Thursday, June 30, 2005

So ... in ... phase.

I know it's difficult to believe given my passions for reality TV, pop culture, retro hits and cover songs, but I haven't really been watching Hit Me Baby One More Time. I figured it would be really depressing. And from what little snippets I've seen here and there, it seems I was right. Still, I heard good things about Wang Chung's version of Nelly's "Hot in Herre." And, you know, it really was pretty good. You can hear it at WC's MySpace page. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

I've waited hours for this.

Like all good aging hipsters, I once had a really big thing for the Cure. And it's my birthday and I have nothing better to do than relive my thing for the Cure. If you feel me on this, you should check out, which features a pretty comprehensive list of "selective" covers (I think he or she means "selected," but I'll be nice since I don't think English is his/her first language) and tribute albums. I respectfully disagree with many of the author's opinions on which tribute albums and songs are worthwhile, but it's a nice list nonetheless.

From Fictional: A Tribute to the Cure
  • Blipp! "The Caterpillar" (Cure cover)

    From Give Me the Cure: DC Bands Cover the Cure
    By far the most emo/indie of the Cure tributes.
  • Chisel "Six Different Ways" (Cure cover)
    I love Ted Leo & the Pharmacists, don't get me wrong, but oh how I miss Chisel. And this song, as well as any track on The Head on the Door, reminds me of one of the longest make-out sessions of my high school career. I think my then boyfriend (now gay, of course) let the cassette play through on automatic reverse about three times as we cavorted in his basement.
  • DJ Bootious Maximus "The Love Cats" (Cure cover)
  • Tuscadero "Boys Don't Cry" (Cure cover)
  • Dismemberment Plan "Close to Me" (Cure cover)

    From Into a Sea of Cure (an Argentine tribute to The Cure)
  • Shh... "Lullaby" (Cure cover)

    From Pink Pig—The Whole Cure in the Mirror
    A whole bunch of Cure fans you've most likely never heard of covering every Cure song that exists.
  • Lucho Giesso "A Few Hours After This" (Cure cover)
    Many of my favorite Cure songs were B-sides, and this is my all-time favorite. Well, not this version, which is overwrought to say the least.
  • Damon Boyce "A Man Inside My Mouth" (Cure cover)
    Another B-side that makes me nostalgic. Sorta. My freshman year of high school, we hit the gymnastics portion of the semester and my crazy friend who was on the school dance squad made us do a routine to this song (the original, of course, as this version did not exist back then). That she chose it was cool I guess, but gym-class gymnastics routines? Not so much.

    From 15 Imaginary Songs: A Tribute to the Cure
  • The Caves "Just Like Heaven" (Cure cover)
  • Morbid Poetry "Push" (Cure cover)
  • Decadence "Disintegration" (Cure cover)

    From Disintegrated: A Hardcore Tribute to the Cure
  • Cave In "Plainsong" (Cure cover)
  • Bad Luck Thirteen Riot Extravaganza "Pictures of You" (Cure cover)
    I hate shit like this, and not just because it's a cover of my least favorite Cure hit ever and not just because it's hardcore. What I hate is the idea of a band badmouthing the types of people most likely to be Cure fans on a tribute album to the Cure. Yeah, we get it, you're cool and above it all and would never shop at Hot Topic although your band name implies otherwise. You showed us!

    And, you know, I never do this (or at least I've never done it before), in celebration of my own birthday, I've decided to repost a track I posted ages ago. It's one of my favorite Cure covers and you can find it here.
  • Tuesday, June 21, 2005

    Chameleon, Comedian, Corinthian and Caricature.

    I'm a terrible music blogger, I know. Updating only once a week? That sucks, right? But, man, I don't know how all the other MP3 bloggers do it. Daily updates? Huge essays? I'm a total slacker and I can't even find the time for that level of dedication.

    I'm really going to try to post more frequently. My birthday is a week from today and I generally make my New Year's Resolutions then. Maybe I can up it to two or three entries a week for a while. Unless there's something really good on TV ...

