Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Don't push me 'cause I'm close to the edge.

I don't have time to be witty or make many comments. Here's what you're getting: some rock, some punk, some swing/rockabilly, some bluegrass, a Scandinavian experimental take on country, etc. Not necessarily in that order.

  • Asylum Street Spankers "Paul Revere" (Beastie Boys cover)

  • The Flash Express "The Message" (Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five cover)

  • Yeti Girl "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" (Marilyn Monroe cover)

  • Paul Westerberg and Joan Jett "Let's Do It" (comp. Cole Porter)

  • Suzi Quatro "Born to Run" (Bruce Springsteen cover)

  • Susanna and the Magical Orchestra "Jolene"< (Dolly Parton cover)

  • Dick Brave and the Backbeats "Walk this Way" (Aerosmith cover)

  • Claude François "J'ai Joué et J'ai Perdu (I Fought the Law and the Law Won)" (Bobby Fuller Four cover)
    "I played and I lost"? Um, close, I guess.

  • Bad Livers "Lust for Life" (Iggy Pop cover)
  • Wednesday, August 24, 2005

    I have no choice; I hear your voice.

    Okay, I know I'm always saying how I won't make guarantees that I'll post stuff other people have sent me, but I'm busy in my work life and lazy in my home life and you'll take these and you'll like them!!! (Note: You may not actually like them.) All were sent to me by readers sometime in the past few months. Some I had already, a few I didn't. (It happens!) Sorry if you sent me something and it's not on today's list. I'm also sorry I'm too lazy to research who sent what.

    But before we get to those, I'd be remiss if I didn't point you in the direction of a website featuring the Tuvan punk (you read right) stylings of Albert Kuvezin and Yat-Kha. Head over there to download a few tracks, including one of the most unique "Love Will Tear Us Aparts" ever.

  • Crackout "Caught Out There" (Kelis cover)
    Definitely raised my eyebrows in that "really, someone like this covered something like that???" way when it hit my inbox.

  • The Entertainment System "Bigmouth Strikes Again" (Smiths cover)
    My poor friend Mikey is forever trying to find covers I've never heard and was very depressed after sending this to me that I already had this Texas band's cover ('cause I had found it here one day). Sorry, Mikey. I still love you.

  • PJ Pooterhoots "No Go [I Can't Go for That]" (Hall & Oates cover)
    You know, it's not bad. Except it gets the original stuck in my head and I hate the original—not necessarily based on the quality of the song itself but based on the bad memories it conjures up, which are shudder-inducing. What can I say? Age 9 was rough for me.

  • Now It's Overhead "Book of Love" (Magnetic Fields cover)
    I had a feeling that the Magnetic Fields post a few days ago would result in a slew of comments and e-mails chiding me for not picking the right covers and/or suggesting tracks I already had but just didn't feel like posting, but I took the risk anyhow 'cause I live on the edge, man. Consider this an acknowledgement that, yes, I know there are many more to be had. Speaking of, I forgot to mention this page full of Magnetic Fields covers as performed by The Wake in my last Mag Fields post.

  • Glitterbug "Like a Prayer" (Madonna cover)
    Surprisingly poptastic.

  • Johnny Domino "Forever in Blue Jeans" (Neil Diamond cover)
    One of my favorite Diamond tracks. Johnny also posts a lot of covers over on his blog. If you're not already reading it, you should be.

  • Oranger "Vegetables" (Beach Boys cover)
    Jeez, what was Van Dyke Parks on? I needs me some of that.

  • Rilo Kiley "Let My Love Open the Door" (Pete Townshend cover)
    Sing along with everyone's favorite band of somewhat depressing cutesters.

  • Eve Massacre "3L3CTR1C DR3AMS" (Human League cover)
    If this were a friend's 4-track project and I were super high, I'd probably like this a lot more.

  • Stanford Counterpoint "Don't Speak" (No Doubt cover)
    College acappella groups. Is there anything they can't geek up?

  • Mystery singer] "Ask Me" (Elvis Presley cover)
    So my stepdad tells me that a friend/colleague (whose identity I shall protect) of his has gotten really into karaoke, going to karaoke bars many times a week and competing in contests. I immediately insist that we have to go watch him sometime because I live for spectacles, especially karaoke spectacles. (So far no luck!) My stepdad then breaks the news that his friend/colleague has gone so far as to record his own CD. Giddy like a little girl, I beg him to get a hold of one for me. Again, no luck, but about a month later this arrived via e-mail from my stepdad's address. All I can say is I've certainly heard far worse karaoke regulars. That, of course, is not saying much.
  • Friday, August 19, 2005

    The day is beautiful and so are you.

