think. What I can say for sure is that it makes me laugh a lot less than the original does.

  • Cat Power "Deep Inside" (Mary J. Blige cover)
    Cat Power sings pretty songs, covers or no. This Peel Session cut of one of my favorite MJB tracks rules.
  • Tuesday, August 31, 2004

    With you I'm not shy to show the way I feel.

    As you're all well aware, I'm prone to sicknesses of the ironic variety. This blog merely showcases one of them. Most recently—in addition to my inexplicable desire to watch the worst movie ever, Stephen King's Dreamcatcher, repeatedly on cable—my guiltiest of guilty pleasures is currently the '70s soft rock hit.

    It seems that in the '70s, men and women songwrights alike suddenly felt safe sharing the let's-work-through-this journal entries their therapists made them write by turning them into "deep" and "meaningful" ballads rife with metaphors and analogies and general "I'm OK, You're OK" wussiness. Gone was the ambiguity of the lyrics of the '50s and early '60s when everyone was dreamy and breakups were poppy. All of a sudden, it was okay to whine like a bassett hound, tell the truth, open yourself up to everyone and, subsequently, face severe ridicule from "real" rock stars. And all without any real vocal passion. Weird.

    Until the past year or so, I actively ignored (that's possible, right?) the genre, primarily because it brought back memories of being trapped in a car with my chain-smoking mother on my way to the horror of nursery school and kindergarten in Crown Point, Indiana: the time I got in trouble for using my middle finger to guide my eyes as I read a book; the time I had to sit at the lunch table all day because I wouldn't eat the egg salad sandwich being forced upon me; being scolded for singing the "it's a bitch, girl" line of Hall & Oates "Rich Girl" ... all of these memories come flooding back the second I hear the beginning strains of any successful '70s sap.

    I predict my temporary fascination with this once-despised genre will end within the next few weeks, but for now it's here and I'm its biggest fan. But I'm not the only one. Observe ...

  • Floorfilla "Sister Golden Hair" (America cover)
    Next to country and smooth jazz/R&B, most soft-rock covers appear to be of the Eurotechno variety. Recipe: Hire someone who can summon a Jamaican accent for the spoken intro, speed up the beat, eventually throw in a carnivalesque, Vengaboysian (shut up, it's a word!) pipe organ and be sure to periodically give the chick's vocals that warbly effect initially popularized by Cher's "Believe." Et voila! You and your friends are unwittingly raving to the oldies. Helpful hint: Take the X a few hours before downloading.

  • 58 "Alone Again (Naturally)" (Gilbert O'Sullivan cover)
    If half of Bran Van 3000's members were ex-heroin addicts and Baz Luhrmann was producing their album, this could be the product. Instead, we've Nikki Sixx, Barry Gibb's son and a few other rock weirdos to blame for this. Not as bad as I thought it would be, but not necessarily good.

  • Millie Jackson "Just When I Needed You Most" (Randy VanWarmer cover)
    Oh, yes, Millie! This is how this song should sound. I mean, the motherfucker is leaving you. Just when you need him most! I need to hear the ire, and the often-blunt Millie couldn't resist adding her own little "fuck you" asides because she wants you to feel what this song is really about. Much better than the Japanese boy-band [name unknown] version of this track that literally took me seven hours to download the other night. And much more strong and passionate than the original, although I will say that "VanWarmer" is an all-too-apropos name for someone who writes touchy-feely '70s ballads.

  • Matthew Sweet "Magnet & Steel" (Walter Egan cover)
    I love Matthew Sweet, but he doesn't really do much with this. I'd rather hear a terrible cover that tries something new than a competent cover that's not different enough from the original to matter. Luckily, this is from the Sabrina the Teenage Witch soundtrack CD (there's such a thing?), so until now, no one had to hear it. Heh.

  • Rockell "We Just Disagree" (Dave Mason cover)
    Zzzzzzzzz. Cheesy freestyle "diva" Rockell is only nominally talented. Dave Mason's association with Steve Winwood, a soft-rocker whom even irony will not allow me to enjoy, ensures my disinterest. [Shudder.] In my opinion, a true case of the bland leading the bland. [Note: For a great Rockell-related cover, Rufus Wainwright covers the originally-recorded-by-Rockell track "Instant Pleasure" on the Big Daddy soundtrack and gives it a depth you'd never expect upon hearing the original.]
  • Monday, August 23, 2004

    Yesterday don't matter if it's gone.

    I spared you the Julian Lennon version.

  • Fleming Pie "Ruby Tuesday" (Rolling Stones cover)
    Somewhere between J-Pop and J-indie falls Fleming Pie, a Japanese outfit with a handful of cover-only, out-of-print maxi CDs that are nearly impossible to find physically in the US or anywhere. On this track, they futz a bit with the timing, stretching out the words into a bizarre twee warble. Marginally interesting.

