Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Can you tell I'm slightly addicted?

Threadless has reprinted/added a handful of shirts and the sale's still going on, so...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thank you for the music.

I meant to post this entry on Thanksgiving, but I'm not surprised I'm two days behind. Simply put, much like Depeche Mode or Black Sabbath or David Bowie and the like, Abba simply has a million tribute albums dedicated to them and have influenced artists of nearly every genre. As I've stated before here and here, this could become an all-Abba cover blog and I could post multiple tracks a day for decades and still not repeat any tracks. Therefore, assembling the following list involved heading deep into my discs and giving up when I couldn't find what I wanted and trying to find them *cough* elsewhere. I've had Abba on the brain since catching their 30th anniversary documentary on Ovation the other day and realizing how fantastically talented they were, which, really, I knew long ago. And because I've been listing to Madonna's "Hung Up" on a loop for weeks, which I'm pretty sure now is more for the "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" sample than anything else.

Anyhow, I've finally managed to escape from days of foraging for Abba covers (falling into the A-Hole?) and I bring the following nuts and berries your way. Thanks to Abba for a cornucopia of hits and thanks to all of you for paying attention to my obsessions. I really appreciate the fact that I have an audience at all, let alone such a friendly, knowledgeable and supportive one. You guys rule.

  • Any Trouble "The Name of the Game" (Abba cover)
    RIYL: Live old-school Elvis Costello

  • Five Iron Frenzy "Mamma Mia" (Abba cover)
    RIYL: Reel Big Fish, Hot Topic, "Stacy's Mom"

  • The Nils Landgren Funk Unit "Voulez-Vous" (Abba cover)
    RIYL: Rufus, Swedish trombonists (Landgren performed on many of Abba's originals, "Voulez-Vous" included.)

  • Arno "Knowing Me, Knowing You" (Abba cover)
    RIYL: Paolo Conte, Tom Waits

  • Steven Wilson "The Day Before You Came" (Abba cover)
    RIYL: Porcupine Tree, Hermann Dune, the Travis version of "...Baby, One More Time"

  • Erasure "Take a Chance (On Me)" (Abba cover)
    RIYL: Um, Erasure and really lame, out of place "reggae" bridges

  • Eldissa "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" (Abba cover)
    RIYL: the Eldissa track I posted in the last entry

  • Redd Kross "Dancing Queen" (Abba cover)
    RIYL: The Runaways, '70s glam rock

  • Gabba "S.O.S." (Abba cover)
    RIYL: Beatallica-style hybrids, Ramones, .'s

  • Bananarama "Waterloo" (Abba cover)
    RIYL: Over-produced pap

  • Wing "I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do" (Abba cover)
    RIYL: Miss Piggy, B.J. Snowden, seizures

  • Information Society "Lay All Your Love on Me" (Abba cover)
    RIYL: Living in a Box, Sa-Fire

  • Queen of Japan "The Winner Takes it All" (Abba cover)
    RIYL: Stereo Total, Ladytron

  • Gore Gore Gays "Tal y Como Es (Does Your Mother Know?)" (Spanish Abba cover)
    RIYL: Billy Idol, Pansy Division, Doo-Wop (I'd be interested to find out from Spanish speakers if the Spanish lyrics even come close to the meaning of the original.)

  • Metalium "Thank you for the Music" (Abba cover)
    RIYL: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stryper
  • Wednesday, November 23, 2005

    This is what we'll do.

  • Eldissa "Go West" (Village People cover)
    Um. I'm not big on lounge-y Caribbean-sounding bossa-nova, really, but I am in-fucking-love with Eldissa's What a Difference, which is billed as "classic music from the disco era reworked as bossa nova and acoustic lounge." This one is the most insanely delectable to me. I'll include another in the Thanksgiving post I'm working on for tomorrow.
  • Tuesday, November 22, 2005

    Oh, no. Not me. I never lost control.

  • CJ Sleez "Cool Rider" (from Grease 2)
    This is sort of how I always imagined this song should sound. I totally believe that Canadian hard-rocker CJ Sleez really wants a cool rider. Michelle Pfeiffer? Not so much.