    Recently the Arcade Fire (a band I otherwise quite enjoy) mutilated my favorite Magnetic Fields song, "Born on a Train," and lots of other blogs posted it and called it good. It freaked me out. They didn't even start at the beginning! And it sounded like a bad Tom Waits impression. Shudder. I'm not saying all of the covers here are great, by any means, but none of them (not even the ones by Peter Gabriel or Chrash!) make me as angry as the Arcade Fire cover, which, I'm sorry, is so bad I'm not even going to post for you to hear how bad it is.

    Aaaanyhooo, Stephin Merritt writes wonderfully deadpan songs about the true nature of human emotions and I love him. Though not quite as much as some.

  • !!! "Take Ecstasy With Me" (Magnetic Fields cover)
    Note the proper spelling of ecstasy. Ecstacy is one of my biggest pet peeves.

  • Divine Comedy "With Whom to Dance" (Magnetic Fields cover)
    The morose and acerbic covering the morose and acerbic always works for me.

  • Kelly Hogan "Papa Was a Rodeo" (Magnetic Fields cover)
    Viva la Chicago-based alt-country!

  • Evelyn "Smoke and Mirrors" (Magnetic Fields cover)
    Does anyone know anything about Evelyn? This was on a Teenbeet Records sampler from 1998, but the liner notes don't tell me much. Whatever. It's okay.

  • Superchunk "100,000 Fireflies" (Magnetic Fields cover)
    I like Superchunk.

  • Peter Gabriel "Book of Love" (Magnetic Fields cover)
    I've said it before, but I hate Peter Gabriel. Yes, even "In Your Eyes." Hate him. This is from the soundtrack of some movie that totally sucked.

  • Kings of Convenience "The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side" (Magnetic Fields cover)

  • Chrash "I Don't Want to Get Over You" (Magnetic Fields cover)
    Whoa. I don't know what's worse, their cover or the "astute" diatribe that precedes it.

  • Mary Lou Lord "I Don't Want to Get Over You" (Magnetic Fields cover)
    Here's a more palatable version.

    Edit: An anonyomus poster just reminded me of a link I totally meant to add to this post but forgot because work got busy. You can find a handful of Mag Fields covers at It's Meaningless.
  • Friday, August 12, 2005

    Have you never been mellow?

  • My Morning Jacket "Tyrone" (Erykah Badu cover)

  • Lori Carson "I Saw The Light" (Todd Rundgren cover)

  • The Early November "The Power of Love" (Huey Lewis and the News cover)
  • Tuesday, August 09, 2005

    Feel the heat with somebody.

    I wish I had more time/less of a life so I could point you in the direction of other MP3 blogs when they post covers, but I just don't. Although I'm making an exception today because I feel like it. Muppetpastor has a handful of "What the Fuck?" covers up right now, and you should head over there. David Byrne's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" is a favorite of mine.

    Friday, August 05, 2005

    I know the meaning of life—it doesn't help me a bit.

  • Sleeper "Other End of the Telescope" ('Til Tuesday cover)
    I loved 'Til Tuesday well beyond the one-hit-wonderness of "Voices Carry." And I'm not alone, Elvis Costello liked them enough to co-write this song with Aimee Mann and it would up on TT's third album well before it was on any of Costello's own. Another band I liked a lot nearly a decade ago was Sleeper, one of the lesser-known (Stateside, anyhow) of the whole 1990s Brit-pop revolution.

  • Paul Anka "The Love Cats" (Cure cover)
    Anka's whole Rock Swings album is pretty ace, but this is my favorite track by far.

  • Number One Cup "Here" (Pavement cover)
    This is my favorite Pavement song covered by Number One Cup, a Chicago outfit that I saw a handful of times at Lounge Ax before it closed. This wasn't because I any really affinity for them (which is not to say that I disliked them, I just liked a lot of similar bands more), but instead was because a cute label rep I made out with from time to time got me into their shows for free. Ah. I miss the days when I was a whore for free music.

  • Jason Falkner "A Song from Under the Floorboards" (Magazine cover)
    One of my favorite new-wave classics covered by one of my favorite people to hear doing covers. Nearly every line of this song could be a motto for my personality. Yay for songs that celebrate giving up!