  • Melanie "Ruby Tuesday" (Rolling Stones cover)
    Ah, Melanie! I was so happy a few years back when the always insane "Brand New Key" made it onto the Boogie Nights soundtrack, thus introducing its aforementioned insanity to a new, younger, unsuspecting audience. And don't get me started on her high-pitched folksy ire on "Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma." There are points in this track in which she sounds so impassioned—and not unlike a cat in heat—that I can't tell whether or not I should be laughing at it. But I do.

  • Sex Mob "Ruby Tuesday" (Rolling Stones cover)
    Improv jazz quartet that performs mostly covers. I'd say this is my favorite version posted today, if only because it's the most unique.

  • Thelma Houston "Ruby Tuesday" (Rolling Stones cover)
    Houston's "Don't Leave Me This Way" is, in the wake of the '70s revivals that happen every five years or so, one of the only ultra-ubiquitous disco tracks I can stomach. Donna Summer's always impressive vocal range notwithstanding, Houston's deep, powerful voice lends a sincerity to songs—cover and otherwise—that, to me, wins out over the "Ring My Bells" and "Do Ya Think I'm Sexys." (Somewhat related: Did any Chicagoans catch the PBS special about the Steve Dahl-fueled "Disco Sucks" demolition riot at Comiskey in '79? I remember seeing that on the news as a kid and thinking it was pretty cool, despite the fact that I liked disco. Now I think it's pretty damned stupid.)

  • Oliver "Ruby Tuesday" (Rolling Stones cover)
    Some say Oliver's 1969 version of Hair's "Good Morning Starshine" is one of the worst singles ever to make the charts. But you gotta admit the X-Files-y Mr.-Burns-as-alien episode of The Simpsons that pays homage to it rules. I kinda like dippy '60s pop covers. Sue me.

  • Jad Fair & Daniel Johnston (& Chris Bultman) "Ruby Tuesday" (Rolling Stones cover)
    Ugh. Go figure. Work is keeping me busy. Read about the album from which this comes here.
  • Tuesday, August 17, 2004

    I lead you to moonlight only to burn you with the sun.

    I'm sick today and don't feel much like writing, but that shouldn't mean you have to be deprived of covers insanity.

  • Ze Malibu Kids (Jeff and Steve McDonald from Redd Kross with their wives Charlotte Caffey [Go-Go's] and Anna Waronker [that dog.], respectively) "You're So Vain" (Carly Simon cover)

  • Baxendale "(Keep Feeling) Fascination" (Human League cover)

  • X DJ Bass* "She's Like the Wind" (Patrick Swayze cover)
    *That's the name that the file says, but I can't find any evidence of such a DJ. I know it's not the Jan Wayne or Phonkillaz version, among others. Who knew there were so many techno remakes/remixes of this schmaltzy, uh, classic?
  • Friday, August 13, 2004


    You've been craving it your whole life without even realizing it: Finnish polka/oopmah (humppa, to those with Finnish leanings) covers of the hits of yesterday and today. And, lemme tell you, Erkelaiset will give them to you in spades. It's just up to you to rifle through their immense catalogue and listen to the songs repeatedly in order to try to discern what's what. (A procedure I've still not completed. You'd be surprised how difficult it can be to suss out even the most familiar tunes when rendered in a foreign language by an oompah band who changes all of the titles to incorporate the word "humppa.")

    As one who's only familiar with Latin-based languages and, of course, English, I have no idea whether the lyrics come even close to proper translations of the songs. I'm guessing not due to the aforementioned humppa in each title. Perhaps some of the Scandinavian readers (I know you're out there, I check my stats) can shed some light on the situation. Until then, this is all we have to go on:

  • Elakelaiset "Humppa (Zombie)" (Finnish Cranberries cover)

  • Elakelaiset "Humpatarzan (Monkey Wrench)" (Finnish Foo Fighters cover)

  • Elakelaiset "Heil Humppa! (Kids in America)" (Finnish Kim Wilde cover)
  • Somewhere in the crowd there's you.

    I was going to host a copy of Salma & Sabina singing Abba's "Super Trouper" because,
    along with Shaun Cassidy's Born Late and Pat Benatar's Precious Time, Abba's Super Trouper was one of the first albums I actually paid for as a child and listened to repeatedly. That explains a lot about my eclectic and often questionable taste in music, doesn't it? I digress. Anyhow. Abba is one of the most-covered acts out there (not to mention worshipped by a the slew of tribute bands that exist), presumably because they were brilliantly sentimental dance-pop craftsmenpeople.

    Anyhow, luckily, I just remembered that this track (as well as the other Abba songs Salma & Sabina have done) is already featured on April Winchell's awesome multimedia page, along with many other bizarre delights, covers and otherwise. Get thee over there!

    This strange little piece of outsider audio comes from the 1981 album, Salma & Sabina Sing Abba in Hindi. Scroll down to the April 3 post over at the 365 Days Project to read an excerpt from the cassette cover, as well as to take a gander at these lovely ladies in their convertible.

    And stay tuned, I'll be posting other odd foreign stuff a little later today.

    Edit: Winchell's site appears to be down temporarily, sorry about that. It was working fine when I wrote this post. I'd say check back later today or tomorrow to see if it's up.

