Saturday, March 31, 2007

They just don't seem to sail you off my mind.

I'm suddenly strangely addicted to the avant-garde reworkings of French Catalan composer Pascal Comelade, as well as his original work. I'm kind of a sucker for toy instruments and carnivalesque arrangements, and in this rare case, I enjoy when a cover sounds familiar but you can't readily place it. If you're looking for note-for-note covers, don't download these. If you, like me, have fantasies about opening a coffee shop just so you can play unique rock-inspired jazz in the background, go for it.

Update: If the tracks aren't downloading, refresh and try again.

  • Pascal Comelade "Brand New Cadillac" (Vince Taylor/The Clash cover)

  • Pascal Comelade "Honky Tonk Women" (Rolling Stones cover)

  • Pascal Comelade "Paint it Black" (Rolling Stones cover)

  • Pascal Comelade "Put a Straw Under Baby" (Brian Eno cover)

  • Pascal Comelade "The Sad Skinhead" (Faust cover)

  • Pascal Comelade and Richard Pinhas "Here come the Warm Jets" (Brian Eno cover)

  • Pascal Comelade and Robert Wyatt "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" (Bob Dylan cover)
  • Friday, March 30, 2007

    Remember that special night when all of the stars were shining bright?

    Just a quick entry to direct you to what is currently my favorite downloadable-on-MySpace cover, Janet Jackson's "Let's Wait A While" by Dublin band the Future Kings of Spain. The original holds a special place in my heart because I danced to it with a dorky boy I liked at a school dance my freshman year of high school and he kissed me. Of course, all of my giddy glee about it was ruined months later (after he and I had made out) and he started dating one of my best friends. Of course, he had been dating another of my best friends before he and I hooked up, so I guess what goes around comes around. In retrospect it all seems ridiculous that any of us would have ever liked him at all in the first place. That he's since become a cop does not help. (Note to any cop who might be reading: I'm sure you're one of the cool ones.)

    As for the Future Kings of Spain, I'm digging them. I learned of them via another cover they did, a unique J. Mascis-esque version of Todd Rundgren's "Love of the Common Man," which I'll likely post in my next entry later today or tomorrow.

    Tuesday, March 27, 2007

    Years ago I was an angry young man. I'd pretend that I was a billboard.

  • Keren Ann "Big Yellow Taxi" (Joni Mitchell cover)

  • Caetano Veloso "(Nothing but) Flowers" (Talking Heads cover)
  • Maybe tomorrow. Maybe someday.

    Here's a random-as-ever post. Sorry for the gap between posts, but it's difficult to be inspired to post here when I'm emotionally and financially down and out concerning the fact that I've been looking for work for nearly 8 months to no avail. I'd heard from friends in the past few years how god-awful the job market is now, and now I'm soaking in it. I'm hoping to get over the feeling that I should abandon this blog altogether until I'm gainfully employed, but I must admit it's a thought that occurs to me regularly. When I can barely pay my bills, it seems silly to pay for web hosting, you know?

    Heh. I'll try to be less depressing next time.

  • The Wonderstuff "That's Entertainment" (The Jam cover)

  • Royal City "Is this It" (The Strokes cover)

  • The Pernice Brothers "Talk of the Town" (The Pretenders cover)

  • The Mr. T Experience "Crash" (The Primitives cover)

  • Guild of Ages "Hungry Like the Wolf" (Duran Duran cover)

  • Frenzal Rhomb "We Built This City" (Starship cover)

  • The Fiery Furnaces "Winter" (The Fall cover)

  • Eva Luna "Little Lies" (Fleetwood Mac cover)

  • Colony 5 "The Great Commandment" (Camouflage cover)
  • Monday, March 12, 2007

    Physics makes us all its bitches.