  • Des de Moor and Russell Churney "The Man Who Sold the World" (David Bowie cover)
    Thanks to one of my favorite SoulSeekers who recommended the Darkness and Disgrace album of Bowie covers to me. I'm a fan of acts that convincingly pull off cabaret covers without making them overwrought.

  • Suicide "96 Tears" (? and the Mysterians cover)
    The most recent (here in the States anyhow) issue of Wire magazine features a cover story on covers focusing on those that were somehow made greater or changed significantly by those doing the covering. Frankly, a lot of stuff mentioned seemed to be esoteric for esotericism's sake, but what can you expect from UK music critics? They know a lot of stuff and why not prove it from time to time. Anyhow, reading the article did serve to remind me of a few things I've been meaning to post (such as this track) and introduced me to a few things I'd not heard previously, so check it out if you can.

    Unrelated: The Threadless $10 Holiday Sale is still going on. They're out of a lot of shirts, but a few new shirts were printed this week.
  • Thursday, November 17, 2005

    If we could start anew, I wouldn't hesitate.

    I've been really disappointed lately with many of the hyped tribute/cover albums geared specifically toward the indie crowd. The soundtrack to the video game Stubbs the Zombie is no exception. Death Cab For Cutie's "Earth Angel" is like nails on a chalkboard to me, although I don't particularly have anything against DCFC most days. Ben Kweller's cutesy "Lollipop" makes me want to punch him. I'm not sure why. And don't get me started on the Dandy Warhols' godawful "All I Have to Do is Dream." Owning lots of guitar pedals is not reason enough to use them. Die, all of you! Heh. These violent reactions may be a result of the requisite emo/indie backlash we all get once in a while, or it may be that the songs actually suck. It's so hard for me to tell in these heady days of irony. Anyhow, here are a few that don't necessarily make me want to shove pencils in my ears. I guess.

  • Rogue Wave "Everyday" (Buddy Holly cover)
    Here's yet another song that uses the adjective everyday when it really needs to use adjective/noun combo every day. I know it's rock, people, but come on! The intro to this reminds me of "Welcome to the Cheap Seats" by the Wonderstuff. And Pat Spurgeon is a a great drummer (though I'm not sure this track is the best example of it since it's so subdued) and is a really nice guy. Here's a dark, blurry picture I took of him last weekend playing with Antenna:

  • Oranger "Mr. Sandman" (comp. Pat Ballard)
    Though my predilection toward acts heavily influenced by the Beach Boys has dwindled since the mid-'90s, I do tend to enjoy it when an Oranger track hits my iPod's shuffle once in a while.

  • Clem Snide "Tears on my Pillow" (Little Anthony & the Imperials cover)
    Hmm. Clem Snide has taken a step away from alt.country and immersed themselves in indie pop, eh? Good for them. I believe I once read a review in which the singer's voice was described as "Muppety." I like Muppets.
  • Tuesday, November 15, 2005

    It's that time again.

    Not music related except that all the cool kids at concerts wear 'em: The Threadless $10 Holiday Sale is upon us. I love dressing my friends in Threadless tees, so I just thought I'd mention it. I'll post actual songs later today.

    Monday, November 14, 2005

    I know what you think and what's in your mind.

    I meant to post these before I left for the Musical Family Tree Fest last week—which was awesome and nostalgia-riffic, by the way—but I couldn't remember which server they were on and I had mistyped the track names and whatnot. Heh. I suck. Anyhow, the following tracks are actually submissions sent to me via readers of the site who have their own bands/projects. This happens quite frequently, but I'm usually quite afraid of the results. Not so in this case.

  • Luxxury "I Know There's Something Going On" (Frida cover)
    This is my new favorite new-wavey cover, sent by Baron Von Luxxury. I sang this song at a karaoke bar a few months ago, and no one in the audience who wasn't part of my group seemed to have any idea what it was. But I'm a long-time Abba fan (Super Trouper was one of the first non-kiddie LPs I bought for myself as a child), and Frida rocks my world. And this version is the fucking jam. Seriously.

  • Mr. Hopkinson's Computer Sings "Where is My Mind" (Pixies cover)
    Mr. Hopkinson, how I love you. You always comment and teach me about new things. And now that I know that in performances "you" are just a TV on a stick, I'm even more happy to have you around.
  • Saturday, November 05, 2005

    Listen, listen, she's calling to you...