  • El Nino "Reptile"< (Lisa Germano cover)
    This is just one of hundreds of songs I've snagged from Musical Family Tree, a massive, ever-growing collection of MP3s from Bloomington/Indianapolis-based acts. Some of these bands are still performing and some are now defunct, but many are the bands I spent a lot of time adoring in the early/mid-1990s when I was in Bloomington. And not just because they were my friends and acquaintances. El Nino was one of said bands. And so was Lisa Germano, for a while. I miss Bloomington.

    If you have the time and interest, you might find a handful of interesting covers by interesting acts in the giant MFT catalog and it would take me forever to locate, list and link them all, but I'll point you in the direction of a few:

    1. Vess Ruhtenberg (United States Three, among others) and Michelle Marchessault (ex Gerunds and Sardina, both of which you should check out) performing "Blue Moon"
    2. Sardina performing "Me and My Arrow," which I originally posted around this time last year.
    3. Admiral Stereo has covers of "Gouge Away" and "Honey Pie," among others.

    I hope at least some of you take the time to check out the music offered at that site. Jeb's got a real labor of love going on there, and I for one couldn't be more appreciative.

  • Five in Love "Smooth" (Santana/Rob Thomas cover)
    I can't hear any version of this song without remembering the horrifically hot summer of 1999 in which I was commuting daily to the Borders in Deerfield, where I briefly worked as an interim manager. One of the worst summers of my life, though I didn't really know that at the time. I think I'm over it enough to enjoy this swingy cover though. I think ...

  • In Flames "Land of Confusion" (Genesis cover)
    I never thought I'd say this, but more and more, I enjoy Swedish death metal.

  • The Minus 5 "Wicked Annabella" (Kinks cover)
    A competent cover by Scott McCaughey's ever-changing chamber-pop collective. Man, I love Ken Stringfellow.

  • The London Punkharmonic Orchestra "Ever Fallen In Love?" (Buzzcocks cover)
    Ah. Classical punk covers. Were they the catalyst for all those ridiculous "String Quartet Tributes" out there nowadays? Perhaps. But I'm not holding it against them. Hell, anything is better than the Fine Young Cannibals version.

  • Pop Will Eat Itself "Games Without Frontiers" (Peter Gabriel cover)
    In my college dorm there was a very friendly, straight-laced looking girl named Erika who was really into bands like PWEI. It kind of freaked me out. In a good way. I like this cover way more than the original, but that's not saying much since I'm one of the few people who seem to be in the "Oh my God, I fucking hate Peter Gabriel" camp.

  • Replicants "The Bewlay Brothers" (David Bowie cover)
    I didn't really embrace the Replicants at first, but I see now the error of my ways. This is one of my favorite Bowie songs covered in a really engaging way. Yay for that.

  • Ushuaia Rocks! "Pink Moon" (Nick Drake cover)
    Argentine punk bands. I can never get enough.

    Also: Remember the database of Smiths/Morrissey covers I posted a few entries ago? Well, here are a couple for other acts. (Note: These are databases of INFORMATION. I'm not implying that you can find the actual tracks there.)
  • Dylan covers
  • U2 covers
  • Monday, June 13, 2005

    Weirdo-electro Monday

    I've been amused by industrial and electronic covers lately, so I'm foisting them upon you. Some of these are Faustesque or Negativlandy and some are just industrogoth techno and so on. All are pretty strange.

  • Dimthings "Superstition" (Stevie Wonder cover)

  • Plastics "Last Train to Clarksville" (Monkees cover)

  • Coercion "Cars" (Gary Numan cover)

  • Jeff and Jane Hudson "The Girl [Boy] from Ipanema" (de Moraes/Gimbel/Jobim)

  • Sun Yama "Subterranean Homesick Blues" (Bob Dylan cover)

  • Second Delay "Born to be Alive" (Patrick Hernandez cover)

  • Dark Distant Spaces "Space Age Love Song" (Flock of Seagulls cover)

  • Familiar Faces "Mad World" (Tears for Fears cover)

  • Battery "Gangsta's Paradise" (Coolio cover)

  • Pinker Tone "Louie Louie" (Kingsmen cover)

  • Sista Mannen Pa Jordon "I Want You to Want Me" (Cheap Trick cover)

  • Turner "Right by Your Side" (Eurythmics cover)
    Now, I'm all for a band covering a song and making it their own, but I'm not so down with someone taking the lyrics from a song and completely rewriting the music. But whatever.
  • Thursday, June 09, 2005

    I have to let that raga drop.