    Wednesday, August 11, 2004

    Feeling so frustrated, even antiquated, 'cause you can't update me.

    Many thanks to reader DK who turned me onto this downloadable cover album. (The page's intro says the tracks are no longer downloadable, but I didn't have a problem getting them.) I already had about half of the tracks featured there, but I didn't know from whence they came. Embarrassingly, one of the bands featured is my good friend Jason's (I once posted a song of his) band, The Danglers, so I feel as if I should've already been in the know about it. Likewise, former Zero Hour artist The Multiple Cat is there as well. Eh, what can you do?

    Unrelated: VH1 Classics is my heroin. I never in a million years expected to see TMBG's "She Was a Hotel Detective" while randomly flipping channels. Likewise, earlier today I was stunned into silence by the horror of Rod Stewart's "Infatuation." Ah, I miss the days when stalking was cool. And don't even get me started on John Mellencamp's hair in "Cherry Bomb." Cover-related: I still see tracers from Three Dog Night's "Try a Little Tenderness" video. Yep. Heroin. Damn, a Ned's Atomic Dustbin video that's not "Grey Cell Green"? I, uh, gotta go.

    Monday, August 09, 2004

    I guess you're wondering how I knew.

    Admittedly, thanks to my lousy slow computer, I'm a bit behind on my MP3 blog reading. Therefore, I missed Loki posting this classic punk cover by the Slits that, I swear, I was a day or two away from posting myself.

    Similarly, Chris over at Fluxblog has posted a few new (Kate Bush and Outkast) covers here.

    This ain't a song for the brokenhearted.

    Welcome to all the new Rochester, NY, readers. I hope you enjoy your stay.

  • Ida "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere" (Neil Young cover)
    Ida is one of my favorite bands and they have some of my favorite covers, so choosing which to use was difficult, but I was in a kinda country mood—well, until I stumbled on the last two tracks, anyhow—so this track won out. It's light and airy and folksy and pretty and, well, just plain Ida-esque.

  • Kelly Hogan & John Wesley Harding "I'm a Little Bit Country, I'm a Little Bit Rock 'n' Roll" (Donnie & Marie Osmond cover)
    A perfect song choice from two decidedly more rocky of our alt-country/alt-folk superstars. JWH has been a long-time favorite of mine, and not solely because a few of his albums were released by Zero Hour, a former obsession I detail here. Actually, I think I first stumbled on JWH and his Billy Bragg-esque wit, cynicism and folkishness, via his track, "When the Beatles Hit America," which was on one of the Just Say ... comps back in the day. Kelly Hogan, on the other hand, despite being known to me for years, is someone whose oeuvre I'm just beginning to explore and enjoy. Her voice is that awesome combination of power and subtlety and Southern twang that makes me wish I'd been born to a musical family in Georgia. And if I ever want to meet her, rumor has it I can swing by the Hideout and watch her play or pay her for whiskey. Accessible artists rule.

    This you-really-can't-do-much-with-a-song-like-this-but-it's-fun track comes from one of the three all-cover compilations released by Chicago's own Pravda Records, 20 More Explosive Fantastic Rockin' Mega Smash Hit Explosions! These comps mostly feature Chicago-area artists rehashing old K-Tel radio hits and is, as most all-cover comps are, full of hits and misses.

  • Pastel Vespa "Living on a Prayer" (Bon Jovi cover)
    This is where the country ends. Brazilian-born (but currently living in Australia) chanteuse Pastel Vespa (her real name, it appears), is my new hero. I've long been waiting for the day in which I'd hear a Bon Jovi song rendered in an immensely listenable fashion. (Don't get me wrong, I was a big Bon Jovi fan back in the day, but most modern covers of their work are unbearable.) If you liked the Nouvelle Vague track a few entries ago and/or any of the loungey Japanese tracks I seem particularly obsessed with, this is for you.

  • Boy Division "It's My Life" (Bon Jovi cover)
    My friend Matt and I have had a few discussions about forming a band that solely performs covers but that isn't your standard cover band. You know, we'd just be a band who happens to sing other people's songs but is so innovative and experimental that we'd make each song our own. A lofty goal, to be sure, but one that apparently others have had. Yes, Germany's own Boy Division has beaten us to the punch. Fortunately, a quick sampling of their covers lends me to believe that they weren't as interested in making each cover sound different from one another, but it's all, um, interesting to say the least. Like what you here? Check out a few of their other covers here.
  • Wednesday, August 04, 2004

    The next post will have a song, I promise.

    Trust me, I don't want drama to be a regular part of this blog (I have a Live Journal for that kind of shit, thank you very much), but it appears some people are baffled by what is my apparent hypocrisy. Yes, I suppose it's bad karma for me to post songs without a copyright holder's consent and that I subsequently somehow cosmically deserve it when people hotlink directly to my files. Whatever. What bugs me most about discovering that fellow bloggers are hotlinking to my files is the fact that bloggers in particular should know the amount of time and effort it takes to find these and write about them. And I'd like an accurate as possible count of how many people are visiting and/or are downloading files. And while I'm not some wide-eyed, naive, hippy type, it still just seems rude to me to do purposely do something you know bothers someone else. Sigh. Maybe it's old-fashioned to be polite and expect people to return the favor, and maybe I'm somehow uncool because of it, but I don't care. It's what I think. But, until I figure out how, I can't stop anyone from doing it. So, go ahead, if you're happy being that sort of person.