    Of Montreal cover Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy," as it is now a requirement for all hipster indie acts to do so:

    I've long been aware of Of Montreal and enjoyed their albums well enough, but I was nowhere near prepared for the purity of the love I have for the deliciously poppy, new-wavey, angry-and-depressed-but-ultimately-uplifting new album, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? I can't remember the last time I repeatedly listened to an album over and over—as well proved, I'm certain, by my profile—to this degree. I'm thinking it was either Super Trouper, Beauty and the Beat or Louder than Bombs. I can't even pick a favorite track. "Suffer for Fashion"? "She's a Rejecter"? "Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse"? "A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger"? I'm torn. Then I go to YouTube and watch a slew of their live performances and fall deeper into the abyss of OM obsession. Of course, my new lust for OM has hit its apex three days before they play a sold-out show about a mile from where I live. Isn't that always the way?

  • Of Montreal "Spanish Dance Troupe" (Gorky's Zygotic Mynci cover)
  • Sunday, March 11, 2007

    I could swear by your expression that the pain down in your soul was the same as the one down in mine.

  • Catherine Wheel "Willing to Wait" (Sebadoh cover)
    Reader Zack asked me if I had this and I tried to send it his way, but my e-mail bounced back because it his e-mail host deemed the file too large. That's cool, though, as now we all can revel in this rarity.

  • Lounge-O-Leers "Flagpole Sitta" (Harvey Danger cover)
    I kind of used to hate the original version of this song, but then it became the theme song of Peep Show, one of my favorite BBC comedies, and it grew on me.

  • Ben O'Sullivan "Freelove Freeway" (Ricky Gervais as David Brent cover)
    Speaking of my favorite BBC comedies, whenever I need a good laugh, I can always count on the training episode of The Office. (Series One, Episode Four). Gareth and Tim's accompaniment to David Brent's rocking tune never fails to amuse. And I love that people are covering it. It's better than most songs of that ilk that actually get airplay.

  • Kevin Rowland "Thunder Road" (Bruce Springsteen cover)
    I'm still on my BBC comedy-related kick. This track by the former Dexy's Midgnight Runners' front man reminds me of Brian's hilarious Dexy's flashback on Spaced. I can't believe how long we in the States have to wait (end of April!) for the release of Hot Fuzz. Thankfully, I live in a major city and probably won't have to wait as long as those who don't.

  • Bonnie Pink "Origin of Love" (from Hedwig and the Angry Inch, comp. Stephen Trask)
    There are few things on this earth as pure as my love for Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I remember seeing a local live production and thinking, "Holy shit. I think this play was written explicitly so I could sit in the audience and get the jokes no one else seems to be laughing at." When I heard the creator, John Cameron Mitchell, was making it into a movie as well, I feared the worst. How could the humor and passion of the live play translate adequately to the screen? Of course, his genius made it work and now everyone can bask in its glow. I overheard an acquaintance once say he didn't like Hedwig at all, and I knew not to waste my time getting to know him. I like having my own pop culture touchstones and knowing that the people I meet who don't "get" them need to just leave me alone. Therefore, anyone who covers Hedwig songs is automatically OK in my book, especially if they're cute and Japanese.

  • Kevin Cavanaugh "William, It Was Really Nothing" (The Smiths cover)
    Speaking of pop-culture touchstones, I'm often reminded of one of my favorite things my best pal Lisa said to me early in our friendship. She was discussing a date she'd had and the guy mentioned hating the Smiths. She said to me, "You know, I can never fully trust someone who never had a Smiths phase." I wholeheartedly agreed and have since made it one of my many mottos. Aaaanyhow, this Kevin Cavanaugh character was actually on the god-awful America's Got Talent show a while back with his loungey '60s throwback act Blue Velvet. Seriously, why would anyone let Hasselhoff—aka the man who actually cried when Taylor Hicks won Idol and sang that hideous song they made him sing—judge a talent competition? And, yeah, maybe we don't need more throwback lounge covers, but when they're as earnest and orchestral as this and are versions of one my favorite Smiths songs, I say we give them a shot.

  • Kill Hannah "Under the Milky Way" (The Church cover)
    Like Skid Row, this is one of the only bands I've seen many times (thanks to the fact that they opened for bands I liked) that I had no real desire to see. And it's not that I hated local darlings, Kill Hannah, or anything. Every time I saw them I'd always think to myself, "You know, if this group got together when I was about 17, I'd probably have really gotten into them." It's hard to believe they've been around since 1995 and still going strong, mostly because it makes me feel even older than I did in 1995 when I thought I was too old to enjoy them. Funny, that.