    Sorry again for not hosting my own tracks yet this week, my ISP at home has been having issues, to say the least. [And I recently acquired a DVR unit and a record player, both of which have been monopolizing my time of late.] Until my ISP fixes itself, I hope you don't mind that I keep directing you elsewhere. For instance:

  • Reader Nik directed me to Music for Maniacs, an MP3 blog dedicated to outsider music which, as such, features a ton of weirdo covers. How I was unaware of this awesome blog previously is beyond me, since it's right up my alley. Right now, there are some pretty cool offerings, including but not limited to Rachid Taha's excellent cover of "Rock the Casbah," which I've been meaning to post myself for a while.

  • Reader Jonathan alerted me to the existence of Like a Version, a compilation of live covers recorded by Australian youth radio station triple j, which I hope to acquire soon.

  • Alos, I suspect many of you do this already, but if you're not getting the Coverville podcasts, you're really missing out.
  • Wednesday, June 08, 2005

    A light that never goes out.

    I'm not sure why I've waited this long to hip all you Smiths/Morrissey fans to Our Frank's serious obsession with amassing the largest database of Smiths/Moz tributes and covers, but better late than never, yes? I've been stealing helping myself to his files for years now on my preferred P2P, and I don't see why I should hold back on alerting you to the vastness of his collection. Impressive. And a little scary. But fucking awesome.

    Tuesday, June 07, 2005

    Baby, check this out, I've got something to say.

    Sorry about the lack of posts, time keeps slipping away from me. I've been planning on posting a handful of relatively popular songs that are covers that no one seems to know are covers, but I got sidetracked.

    That idea, however, was partially inspired by They Might Be Giants' version of "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)," which a friend referenced the other day as "the greatest song TMBG ever wrote." Yeah, well, except it was originally a quirky little hit from the '50s and they didn't write it.

    Then I started thinking about how much I used to love TMBG, and started some random Googling that led me to a few TMBG-related covers already available on the ol' Internet.

    For instance:

  • Here you can download a reworking of "Istanbul (Not Constantinople" entitled "The Disarmament Song" as sung by Ellen Bernfeld, who was the voice of the Misfits' Pizzazz on Jem and the Holograms.

  • The downloads section of the Media page over at the celtic/bluegrass/pop-rock band Carbon Leaf's site is full of covers, including a live version of "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)."

  • If you scroll down to "Non-Album Tracks" on this page, you can find a scary, off-key version of "Older" by the Snot Patties. There's a Modest Mouse cover there as well.

  • A band called Very Low Sodium has a pretty good cover of "Destination Moon" on its site.

  • There was a tribute CD available at one time called We Might Be Giants Too, which I believe began as a downloadable album via and which I don't have. Then there was a rumor that a second was coming out. Don't know if that ever happened, but you can hear one of its potential tracks—"Moving to the Sun" as performed by Father Bingo and the Legion of Decency (as well as a Dead Milkmen cover)—here.

  • A hip new TMBG tribute CD is hitting the streets soon, and you can hear snippets of a few of the tracks by visiting its My Space page. I'm particularly excited to see that the CD's producer has recorded his own poppy version of my favorite TMBG track, "Narrow My Eyes." And the Hotel Lights are doing another fave, "The End of the Tour." Exciting.

  • On a weirder tip, I wish I had the money right now to buy steel-drum cover band (who knew?) Apocalypso's album, because I am positively dying to hear their version of "Man, It's So Loud in Here." (You can hear a few of the other non-TMBG covers over at CD Baby.)

    So, yeah, that's what I have for you today. Hopefully I'll get a minute tonight to post some actual tracks for you, TMBG-related and otherwise. Hope this tides you over a bit.