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.
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