  • Liberator "Does Your Mother Know" (Abba cover)
    I have to be in a really specific mood for third-wave ska,and today I am. Of course, it also helps when the ska band is Swedish and the band they're covering is Swedish. May my love of nearly all things Scandinavian never end!

  • 'N Sync "More Than a Feeling" (Boston cover)
    I listen to a lot of Boston, Asia, REO Speedwagon, ELO and the like when I'm doing dishes and whatnot, which made me think, "What Boston covers happen to be on my hard drive right now?" Well, here's the sad answer. Not that I have any real issues with 'N Sync. In fact, I like a lot of their songs and have a Joey Fatone bobblehead that resides atop my TV. But a big fan of most a capella-flavored tracks, I'm not.

  • Tom Racer "If You Leave" (OMD cover)
    When you're as bored and nostalgia-obsessed as I tend to be (seriously, I'm in the process of scanning and uploading tons of old concert tickets and high school- and college-era pictures, much to the detriment of a normal sleep schedule), often the most seemingly random thoughts pop into your head on a regular basis. This track comes courtesy of a thought I had earlier when I remembered I had a box of Molly Ringwald-esque red hair dye in my bathroom aching to be used, which was: "I know Andrew McCarthy was contrite and dreamy and all, but I still can't believe Molly let her handmade purse that matched her prom dress fall to the ground when she kissed him in the rain as OMD played. I bet it got all gross." Um, yeah. And that, ladies and gentleman, is how scary and lame (yet kind of cool) it is to be me.
  • Friday, March 02, 2007

    They'll call us lonely when we're really just alone.

  • Some Girls "He's On Drugs Again" (Sardina cover)
    Years ago, I posted a live version of this cover that was cut off at the end. At last, a studio version now exists and I'm happy to share it. To read about who Sardina, the original artist, is, check that old entry. Beware, however, as the links are likely now defunct. Luckily, the awesome Musical Family Tree has tons of Sardina tracks available for free download, including the entire Presents album, from which the original comes. Seriously, it's a brilliant pop album and you should download it now.

  • Lulu "He's Sure the Boy I Love" (The Crystals cover)
    I love the Crystals so much I can't believe more people haven't covered this song. It's my favorite.

  • Groove da Praia "Used to Love Her" (Guns N' Roses cover)
    Thanks (or blame) goes to the Bossa n' series for Bossa n' Roses comp. Because we totally needed jazz-lounge songs about drugs, murder and other politically incorrect things.

  • Coil "All the Pretty Little Horses" (Traditional)
    Possibly a little too bleak and ominous for a lullaby, but it's Coil. What would you expect?

  • Academic Village People (AVP) "Policy of Truth" (Depeche Mode cover)
    You love college a cappella and you know it. Unless, like me, it kind of creeps you out more than the Coil lullaby.

  • Mathilde Santing "Oblivious" (Aztec Camera cover)
    Another song I can't believe hasn't been covered more frequently. This is the new-wave jam!

  • Moonshine Willy "Complicated Game" (XTC cover)
    It's unclear to me why the track listing on the album from which this comes lists the title as the plural "Complicated Games," but it's obviously the XTC song "Complicated Game." And it's quite a fun alt-country version.

  • Bohemian Vendetta "Satisfaction" (Rolling Stones cover)
    I think a reader sent me this '60s psych gem a while back. My apologies for not remembering who, particularly since I love it.

  • Trio "Wake Up" (Yoko Ono cover)
    I must admit hating "Da Da Da" with a passion, but my love for Yoko and anyone who covers her songs erases that hatred somewhat.

  • David Miller "Narrow Your Eyes" (They Might Be Giants cover)
    I might be the only TMBG fan who lists "Narrow Your Eyes" among her favorites, but I do. And this power-poppy version doesn't make me retch, so hooray!