Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A quick plug for something I love.

1. You love the music of artists both old and new.
2. You have cable.
3. Your cable package includes Fuse.

Hey, Americans, if you meet the above criteria and you're not already regularly watching Later... with Jools Holland—which airs M-F at 1 PM and 3 AM Eastern (that's noon and 2 AM for locals)—you're doing yourself a disservice. Ryan alerted me about a month ago that Fuse was showing old episodes (as in a year or two old) in syndication and, although the show's been around for decades in the UK and I've known about it since its inception, it was my first time actually watching an entire episode. I've been hooked since. I DVR it every day.

For those not in the know, every episode features approximately 3 to 8 different acts sharing a stage, each playing a song or two on their own (and sometimes together). Jools engages some in brief interviews as well. What's great is that each day's selection is pretty eclectic—e.g. today's featured the Dixie Chicks, Paolo Nutini, Gogol Bordello, The Automatic, The Dresden Dolls, The Fratellis—so it's not solely an indie wankfest nor a mainstream nightmare. I often find myself intrigued by acts I'd normally pass by, if for no other reason than the performances tend to be top-rate and celebrate the diversity of music and a true appreciation for the craft of songwriting and performing. Of course, every now and then said artists perform covers. Hell, I was even entertained by the Black Eyed Peas performance, for chrissakes!

So, um, yeah. Look into it. It's so refreshing to see a "music" channel that actually features music!

Random shuffle post. Always a trove of treasures. And, sometimes, haiku.

  • Chica & the Folder "I'll Come Running"< (Brian Eno cover)
    Stark, electronic, Eno?
    Where do I sign up?

  • Claude Denjean & Synthesizer "Alone Again (Naturally)" (Gilbert O'Sullivan cover)
    French Moog mastery...
    One-hit wonder (U.S.-wise)...
    Synthy yacht rock rules.

  • Cursive "Frankly, Mr. Shankly" (Smiths cover)
    I sort of feel bad...
    I had no idea that
    Cursive still lives on.

  • Emocapella* "Enjoy Your Day" (Alkaline Trio cover)
    Welcome, first of two
    indie a cappella acts!
    I choo-choo-choose you.

  • The Hot Stewards "Tell it to my Heart" (Taylor Dayne cover)
    Glitchy shuffle play
    chooses two songs by one act.
    See below also.

  • The Hot Stewards "Touch Me" (Samantha Fox cover)
    Circa '89,
    Jules and I often sang this
    as Ethel Merman.

  • Indie Rockappella (aka Nathan Smart) "Come On, Feel the Illinoise" (Sufjan Stevens cover)
    Remember above?
    The two a cappella tracks?
    This is the second.

  • James William Hindle "I Started a Joke" (Bee Gees cover)
    Charming Brit folkster
    covers the quintessential
    sad Bee Gees ballad.

  • Kompressor "Debra" (Beck cover)
    Crazy faux-German
    post-industrial madness.
    An Ohian ruse.

  • Leigh Nash "Father and Son" (Cat Stevens cover)
    Not a fan of bands
    like Sixpence None the Richer.
    I enjoy this though.

  • The Riff Randells "Girls Like Me" (Nikki & the Corvettes cover)
    Cult-film characters
    make good powerpop band names.
    Make a note of it.

  • Riton "Killing an Arab" (Cure cover)
    We live in a world
    that treats truth tellers like freaks.
    So don't kill strangers.

  • The Rubinoos "Heroes and Villains" (Beach Boys cover)
    D'oh! A cappella!
    There are three instead of two!
    Though 'tis not emo.

  • The Rubinoos "Thorn in My Side" (Eurythmics cover)
    Blasted shuffle play!
    I like Crimes Against Music,
    but I'm nuts that way.

  • Sandro "Podemos Solucionarlo (We Can Work It Out)" (Beatles cover in Spanish)
    The Spanish words for
    "bee" and "sheep" sound similar.
    Could cause confusion.

  • Serial Skanksters "Denise" (Randy & the Rainbows/Blondie cover)
    Blondie covered it,
    sans "e" and avec aplomb. And
    un peu de français.

  • Streetwize "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang" (Dr. Dre./Snoop Doggy Dogg cover)
    Not to be confused
    with the boy band from Deutschland.
    Nay, this is smooth jazz.

  • The Droyds "Beat on the Brat" (Ramones cover)
    I love Droyds covers,
    even when they're really slow.
    At least I think so...

