Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Calling all dandy highwaymen!

The other day, I accidentally stumbled on a web site designed to carefully guide you through the difficult task of selecting which era-specific Adam Ant costume best suits you along with guidelines on what is needed to create each look. May I just say how awesome that is? It inspired me to do an artist-specific post because Adam Ant albums see more time on my turntable than any others.

  • OK Go "Ant Music" (Adam and the Ants cover)
  • Hyper "Ant Music" (Adam and the Ants cover)

  • Epoxies "Beat My Guest" (Adam and the Ants cover)

  • Bombay Black "Desperate But Not Serious" (Adam and the Ants cover)

  • Family of Hindus "Lady" (Adam and the Ants cover)

  • Hipster Daddy-O "Goody Two Shoes" (Adam and the Ants cover)
  • Unwritten Law "Goody Two Shoes" (Adam and the Ants cover)

  • Nine Inch Nails "Physical (You're So)" (Adam and the Ants cover)

  • Rocket From the Crypt "Press Darlings" (Adam and the Ants cover)

  • Frigid Vinegar "Prince Charming" (Adam and the Ants cover)
  • XXL (Xiu Xiu/Larsen) "Prince Charming" (Adam and the Ants cover)

  • Society Burning "Stand and Deliver" (Adam and the Ants cover)
  • Sugar Ray "Stand and Deliver" (Adam and the Ants cover)

  • Fangoria feat. Terry IV "Viva el Rock" (Adam and the Ants cover, in Spanish)

  • Coachwhips "Whip in My Valise" (Adam and the Ants cover)
  • Thursday, October 26, 2006

    I won't have to cry no more.

  • Bombones "Stroke of Genius" (Freelance Hellraiser cover, by way of Christina Aguilera and the Strokes)
    I believe I jokingly once told a friend back in the initial heyday of mash-ups that I wanted to start a mash-up cover band. You can imagine how excited I was to discover this existed.

  • Budget Girls "Glad All Over" (The Dave Clark Five cover)
    In my grand tradition of being very mildly acquainted with people who start bands that achieve slight success, I once had friends who were friends of one or both of the Budget Girls during their stint living in Bloomington, IN. I believe Christen and I might have spoken a sentence or two to one another at some point. I had one of their 7-inches, but can't find it anywhere now. Hearing this reminds me of fun, drunken times.

  • Camera Obscura "Modern Girl" (Sheena Easton cover)
    I really like Camera Obscura, but even if I'd never heard of them, I have to admit they would have had me at "Sheena Easton cover."

  • Cash Nexus "Number Three" (They Might Be Giants cover)
    Lyrics have been altered (a little iffily, but whatever, I find self-effacement charming) to indicate the "theft" of the original.

  • The Editors "Orange Crush" (REM cover)
    Hmmm. Yep. It sounds like the Editors covering REM, and that's cool with me.

  • The Captain Howdy "Always Something There to Remind Me" (comp. Bacharach/David)
    So I'm listening to this and thinking, "This guy sounds just like Penn Jillette." And, lo and behold, it is. After catching his totally obnoxious appearance a while back on Celebrity Poker Showdown, I vowed to do my best to avoid any project with which he's involved. But if Kramer's producing and the result is a completely reworked classic, I suppose I'm willing to make an exception.

  • Thea Gilmore "Ever Fallen in Love" (Buzzcocks cover)
    The best cover of this I've heard in ages, and the prettiest as well.

  • Stereo Total "Get Down Tonight" (KC & the Sunshine Band cover)
    When Stereo Total covers anything, I listen. Often.

  • Poster Children "(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thing" (Heaven 17 cover)
    Oh, Poster Children! I was mildly obsessed with them in the mid-'90s, and recently my love for Heaven 17 has been revived thanks to the purchase of a few 49-cent used LPs. Man, my editorial today is boring as hell. Or is it... ?