    I always thought the "Feed the Birds (Tuppence a Bag)" snowglobe scene of Mary Poppins seemed really dark and out of place in the film. I'm glad to hear that some people decide to cover it at all and, especially, that it retains both its whimsy and its creepiness when they do.

    Friday, November 04, 2005

    Tell me how long before the right one.

    Too busy to comment, really, but I genuinely like both of these.

  • Saeta "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me" (Smiths cover)

  • Popguns "Can't Ignore the Train" (10,000 Maniacs cover)
  • Thursday, November 03, 2005

    Nothing really matters, anyone can see.

    Man, I've been wanting to post for the past few days and time just kept on slipping slipping slipping into the future. And then earlier today, Blogger was freaking out on me. Anyhoooo...

    First, I wanted to say that I'm glad at least a few of you enjoyed the Rose Murphy tracks from the previous entry and I wanted to give you all a non-cover of hers to enjoy: "Busy Line". It's my favorite.

  • TRS-80 "Everyday is Halloween" (Ministry cover)
    I meant to post this on Halloween, of course. My favorite Ministry story is from my senior year of high school. One day my mom came home from a trip to Southlake Mall and told me she had a surprise for me and handed me a TicketMaster envelope. Within were two tickets to the Ministry/KMFDM show that was to take place at the holiday Star Plaza—a venue that usually featured Englebert Humperdinck and Jeff Foxworthy, but that would from time to time have some more modern acts. But even those modern acts were slightly more mainstream. That this concert, replete with a cage built around the stage that people were climbing and stage diving from, despite threats not to do so, was at this venue was weird. Weirder still was the fact that my mother was aware of the names of any industrial/synth bands I liked, let alone that she would spontaneously buy tickets for me. I remember there were two little 10-year-old girls behind us who were so out of place and clamoring for this track, which they never played because they were too awesome to please the people who only knew that song. Don't get me wrong, I did relate to the song and dance to it at Jubilation, Off the Alley or Medusa's, but it annoyed me that it became so popular. It also annoyed me that "everyday" was one word instead of two, as it's not being used as an adjective, but I digress.

    Hmm. Since I'm in a rambling mood and most people don't read what I write anyhow, I will now list all of the shows I remember seeing at the Holiday Star Plaza:

    Beatlemania, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown!, Merle Haggard (during the intermission of which an 8-year-old Liza got to see an old woman pass out and vomit all over herself), the Pointer Sisters (my mom won tickets or something and I fell asleep), New Edition (first concert I attended without a parent in the audience with me), Poison (after which my friends and I got threatened by stoners at Arby's), Duran Duran (the 1989 incarnation), Ministry/KMFDM. I think that's it.

  • Ebn Ozn "Rockin' Robin" (comp. Jimmy Thomas)
    I remember kind of liking Ebn Ozn's one hit, "A E I O U and Sometimes Y" (and bought the LP it's on for 49 cents last week), but this is torture. The kind of torture that amuses me, of course.

  • Lush "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep" (Middle of the Road cover)
    While we're on the subject of iffy cover songs referencing birds, may I present this, um, gem. Seriously, I can't tell what I think of this song. I was completely unfamiliar with the original and the other subsequent covers of it, and I'm surprised at how ridiculous songs can be and yet still hit the charts. This track, as well as those directly below, come from the 1990 album Alvin Lives In Leeds: Anti Poll Tax Trax, and I have to say my opinion of all of them tends to sway depending on my varying levels of inebriation. But I guess that would be true of every track I post.

  • Cud "Bohemian Rhapsody" (Queen cover)
    Hey, experts: This is kinda grebo, right? At first it annoyed me, but now it reminds me of Maxi Geil! & Playcolt and other arty bands, and that turns me on a little bit.

  • 14 Iced Bears "Summer Nights" (From Grease)
    Better than the version I posted the other day at least. If apathetic shoegazey psychedelic Britpop boys whining is your thing, anyhow.

    Okay, I gotta go listen to the new K-Fed jam again. Now that's good music!!!