  • Bodyjar "Your Racist Friend" (They Might be Giants cover)
    A while back, I mentioned I was on the prowl for the We Might be Giants Too discs and since have hunted them both down. Um. Yeah. Not the best stuff on earth. This cover by Aussie punkers is the best track on them and I already had acquired a copy of it ages ago. My wait was for naught.

  • Babybird "I can Sing a Rainbow" (written by Arthur Hamilton)
    File this under "I'm not quite sure I know why this exists." The colors in the lyrics are way off, and kid worth his or her salt could tell you that. How much orange do we need in a rainbow, Steve?

  • Clumsy Lovers "Open up Your Heart (And Let the Sunshine In)" (written by Carl Stuart Hamblen)
    And while we're on the topic of children's classics, here's one of many songs TV helped me learn. Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm couldn't talk, but they could sing this poppy little spiritual country ditty and become superstars, and as a child, I often would get this trapped in my head for weeks at a time. I like this version far better than Frente's, mostly because the voice of the chick from Frente gives me a toothache. Also, this puts a little country back in it and, regardless of how many twits say "I like all kinds of music ... except country," country rules.
  • Monday, August 01, 2005

    Are you ready for the time of your life?

    Sorry I'm so sporadic all the time. I was all stressed out the past few weeks with job-related woe, but now I'm back on track. I start a shiny new job in a few weeks, but until then, I suppose I'll have a little more time to post.

    Today's random smattering involves songs that—either the original or the cover—make me nostalgic. But I guess that could be the theme of all my posts.

  • Herman Dune "Smalltown Boy" (Bronski Beat cover)
    I'm a really big fan of Herman Dune, covers or no—although had it not been for his covers, I might not have learned about his original stuff.

  • Propaganda "Femme Fatale" (Velvet Underground cover)
    Ah, Propaganda! Could this remind me more of gay boys I lusted after in the '80s? Probably not.

  • Kirsty MacColl "You Just Haven't Earned it Yet Baby" (Smiths cover)
    Kirsty rules. I miss her. (I post lots of Smiths covers, don't I?)

  • The Detroit Cobras "Breakaway" (Irma Thomas cover, written by Jackie DeShannon)
    Six degrees of picking covers: Kirsty always reminds me of Tracey Ullman (because Tracey covered Kirsty's "They Don't Know," of course) and when I think of Tracey, I remember her version of "Breakaway," which was my first introduction to the songs of Irma Thomas. The Detroit Cobras LOVE Irma Thomas. I think they've covered nearly every Irma Thomas hit.

  • They Might Be Giants "Maybe I Know" (Lesley Gore cover)
    I've long been a fan of the 1960s girl-singer "I know my boyfriend is a jerk, but I just can't get enough of him" tracks. (See above as well.) This was always one of my favorites in the genre. In fact, nearly every song on Lesley Gore's greatest hits album is.

  • The Housemartins "Caravan of Love" (Isley Brothers cover)
    Dorky, fey, British? Delicious.

  • The Number 12 Looks Like You "My Sharona" (The Knack cover)
    Thanks to SoulSeek's "upload" feature, this wound up in my files when my pal Eric sent it my way. Yeah. It sounds like something he'd know about.

  • The Polecats "John, I'm Only Dancing" (David Bowie cover)
    I had some sort of attack last week in which I absolutely had to listen to the Polecats' "Make a Circuit With Me" about 10 times in a row. I'm not sure where that impulse came from, but I did it and it jostled my memory of this.

  • Rasputina "Bad Moon Rising" (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover)
    I used to make fun of Rasputina because I was mired in an anti-goth love of shoegaze and Brit-pop when I became aware of them, but in retrospect I don't hate them at all. This is pretty good.

  • St. Etienne "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" (Neil Young cover)
    I was in my sophomore year of college when St. Etienne's Foxbase Alpha came out and I remember heading out to Ozarka's in my winter coat to buy it. A few months later, I was listening to it and one of my annoying roommate's "boyfriends" overheard me playing it and said, "Man, that girl listens to weird shit." Heh. I think it was the most non-weird CD in my collection at the time.

    Heads-up/reminder: I've received a lot of comments and e-mails lately with requests and/or questions on how readers can "submit" a song to the site. Um. Unfortunately, that's not really how I work this thing. As always, if you have a song you want me to know about or hear, feel free to send it my way, but I make no guarantees it will end up here. Keep in mind that my cover sickness is full-blown, and in most cases, I probably already have it and/or know about it and/or have ALREADY POSTED IT. Heh. People alerting me to songs I've already posted are my favorite.