Sunday, April 30, 2006

I have my books and my poetry to protect me.

  • Magnet with Gemma Hayes "Lay Lady Lay" (Bob Dylan cover)

  • The Church "I am a Rock" (Simon and Garfunkel cover)

  • The Doleful Lions "There's no Other (Like my Baby)" (Crystals cover)

  • Equipe 84 "Bang Bang" (in Italian, comp. Sonny Bono)
  • Tuesday, April 25, 2006

    Relax and float downstream.

    My best pal Ryan told me about this last week or so, and listening to the new Musical Family Tree podcast just now, I was reminded of this downloadable tribute to the Beatles Revolver by Hideki. It's awesome.

    Freeze frame, screen kiss, hot heads, lights and power.

    Sometimes you just have to post when the mood strikes, even if that mood hits when you're nowhere near your vast catalog of covers. Luckily, I have a few work-accessible tracks sent in by readers that are just waiting for attention.

  • Rev. Tom Frost "You Belong to Me" (comp. Chilton Price)
    Somebody over at Closed for Private Party Records [sorry, I deleted the e-mail and lost your name!] sent me a Zip file of the new Rev. Tom Frost album, which I truly love and which you can purchase here. Like a Frencher Tom Waits. Raunchy and bluesy and magnifique.

  • My Summer as a Salvation Soldier "Hey Ya" (Outkast cover)
    Skotta sent along this track by a Reykjavikian singer-songwriter whose Americanized name would be something like Thorir Georg Jonsson and who recently played SXSW. Very nice. Hey ya, indeed, to our Icelandic brethren!

  • Spielerfrau "She's in Parties" (Bauhaus cover)
    Again, I don't remember who sent this along, but here it is. Or maybe I got it from the band's web site, from whence it's a free web-only download. It's all a blur.
  • Tuesday, April 18, 2006

    I cry, I pray, and I beg.

  • Attaque 77 "Un Poco de Respeto (A Little Respect)" (Erasure cover)
    I'm all about the Argentines lately, huh? I was watching the GLAAD awards the other day on LOGO and remembering how awesome Erasure could be. While their bigger hits, such as this and "Chains of Love" are not quite my favorites, it's easier to find covers of them on a moment's notice. I only saw Erasure in concert once, opening for Duran Duran on their 1987 Strange Behaviour tour. It was the week after my 15th birthday at the long-gone Poplar Creek Music Theatre and I went with my pal Freya and her dad. I was only vaguely aware of Erasure at the time, having of course read about them via my subscription to Star Hits. Watching them flailing around in tutus in the Chicago suburbs was disconcerting... but completely awesome. I bought Wonderland on cassette shortly thereafter and have been a fan since, although I must admit I haven't kept up with their releases in the past decade or so. If anyone knows of any awesome covers of "Oh, L'Amour," do let me know. I have a few, but none really worth mentioning.

  • Les Muppets "C'est Bizarre (For What It's Worth)" (French Buffalo Springfield cover)
    Oh, French Muppets singing about the Kent State murders! [Edit: Got my facts a bit wrong on this one, but it was a strangely prophetic about many things, no?] Bring it on! (To be fair, I haven't bothered to suss out this French translation enough to see if the message of the English version remains intact, but c'est bizarre either way, n'est-ce pas?

  • Michael Gum "Lovefool" (Cardigans cover)
    Aw. Sweet, sweet, cover-lovin' Michael Gum. You should be checking his LJ regularly, because he does a good job. I worked music retail when this song was all the rage and grew to loathe it with red-hot intensity, but this version makes me smile. A great reminder why I do the whole blog thing, to be sure.
  • Monday, April 17, 2006

    If life's for livin', what's livin' for?

    I know a lot of you Yo La Tengo/WFMU fans probably already have bootlegs of the YLT/WFMU cover request sessions, but even so, to better your karma, you might want to buy the compilation they've recently put out: Yo La Tengo is Murdering the Classics.

    Everybody's looking for a new sensation.

    As I've stated before*, I believe there are approximately 17 million Depeche Mode tributes out there, and maybe two of them are worth purchasing. I recently got a hold of the Spanish tribute Devocion Por Las Masas and was mostly underwhelmed by the bulk of rote acoustic covers by male artists or bands with male lead singers. Yet a few of the female-sung tracks (the latter two surprisingly electronic) stood out as mildly intriguing. Here they are:

  • Viena #1 "Sometimes" (Depeche Mode cover)
  • Dirty Princess "Pleasure, Little Treasure" (Depeche Mode cover)
  • Luxury "Shake the Disease" (Depeche Mode cover)

    *What's up with Haloscan not giving an accurate comment count on older entries, BTW?
  • Friday, April 14, 2006

    Before you know it you'll be on your knees.

  • The Black Keys "She Said, She Said" (Beatles cover)
    I was inexplicably late to hop on the Black Keys train, but now I'm chugging right along.

  • Giganti "Corri Uomo Corri (Space Oddity)" (Italian David Bowie cover)
    Italian prog-garage from the '70s? Where do I sign up?