    Tuesday, August 03, 2004

    It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it.

    Perhaps this makes me seem uptight, which is fine since I often am, but I think it's in poor taste when other sites or bloggers link directly to my music files. So, yeah, I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't do that. A hyperlink to the specific entry takes the same amount of time to create and it brings people to my blog, which last time I checked, was the purpose of my creating it. I'd offer you the same courtesy.

    It couldn't be me and be her in between without you.

    If the covers I posted earlier aren't enough for you, Stereogum has some live covers here, as well as the John Eddie cover of the Cure that's in the sidebar and which is from one of the first all-cover various artist compilations CDs I ever bought, Elektra's now out-of-print 40th Anniversary Rubaiyat.

    Monday, August 02, 2004

    I'm a song written by the hands of God.

    The following tracks come from a mostly charming little Irish benefit compilation called Even Better than the Real Thing, Vol. 1, which was put out by an Irish radio station and which is apparently still on the charts there. A lot of it reminds me of that Luka Bloom cover of LL Cool J's "I Need Love" in the early '90s. Maybe all Irish acts perform covers the same way. Maybe not. Either way, it's still better than the millions of god-awful hardcore or nu-metal tribute albums out there. If you feel you must have it—and are willing, if you're not in Ireland, to pay import prices—you can still find it at places like this. Volume 2 is forthcoming.

  • Maria Doyle-Kennedy (actress, ex Hothouse Flowers, ex Commitments, etc.) "How You Remind Me" (Nickelback cover)
    One of the greatest pleasures in what I refer to as my "sickness," is the discovery of a song I completely hate performed in such a way that I reconsider and come to decide that it's not so much the song that's awful, but it's the band who wrote/originally performed it that I truly despise. Conversely, one of the greatest pains related to my cover addiction is that, once I've finished listening to the intriguing cover a few times and go on my merry way about my day, it is not the cool new cover that gets trapped in my head. Instead, it's the horrifying original and next thing you know, my co-workers, friends and family are subjected to repeated Nickelback impressions as I attempt to release the demon from my brain. This is how I remind me of who I really am.

  • Roesy "Breathe" (Blu Cantrell & Sean Paul cover)
    Okay, I admit it—and I don't even know if this makes me cool or lame, since I'm practically dancehall illiterate—I like Sean Paul. And though this Blu Cantrell track would've probably had less of an impact on me had he not been involved, it's okay enough. Certainly more listenable to me than her gold-digger anthem, "Hit 'em Up Style." Roesy is, admittedly, new to me and I'm thinking I like what he's done. I've been ignoring a lot of modern Nick Drake-influenced artists lately, but this guy has such an interesting timbre to his voice that I'm very interested in checking out his latest album Only Love is real very soon. And he paints too.

  • Kieran Goss "Underneath Your Clothes" (Shakira cover)
    Irish country/folk artist Kieran Goss is apparently fucking huge in his native land, and, until now, I'd never heard of him. Sigh. I'm so American. As for Shakira, I must admit I remained intrigued with her (and her hypnotizing ass shaking) even when she flicked her switch from Spanish angry-girl alt folk rock to English dance pop. Most likely because it's not often that English-language dance pop has lyrics like "lucky my breasts are small and humble so you don't confuse them with mountains." [See and hear the track below.] After listening to this halfway decent cover, however, I always get the Indigo Girls' "Closer to Fine" stuck in my head. Seriously, do their intros sound exactly alike or am I going crazy?

  • Mundy "Wherever Whenever" (Shakira cover)
    Can't get enough Shakira covers? Neither can I or Irish folk stars, it would seem. I once took a Mundy promo home from work, gave it a listen, and promptly dubbed it borecore. I'm not sure my stance has changed, but I do enjoy a nice foreign mope singing about the aforementioned small breasts. Scarily enough, Mundy (I think) also recorded a poppier version of this song that I found whose lyrics were altered so they were about, presumably, football (read: soccer). Um. That's just weird.
  • Thursday, July 29, 2004

    Uh oh, we're in trouble.

  • Nouvelle Vague "Too Drunk to Fuck" (Dead Kennedys cover)
    Very similar to the Dominique A track I posted here and not unlike the LB track I posted here, this French bossa-lounge cover of a "new wave" (as the band's name would suggest) hit comes from an all bossa-lounge/new wave cover album by French supergroup (okay, I don't know if that's true) Nouvelle Vague that apparently sees its US release next week. It's pretty cool stuff.

  • Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine "Trouble" (Shampoo cover)
    In the History of Music As My Subconscious Sees It, Carter USM has the role of an extra only visible 20 seconds. You know, they're buried somewhere deep inside the Ned's Atomic Dustbin in my mind. And while no one was looking, they managed to remain together for nearly a decade releasing MOR album after MOR album of, uh, rocky-but-dancey crap. Shampoo, on the other hand, has at least two full minutes on my mind's screen. Anytime a punk-looking-but-bubblegum-sounding girl-fronted group (you know, your Alisha's Attics, K's Choices, Murmurs, Letters to Cleos and the like) comes around, I find myself at least temporarily mesmerized while trying to figure out what's going on and whether or not I like it. I mean, innocuous pop can have its place even when sung by purple-haired girls in babydoll dresses and striped tights, right? Maybe. Trash pop, I believe it's called. Anyhow, this is about all you can expect from a mashing of mediocre rock with mediocre pop. But if you like mediocrity and kitch for kitsch's sake, as I often do, this is the track to download.

  • U Penn Off the Beat "Be My Lover" (La Bouche cover)
    Oh, collegiate acappella groups ... how you frighten me with some of your selections. I find I often have this La Bouche song annoyingly running through my head randomly throughout the day (along with that total jam by the solo Sporty Spice) thanks to the fact that I see commercials for Fired Up! constantly on late-night TV. The past few days, it's been this version instead, which includes its ultra-geeky little homage d'Boyz II Men toward the end. Heh. Whatever, you crazy coeds! I might not appreciate your work fully, but who am I to judge? At least you're not spending your weekends giving strangers head in the laundry rooms of frat houses.
  • Wednesday, July 28, 2004

    I'm slipping under.

    I recently stumbled on a pretty cover of Britney Spears' "Toxic" that I quite enjoyed. The artist's name is Michael Gum, and from what I can tell via a quick Google search, he's someone who posts a lot over on Songfight. Also, he has set up a Live Journal to share his music. Go here to download his covers, including the aforementioned Spears classic. Heh. "Classic."

    Monday, July 26, 2004

    We would scream together songs unsung.

    Guess who found out she's starting a job next week and might soon (I'm thinking in a month or so) be able to afford real web space and subsequently post more frequently and allow songs to stay longer so people can actually catch them while they're here? Yeah, it's me. (I know you know it was rhetorical, but still.) And who knows? Maybe have enough space that I'll be able to post more non-Japanese covers. No promises, of course.

    Aaanyhow, until then, it's just little crumbs here and there. And speaking of "there," Stereogum has the Postal Service singing Phil Collins' "Against All Odds" right here, among others. Check out its "Favorite New Covers" section on the right. Also, I can't remember who posted it, but that French Jodie Foster track, "La Vie C'est Chouette, " which was on the 365 Days Project back in the day, is currently my most-played song of the summer. I can't get enough of that shit!

    So, let's see. I recently deleted tons of stuff from my hard drive because I remain convinced that this computer's going to bite it any day, but let's see what's still there. (I don't feel like hunting out stuff from my growing towers of mp3 data discs.)

  • Spangle Call Lilli Line & Spanova "Heat of the Moment" (Asia cover) 7MB
    Drum 'n' bass is, to put it politely, generally not my thing. But pairing it with a Japanese female vocal and adding that all to an Asia song? I'm all for it. They did a twist on it. There's such a fine line between stupid and clever.
  • Thursday, July 22, 2004

    People, places, things.

  • Low IQ 01 feat. Yukari Fresh "Anarchy in the UK" (Sex Pistols cover) 3.9MB
    I can't find much out about Low IQ 01 besides the fact that they're a Japanese punk band, but aside from the track they're covering, you'd never know that. Teaming up with Yukari Fresh (think Pizzicato Five, Takako Minekawa or Kahimi Karie but less known overseas), they've created the perfect track for aging hipsters like myself: A punk anthem that's easy on the ears. If you liked "Paradise City" from Akiko the other day, this might be right up your alley.

  • Ballboy "Born in the USA" (Bruce Springsteen cover) 5MB
    Ballboy is the witty little Scottish low-fi band that could, and I'm glad they covered this. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for this song because it proved to me what I was just learning at the time it came out: A lot of Americans are stupid as hell. Here's a song about a kid who grew up in poverty and winds up in Vietnam killing people for no good reason and comes back and can't find work, right? Still, so many people at the time (Reagan included) chose not to listen to the lyrics and assumed it was pro-America based on the chorus. Um, try again, suckers.

  • James "China Girl" (Iggy Pop [but probably more likely, David Bowie] cover) 3.7MB
    Meh, this is neither here nor there. I can so take or leave this. Although, I will take this chance to say that the only time I saw James live was as part of this really bizarre multi-artist tour that came to my college town in the early '90s, which featured James, The Black Sheep, The Soupdragons and the Tom Tom Club (who I'd also seen a year or two before that as part of the Escape From New York Tour, which featured The Ramones, Debbie Harry and the Tom Tom Club). My friend Aaron wound up playing football (read: soccer) with some of the Soupdragons before the show and, after the show, I found myself backstage with Aaron and his friends and talking to Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz about I don't even know what.