  • Witchy Poo "Moonshadow" (Cat Stevens cover)
    Sometimes I post things not only because they're great or strange (this is somewhere between the two, very Waitsian), but also because I 've a desperate need to force people to read about my geeky past. That's what's happening here, people:

    In 5th-grade music class at my NW Indiana Catholic grade school, we generally sang songs about God, America or the one about the mule named Sal and barges and bales. But every so often, Mr. Borgetti, our fey, young, Hawaiian-shirt-clad instructor would bring in "popular," "modern" songs. (Read: Songs that were popular within a decade or two before, but that we'd at least heard on the radio at some point.) This—along with another Stevens classic, "Morning Has Broken"—was one of said hits. We weren't as excited about the Stevens songs as we were about "Arthur's Theme," of course, because that song was only a year old. And fantastic. Seriously, when Peter Allen, Burt Bacharach, Christopher Cross AND Carole Bayer Sager get together to pen a theme, you'd better believe it will kick ass—but I digress.

    So, there we were singing "Moonshadow" in class on "music days." (I think we only had music class once or twice a week.) Later, it was determined that it would be one of the songs we'd be singing at some evening chorus extravaganza. But there were problems. First, apparently there was no way a group of priests, nuns and Catholic parents paying for private school were going to accept a 5th-grade (or any grade, I suppose) class singing the line: "And will you stay the night." Therefore the line was changed to: "And will it be all right?" Okay, whatever. We didn't want to go to hell or anything.

    The second problem was one that was never adequately explained to us, but we had no choice but to go along: For some odd reason, Mr. Borgetti did not feel comfortable with the class singing said line the way it is in the song. In the song, "And are you gonna stay the night"—or in our case, "And will it be all right"—was more like: "And are you gonna stay the ni-i-i-i-ght." We were repeatedly warned not to sing the "i-i-i" version.

    Of course, my best friend Julie (we're still friends) was quite the class clown and troublemaker and devised the dastardly plan that, during our big performance, we would INDEED sing the "i-i-i" part. Several times during rehearsals she'd gather everyone together and remind us to do it. And again right before the show. It was a scandalous idea, and we were all on board. Until we were actually on stage. As it turns out, no one but Julie truly had the guts to buck the system and she loudly sang the "i-i-i" part while the rest of us sang the blander version. Talk about being totally lame and bad-ass at the same time! She was furious at us and so was Mr. Borgetti. He attempted a witch hunt to find the "i-i-i" culprit, but none of us would rat Julie out. She'd have killed us.

    That's the one great thing about Catholicism: You can lie your ass off and simply confess later and be free of sin. It almost makes me miss it. Almost.
  • Friday, October 20, 2006

    No one's gonna drag you up to get into the light where you belong. (Except dorky MP3 bloggers, of course.)

    I hope this "post a whole bunch of tracks approximately once a week" thing isn't too annoying for you. It seems to be the pattern that's suiting me best lately.

  • Tralala "Never Understand" (The Jesus and Mary Chain cover)
    I've been revisiting my 1990s obsession with shoegaze lately, so I figured I'd hunt out a few of the acts who've covered some of my fave shogazers. [See next three songs as well.]

  • Mirafiori "No Te Necesito (I Don't Need You)" (My Bloody Valentine cover in Spanish)

  • Deerhoof "Lose My Breath" (My Bloody Valentine cover)

  • Ochiqueochenta "Little Trouble Girl" (Sonic Youth cover, partially in Spanish)

  • Chugga Chugga "The Sign" (Ace of Base cover)
    I find this adorably charming and hope some of you do too, but don't get too attached as this fresh-out-of-high-school collaboration is now defunct.

  • Lena Horne and Gabor Szabo "Rocky Raccoon" (Beatles cover)
    I was shopping at Hi-Fi Records a few weeks ago and they were playing this and I was immediately hooked.

  • Jon Auer "Beautiful Stranger" (Madonna cover)
    I'd almost forgotten about the original. This version annoys me far less.

  • Magnolia Electric Co. "Werewolves of London" (Warren Zevon cover)
    These guys are pretty popular nowadays, it seems. Good for them, I say, as they are from my home away from home, Bloomington, IN and whenever they're in Memphis they stay with my best friend Ryan. They're playing in Chicago tonight at the Abbey Pub, although I won't be seeing them because I'm going to the Dresden Dolls show. But you should go. Really.