  • Bad Astronaut "Solar Sister" (Posies cover)
    I'm in the mood for a Posies revival here in my apartment.

  • Guadalupe "Wonderwall" (Oasis cover)
    I'm getting a bit obsessed with non-English speakers singing songs phonetically. Of course, I'm not 100% certain that that's what's happening here, but that first verse was a bit mangled, no? It makes me want to cover the German version of "99 Luftballons," to which I made up my own phonetic version when I was 12. Sigh. Why am I not in a band? Or know how to use any recording equipment?

  • Sun City Girls "Journey to the Center of the Mind" (Amboy Dukes cover)
    How is it possible that I just learned that Ted Nugent was in the Amboy Dukes? Obviously, I'd have never expected him to be involved with such a drug-friendly song, but then again, anti-drug types are pretty clueless about a lot of drug references, I suppose.

  • The Virginia Hullabahoos "Easy Lover" (Phil Collins/Philip Bailey cover)
    It's been a while since I posting anything by an acappella group, so I chose to share this with you. Because "Easy Lover" is the jam!

  • Liza Minnelli "Use Me" (Bill Withers cover)
    The recent release of Liza with a Z on DVD and CD has revitalized my love for my namesake. Holy crap, could that gal entertain! That special was filmed a month before I was born and feels more modern and vital than any performance I've ever seen on TV. And she was only 26, and so damned secure in her sexuality and womanhood. I wish there were 26-year-old female performers nowadays who weren't so fucking stunted by our modern youth culture that they keep acting cutesy or faux-tormented. There is a dearth of female singers who get on stage and own every fucking thing they're doing.
  • Wednesday, April 12, 2006

    Every day is like survival.

  • Pauline Easy "Billie Jean" (Michael Jackson cover)
    I wracked my brain for a clever pun using "uke" instead of "you" for this ukelele gem. I thought of a million puns but none of them were clever. I surrender.

  • Baxendale "Come Home with Me Baby" (Dead or Alive cover)
    I may be the only person willing to admit this, but I have a thing for Dead or Alive. Not so much the Stock Aitken Waterman-produced stuff, but the album Nude. It's been nearly 20 years since it cam out, and I still pop it on whenever I need high-energy housecleaning music.

  • Ghost Mice "Sing Out" (Cat Stevens cover)
    This was a serendipitous find. I stumbled on it on a general Cat Stevens cover hunt and thought it was really fun. Then I learned that the band is on Bloomington's (Indiana) Plan-It-X records and label head Chris Johnston is in it. I believe Chris was also in the long-defunct Ted Dancin' Machine with my pal Marty (aka my best friend Ryan's younger brother). Chris was also in Operation: Cliff Clavin, whose cover of Liz Phair's "Fuck and Run" I posted ages ago. I was never quite cool (read: young or vegan) enough to click with most of the Bloomington punk go-getters, but I respect the hell out of them.

  • Christian Kjellvander & Lise Westsynthius "Hand in Glove" (Smiths cover)
    Christian Kjellvander has a track (not this one) on a various-artists compilation I recently downloaded entitled Cowboys in Scandinavia. (Who knew? How could I not be intrigued?) I love his voice. Reminds me of a countrier Mark Lanegan. And the 12 Monkeys-sounding accordion creeps me out in the best way.

  • Kevin Johansen "Karma Chameleon" (Culture Club cover)
    My new cover-lovin' Argentine Internet pal LadyHype uploaded this to me and I approve! Johansen was born in Alaska and raised in Argentina, moved to New York for a while and headed back to Argentina. I respect that sort of globe-trotting. And his Jarvis Cockery voice.

  • Knarf Rellöm "I Wish I Was Him" (Noise Addict—FYI that's Ben Lee's old band—cover)
    Ten bucks says that umlaut will only be an umlaut on a few people's browsers, but whatever. I know very little about Knarf Rellöm, except that they appear to be a wacky German band. I'd almost forgotten this song existed, and I thank them for the reminder. They also have a song about writing a letter to Mark E. Smith.

  • Crüxshadows "Here Comes the Rain Again" (Eurythmics cover)
    I can't just post one band with an umlaut in their name, can I? I figured at least one should be metal or goth. This is the latter.
  • Tuesday, April 04, 2006

    We hear the playback and it seems so long ago.

    The latin CD Jazz and '80s might not be the easiest thing to get a hold of at your local record shop, but eBay seems to have quite a few. Check out these tracks to see if these smooth reworkings are up your alley:

  • Dinah Eastwood "Hungry Like the Wolf" (Duran Duran cover)
  • Jamie Lancaster "Boys Don't Cry" (Cure cover)
  • Sawa Kobayashi "Patience" (Guns N' Roses cover)

    And while I'm on a hard-to-find foreign '80s comp kick, here are a few non-jazz tracks from the Japanese CD, Fine Time: A Tribute to New Wave, Vol. 1:

  • Convex Level "Video Killed the Radio Star" (Buggles cover)
  • Yasuyuki Okamura "Burning Down the House" (Talking Heads cover)
  • Polysics "Memorabilia" (Soft Cell cover)