  • Rufus Wainwright "On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away" (Composed by Paul Dresser) 4.4MB
    From the movie soundtrack to the dark indie flick The Myth of Fingerprints, comes this cover of the Indiana state song as performed by my fantastically talented gay boyfriend Rufus Wainwright. (With whom I also hung out once after a show he played at Martyrs a few years ago and whose sister Martha told me story after story about their tour, which she made me swear not to tell anyone.) Anyhow, this version omits both the first verse in which Indiana is actually mentioned (and omits the second verse as well), but I know it's the state song because my high school freshman English teacher made us memorize it. It stuck with me for a while because the lyrics really freaked me out because, at the time, I could never figure out why a state would choose a song about unrequited love and imminent death as its anthem. Having since spent the bulk of my formative years in Indiana, however, I now get it.
  • Monday, July 19, 2004

    Rewritten by machine and new technology.

    Sorry about the file sizes on these, but I didn't want to decrease the quality by shrinking them.

  • Hi-Posi "Video Killed the Radio Star" (Buggles cover) 9.7MB
    Ladies and gentleman, welcome to my current favorite cover on my hard drive. Holy God, I love this. What a happy surprise. Usually when I stumble on a new cover of this song, it turns out to be 1,000 times less listenable than the original, which I'm sadly beyond sick of despite my love for it as a kid. Hi-Posi has now replaced Cornelius and Fantastic Plastic Machine as my favorite weirdo eclectic Japanese pop outfit. Okay, or as one of the three weirdo eclectic Japanese pop outfits whose names and songs I actually know. The mechanical vocals, the lounge intro, the hypnotizing Casio tune running throughout, the unexpected samba (or is it bossa nova? or rumba?) that hits about two minutes in, the general strangeness of it all? Heaven. There's a futuristic movie playing in my head in which this is the soundtrack for a scene in which androids strip and subsequently pole dance and make out. It's really hot. Yet cold at the same time, of course. I'm hoping for an R instead of an NC-17.

  • Akiko "Paradise City" (Guns N Roses cover) 7.9MB
    It's so weird when my least favorite song from a longtime favorite album can be covered in a style I generally don't like (think a smoother-jazz Swing Out Sister) and still intrigue me. Yet, here's further proof that the Japanese are just that fucking good sometimes. Or, if not good, at the very least way more experimental than 90% of their European and/or American cover-loving counterparts.
  • Saturday, July 17, 2004

    Heads up, ears open.

    There's a quartet of covers over at Womenfolk, including one of my old-school favorites (everything's old school now that I Love the '90s is on the scene, right?), Bran Van 3000 covering Slade's "Cum on Feel the Noize." It also features a cover of "We Don't Need Another Hero" I'd not heard previously and that isn't half bad. I love when that happens.

    Friday, July 16, 2004

    C'mon, c'mon, c'mon, the club is open!

  • The Salteens "Motor Away" (Guided by Voices cover) 3.3MB
    Did you know that GBV is my favorite band? And that I've seen them more than any other band? And that my pals Ryan, Gerry and I once hung out with a very drunk (and possibly coked-up?), somewhat unintelligible Bob Pollard after a show at The Patio in Indy well before Alien Lanes was released? And that I was at The Patio again at the show where the Jellyfish Reflector bootleg was recorded? And that I want to suck Nate Farley's cock? And that I think Nate Farley is dreamy? Yeah. Sorry for the geek-out, but the boys just announced their last tour dates ever, and lucky for me they culminate with two New Year's Eve shows right here in my hometown. (And I'm seriously considering heading down to my former hometown of Bloomington, IN, as well for the show there two months before that.)

    In honor of my excitement, here is a decent little tweemo cover of one of the many awesome songs on the aforementioned Alien Lanes that I stumbled on a few months ago, which introduced me to the cheery little Canadian pop outfit that is The Salteens and which is by far better than any of the covers on the Blatant Doom Trip tribute disc. Download it now, broomhead!

  • Franz Ferdinand "Mis-shapes" (Pulp cover) 3.4MB

  • It's a law that all MP3 blogs have to post Franz Ferdinand songs, covers or remixes this month, right? Right. I'm simply doing my civic duty as a citizen of the Internet.

    Pulp is another of my favorite bands, but one that, sadly, I've never seen live and now probably never will. Sigh. At least some people, like our good friends FF, are still performing competent live acoustic versions of Pulp hits.

  • Bad Manners "Show Me the Way to Go Home" (composed by Irving King) 0.7MB

  • I swear, when I wasn't looking, Bravo became the all-Jaws network. I must have stumbled on it 20 times in the past month or so, and always seem to find myself smack in the middle, before the big shark attack when the Robert Shaw character tells Scheider and Dreyfuss that he was on the USS Indianapolis when it was torpedoed and that he watched many of his friends perish in the subsequent shark attacks. To break the tension of his tale (and the tension of hunting a great white shark in a tiny boat with only two other guys, I suppose), the Dreyfuss character leads them in a rousing version of this folk standard, which consists of the same 70 or so words sung over and over again. Then the shark wisely punches his head into the boat repeatedly, presumably in an attempt to get this fucking song out of it. Here's the shortest version I could find.