  • We Are Telephone "Division Day" (Elliott Smith cover)
    Too many young men,
    tortured and sad, leave us with
    mysteries unsolved.

  • The Yoshida Brothers "Oh, My Love" (John Lennon cover)
    Western music blends
    with Tsugaru-jamisen
    to bring us solace.

    Consider adding a "p"
    for best portmanteau.

  • Thursday, January 24, 2008

    Feel the darkness of the black metal bands. (Or not.)

    I should be posting a slew of random tracks within the next few hours. Until then, Pitchfork is offering an Of Montreal cover the M.I.A./Parvati Kahn song "Jimmy" available for download here. Get to it, hipsters, et. al.

    Wednesday, January 09, 2008

    Stuff it up the hole in your culture!

    Remember a few days ago when I said I'd post this week? Well, you're soaking in it! I figured the best way to mark my return was with a giant list determined, as is often my wont, by shuffling the 12,000+ covers on my hard drive and picking the first 20 that came up.

  • Dream Girls "I Can Fly" (Rainey cover, comp. Grady/ Holding/ Pain/ Riley)
    What better way to begin than with a cover of a song originally featured in the classic film Girls Just Want to Have Fun? I miss that version of Sarah Jessica Parker.

  • Jenny Gear "Vanities" (Mary Black cover, comp. Noel Brazil)
    Apparently this gal was a Canadian Idol contestant. Sounds better than most American Idol contestants, methinks.

  • The Tiger Lillies "Send in the Clowns" (comp. Sondheim)
    I'm not afraid of clowns, in fact I quite enjoy even the most frightening clown imagery. If I were afraid of clowns, however, this version would definitely exacerbate my phobia.

  • Audrey 3000 feat. Mr. Hopkinson's Computer "Baby I Got Your Money" (ODB & Kelis cover)
    I've never had nuthin' but love for A3000 and MHC.

  • The Hardtimes "Here, There, and Everywhere" (Beatles cover)
    These guys were regulars on Dick Clark's TV show Where The Action Is! in the '60s. Apparently.

  • Trio Sourire "Satisfaction" (French Rolling Stones cover)

  • Bile "Do You Wanna Touch Me? (Oh Yeah)" (Gary Glitter cover)
    This song was always salacious, but is even more so in the wake of Glitter's more recent fates, no? This version sounds like something to which I'd have made out with a stranger in those bed-like things on the second floor of Medusa's in the early '90s (not to be confused with what passes for Medusa's today). Not that I'd have ever really done such a thing. Nope. Not me. Never.

  • The Hunt for Yoshi "Walk on the Ocean" (Toad the Wet Sprocket cover)
    God, I hate '90s radio rock. At least this version's existence amuses me.

  • The Dresden Dolls "Two-Headed Boy" (Neutral Milk Hotel cover)

  • I Corvi "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" (Italian Sonny & Cher cover)
    This song is really popular with the Italians, and I approve.

  • Brando "Plants & Rags" (PJ Harvey cover)
    Thanks, as always, to the awesome Indiana-based and -focused Musical Family Tree.

  • The Classic Metropolitan Orchestra "Raspberry Beret" (Prince cover)
    Normally I'd scoff and forward right past a track like this when it hits, but it came just as my pretty hipster neighbors were in the middle of their approximately 4,956th loud-ass argument, and I have to admit it cheered me up a bit.

  • The Monolators "Mr. Roboto" (Styx cover)
    The spoken intro cracks me up.

  • Anorak "That's Entertainment" (The Jam cover)
    Spanish electonric awesomeness from their downloadable Synthetic Pop Covers from the European Space Agency LP.

  • Mysteries of Life "That's How Strong My Love Is" (O.V. Wright cover, comp. Roosevelt Jamison)
    Another Indiana fave. And, no, Otis Redding wasn't the original performer. I Googled it and everything!

  • Rockabye Baby! "1979" (Smashing Pumpkins cover)

  • Soil & Eclipse "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" (U2 cover)
    If I didn't already sort of hate U2, I might now.

  • Teddy Thompson "The Future" (Leonard Cohen cover)
    Richard and Linda's boy sure can cover a song, I swear.

  • The Posies "O-o-h Child" (The Five Stairsteps cover)

  • The Leathercoated Minds "Along Comes Mary" (The Association cover)
    Before J.J. Cale's wrote songs for Clapton, he did stuff like this.