  • Zombina and the Skeletones "Where is My Mind?" (Pixies cover)
    Am I the only person in the world who finds the sound of babies laughing and crying super creepy? Apparently not.

  • Unknown Japanese Artist "That's Entertainment" (The Jam cover)
    This is on a '97 Jam tribute album called English Rose, but I've been unable to find any sites that translate the artist's name into English. Edit: Reader Denis has translated the artist as Hachima Yoshihiro, drummer for Dekishiido Za Emonzu. Thanks!

  • Kiki and Herb "Why" (Annie Lennox cover)
    I saw a free screening of John Cameron Mitchell's Shortbus the other day and loved it. Justin Bond of Kiki and Herb is in it, fabulous as ever. It reminded me that I've never posted a K&H track here. Vive le catty gay drag cabaret!
  • Thursday, October 12, 2006

    All the dreams that we were building... we never fulfilled them.

    Sorry so long between posts. I had jury duty last week and my friend visited over the weekend and I all but forgot my position as an Internet superstar. Heh.

    Aaaanyhow, all of today's selections came to me courtesy of my free eMusic.com trial. eMusic truly is a treasure trove of independent tribute albums and individual covers. That you can search by track titles helps a lot. I spared you the a capella results. Because I care.

  • Dipstick vs. Barbara Manning "These Days" (Nico cover, comp. Jackson Browne—or maybe it's a cover of Browne's own version, who knows?)
    About a decade ago I was temporarily obsessed with SF Seals and Barbara Manning. I was happy to stumble on this.

  • Gémeas "Lessons in Love" (Level 42 cover)
    Not the only cover on their Sigo A Viagem album, but the best.

  • Jacqui Naylor "Lola" (Kinks cover)
    Lately I've been pleasantly surprised by covers of which I thought I never needed to hear another version again. That is the case here as well.

  • Lisa Loeb "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" (Cher cover)
    I know there are people out there who worship Lisa Loeb, but more often than not I'm left with the overwhelming feeling of "meh" upon hearing her songs. This song elicits the same feeling, but I'm guessing some readers might be interested.

  • Oizone "Baby Can I Hold You" (Tracy Chapman cover)
    Lately covers of this Tracy Chapman tearjerker have been surfacing left and right. This oi version probably strays from the somber tone of the original the most, but it's intriguing in that "THEY covered THIS???" way.

  • O.V.N.I. "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" (Abba cover)
    I kind of like the psych trance intro to this better than Madonna's sample in "Hung Up."

  • St. Fiachra's Junior School Choir "Sweetest Thing" (U2 cover)
    This track is from Even Better Than the Real Thing Vol. 3, which unlike its predecessors is dedicated solely to U2. I've never been a huge U2 fan (especially post-The Unforgettable Fire), but I like children's choirs.

  • Sunnysmack "Tom Courtenay" (Yo La Tengo cover)
    Hmmmm. I can't decide how I feel about this.

  • The Fabulous Rudies "99 Luft Ballons" (Nena cover)
    You really can't swing your arms in your favorite P2P program without hitting a California ska cover of this. But one in the original German? Now that's a feat.

  • The Red Paintings "Mad World" (Tears for Fears cover)
    It's so funny to me that covers of this are everywhere now that Donnie Darko is a cult hit. I swear that before that movie practically no one I know was aware of any TFF songs beyond "Shout" and "Everybody Wants to Rule the World." But "Mad World" is a great song, so I guess I shouldn't begrudge anyone the chance to cover it, however predictable I find it. This band is opening for the Dresden Dolls show I'm going to next week. I must admit I'm intrigued.

  • Trash Pour 4 "Take on Me" (A-ha cover)
    I know I should be tired of lounge acts covering ubiquitous hits, but I'm not if they're done well.

  • Undermine X "Maps" (Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover)
    I must be in a good mood today because the idea of this garage metal cover pleases me.

  • Wanda Jackson "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under" (Shania Twain cover)
    There is a bit of sacrilege in the fact that Wanda is covering Shania and not the other way around, but whatever. I don't hate Shania and I LOVE Wanda, so I'll take whatever she gives.