    In other news: My most recent cover hunt yielded many strange and rare gems, mostly of Japanese or European descent, which I can't wait to share. And I want to start sharing songs on a more consistent basis and to be able to keep them available for a longer time. Man, I wish I had more web space and more reliable hosts. The whole Hikashu debacle last week has me reticent to attempt using my GeoCities account (which a Yahoo customer service rep assures me should work) anymore, but it's all I have except for the space my ISP gives me. Unfortunately, I'm currently between jobs and quite poor, so buying a domain and space is a ways off for me, but just in case it's able to happen soon, does anyone have any recommendations of reasonably priced, reliable hosts?

    Wednesday, July 14, 2004


  • Aaaaaaaaaaargh! All Music Guide's new interface is fucking killing me. Yeah, it needed an overhaul, but not if it means that it's going to be even slower than it was before, which was pretty damned slow. But I'd grown accustomed to its slowness. Now I have an all new slowness to deal with—not to mention broken links and errors upon errors. As you can tell, it's driving me nuts. On average, I use AMG approximately 500 times a day to aid my cover hunts and give me background on shit that's new to me. Today, I've only successfully used it twice. It's putting me way behind schedule. Bastards! < /end rant >

  • Everyone should head on over to Herman Dune's site and snatch all the covers the band and its members have available on the Media page, such as all of Yayahoni's covers and the live cover of Nick Cave's "As I Sat Idly By Her Side."

  • Music for Robots is currently featuring Sesame Street's Grover singing a blues song you can download here. Not technically a cover, as far as I know, but amusing nonetheless.
  • Tuesday, July 13, 2004

    It's all good, especially when it saves my bandwidth.

    I'm always getting scooped by the cool kids. I swear, I was an hour away from posting the cover of Leonard Cohen's "The Partisan" as performed by Noir Desir and Sixteen Horsepower when I saw that Said the Gramophone had beaten me to it.

    Monday, July 12, 2004

    Where is all you angels?

    I desperately need to clean my apartment and here I am at the computer slacking. Here are some songs that hit my shuffle play today that made me laugh (or, at the very least, smile) for various reasons. Sorry, I can't spare more than 17 syllables each on these; I'm a slob.

  • Bobby Conn "Without You" (Badfinger cover) 5.4MB
    Local favorite.
    An acquired taste, to be sure.
    Live show is worthwhile.

  • Hermann H. & The Pacemakers "In the Garage" (Weezer cover) 3.6MB
    Japanese ska band,
    your strange cover cheers me up.
    E-reek-tree guitar.

  • Manfred Mann "When Will I Be Loved" (Everly Brothers cover) 2MB
    No Linda Ronstadt,
    but fun pop nevertheless.
    Let's go back in time.

  • Atrocity "Wild Boys" (Duran Duran cover) 6.1MB
    Death metal cover
    that makes me clean much faster.
    Doesn't mean it's good.
  • Thursday, July 08, 2004

    Hey, remember me?

    Sorry about the week-long hiatus, kids. My computer is still iffy and the purchase of a new one has been pushed back thanks to circumstances beyond my control. Also, everyone I know, myself included, seems to have been born in late June/early July and I've been kept busy at event after event. But enough about me, let's get on with the show. And by "show," I mean covers of new wave songs about the modeling industry.

  • Billy Preston "Girls on Film" (Duran Duran cover) 6.2MB
    There's nothing quite like a R&B gospel legend singing a song about masturbating to pictures of models. (That's what it's about, right?) File under: Strange for strangeness' sake.

  • Chris Whitley "The Model" (Kraftwerk cover) 2.2MB
    Sorry, I know my new Kraftwerk obsession is getting old, but I figured since most of you weren't able to download the last version of "The Model" offered, I'd slide this one in. I want to like this one a little more than I do, but its country/blues banjo schtick gets old to me about halfway in. It is intriguing enough to me, however, to make me think that if better artists like 16 Horsepower were ever to record version of this song, it would be fucking fantastic.
  • Wednesday, June 30, 2004

    What gives?

    Just a quick note to say I'm not sure what's up with some of my tracks not working. Was anyone able to get the Hikashu at all? Say yesterday or something? I don't know if my data transfer overloaded or if Geocities server is just sucking, so if anyone who was able to hear it at some point, please lemme know so I can suss out the problem.

    Tuesday, June 29, 2004

    Today is the day we've waited for.

    I meant to post these yesterday as "covers that make me happy on my birthday," but my birthday here at work was riddled with computer woes. So, yeah. I'm 32 now. And these songs make me happy today as well.

  • The Delgados "Mr. Blue Sky" (ELO cover) 7.7MB
    I have to admit I was surprised by the sudden ubiquity of this former guilty pleasure of mine. First that VW commercial, then in the ads for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, among other places. I don't care how much your finger is on the pulse of media and/or advertising, you just don't expect Electric Light Orchestra to make a comeback, however slight. But, if they had to, I'm glad it was with this poppy, uplifting track. Not that I'd begrudge anyone their obsession with the hits in Xanadu or any of the rollerskating jams of yore, of course. I'm so down with "I'm Alive" and "Don't Bring Me Down" it's a little sick, really.

    As for the Delgados and their cover, I like 'em both. And if you like what you hear, I highly recommend checking out their latest album, Hate, which is chock-full of brilliant somber, melancholy and lushly orchestrated mini-epics. And their creepy UK hit "Pull the Wires from the Wall" from Peloton is one of my favorite songs ever.

  • Hikashu "The Model" (Kraftwerk cover) 3.1MB
    I'm having a bit of a Kraftwerk attack lately. And I almost always have the melody from the verse of "The Model" in my head. And, Jesus, there are a lot of Kraftwerk covers and tribute albums out there from which to choose, no? Well, this from experimental Japanese avant-garde rock outfit Hikashu is one of my favorites. Enjoy.
  • Wednesday, June 23, 2004

    Tell her to jump higher.

  • Self "Stratford-on-Guy" (Liz Phair cover) 3MB
    Sigh. I miss the days when I could look at hot pictures of Liz Phair and actually respect myself in the morning. Not so much anymore, huh? Yeah, I could bitch and moan about the fact that she's "sold out" and is appealing to the lowest common denominator for posing for the craptacular Maxim machine. I could retch a little when I'm reminded that she's heading up a Maybelline-sponsored tour entitled "Chicks with Attitude." (Blech!) But the real key for my growing hatred for her is that she's doing all of this backed by the power (?) of her weakest album to date. And it's not just weak—it's horrible and, for the most part, lyrically bland. It hurts me to hear it. There was a time when Liz could sing about cum and I was right there with her, thinking she was speaking for all the bitter sluts like me. How I'm supposed to believe that someone who threw the terribly disturbing "even when I was 12" lyric into a song called "Fuck and Run" ages ago is suddenly naively asking us why she can't breathe when she's around us? I just can't reconcile it. When a 16-year-old pop princess sings vapid pop songs at me, that's fine. I expect nothing more. When a powerful, once-groundbreaking female artist who's pushing 40 tries it, it's really kinda sad.

    This cover, by the sometimes worthwhile and sometimes annoying all-over-the-map quirk rockers Self is surprisingly straightforward and slightly boring. I'd have a expected something a little more interesting from a band whose last album was performed solely on toy instruments. But it's a good song. Classic Liz. Sexy, ballsy Liz. Not the new Avril-Lavigne-meets-Carmen-Electra Liz.
  • Tuesday, June 22, 2004

    Nothing lasts forever. I'm sorry, I can't be perfect.

    As you might be able to tell, I'm a kind of love/hate kinda gal. As such, I have a long history of mocking things so incessantly that, the next thing I know, I kind of like them. For instance, my freshman year of college, my friends and I detested New Kids on the Block with such fervor, that we ironically picked favorites and subsequently began purchasing actual NKOTB merchandise. That plush Donnie Wahlberg doll* with the faux acid-washed jeans and horrifying tail of hair? I had it. I slept with that creepy thing, for God's sake.

    The next year, Color Me Badd made it big on the scene and my roommates and I would "lovingly" serenade one another with "I adore ... mi amor" on a regular basis while striking random and ridiculous poses, as those freaks did in the video. About a month later, someone (it wasn't me, I swear!) actually brought the CD into our apartment and began playing it on a regular basis. Man, CMB really wanted to sex us up, didn't they?

    And had you told me in 1997 that by 2004 I'd happily sing along to *NSync songs and own a Joey Fatone bobblehead*, even despite my noted past as an irony lover, I would've doubted you.

    More recently, my pal Eric and I repeatedly found ourselves stumbling on that ridiculous Simple Plan video in which the lead singer whines incessantly on the rooftop about his much-flawed relationship with his dad—with which we promptly began loudly singing along on a regular basis, much to the presumed dismay of my neighbors. In fact, I've come to regard it as "our song."

    So, yes, I've established that I'm not quite past my "this is so bad it's good" phase. I still wear the ironic T-shirt from time to time, albeit totally passé. And I'm increasingly okay with the fact that this actually might not be a phase at all and that it simply could be who I am. And the creation this blog is evidence that I'm beginning to accept and revel in that. Sort of.

    That said, if anything could spark me to change my lifestyle, it would be today's selections. Some things really are so bad it's not funny to me. Granted, this is in part because the originals are two of my favorite songs ever. EVER. It's also in part because they suck. Really suck. Suck hard. Suck to the suck power.

    Hear for yourselves.

  • Naomi Campbell "Ride a White Swan" (T. Rex cover) 3.4MB
    Come to think of it, this one's growing on me. Like a fungus. A fungus composed of chirping birds and off-key over-enunciation. Seriously, supermodels should be seen and not heard. No matter how many Japanese fans will buy your albums. And naming an album Babywoman? I won't even go into how I feel about that. (Note: Campbell has her own doll too.)

  • Public Toys "Disco 2000" (Pulp cover) 2.9MB
    Um, yeah.

    *"Ironic" gifts from friends.