Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween 365

We want you to know that for Dorothy and I it is Halloween 365 days a year, but for you Sam we know that October 31st is Halloween, and we want to invite you and all your friends to our Halloween party... at the Waldorf Astoria!

--David Johansen, All Dolled Up

MP3 New York Dolls / Stranded in the Jungle (Cadets cover)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Beetch Boyz Redux

MP3 Jesus & Mary Chain / Surfin' USA (Outtake) [Chuck Berry/Beach Boys cover]

MP3 Melt-Banana / Surfin' USA [Chuck Berry/Beach Boys cover]


--"READ THIS WORD" by Vito Acconci

Monday, October 27, 2008

She's So Much Heavier

MP3 Eddie Hazel / I Want You (She's So Heavy) [Beatles cover, 2004]

Who thought it could get any more indulgent? The original—after layer upon layer of creamy guitar—clocks in at nearly 8 minutes; this version takes that cake plus two more. The parenthetical is slang, of course (unlike in the Smiths's "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" and U2's "Big Girls Are Best"), but shoot me in the back in front of the Dakota if this cover doesn't sound like She's been packing away chocolate mousse and eggs Benedict with sides of whip-cream and butter. Like breakfast at the Madonna Inn.

(Yes, funky sounds do always coax mediocre food comparisons out of me. And, yes, that makes me a bad person.)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Antonym of Excitations

Personally, I find 'Good Vibrations' extremely annoying. I always have, and I'm fairly confident that I always will. His involvement with such an excruciating song is without question the primary reason for Brian Wilson's mental problems, and only the TLC of Charles Manson could help him overcome the song. I thank you, Psychedelic Horseshit (clearly the ideal name for a band to rework 'Good Vibrations'), for pointing out that these vibrations are very bad indeed.

Mp3 Psychedelic Horseshit / Bad Vibrations (Beach Boys 'Good Vibrations' sort of cover)

Lego My Ego

MP3 Mercury Rev / If You Want Me to Stay [Sly & The Family Stone cover, 1992]

Funk is an essentially goofy genre. It's a big music complete with big hair and giant basslines, oversized clothes and supersized fun. Mercury Rev takes the goofiness that resides at the chewy center of "If You Want Me to Stay" and sprinkles it all over the outside and edges. Delicious.

(And different somehow from a too-easy "ironic" cover of, say, ABBA or Alanis or Whitney.)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dolly v Whitney

MP3 Viking Moses / I Will Always Love You (Dolly Parton cover, 2006)

Another Catherine-response, this to the Bowie/Whitney dancegasm.

Does Mr Moses imagine himself singing to Ms Parton or to Ms Houston? Would a lovechild named Viking Dolly Houston-Moses the IIIrd get beat up or do the beating? Answer: he'd hire bully-protection for the price of two Fruit Roll-Ups per recess.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

All the Unborn Chicken Voices in My Head...

While moving to jazz could be offshore drilling in a bottomless well of covers, I'll restrict myself to jazz covers of rock songs, beginning with the astounding Brad Mehldau.

One of Mehldau's many versions of Paranoid Android (thought I should add to the small number of Radiohead covers). He has a few recordings of the track that are over twenty minutes, but I'll go with one under ten.

Mp3 Brad Mehldau / Paranoid Android (Radiohead Cover)

Here's a video of Brad with his trio doing Exit Music (For a Film):

And a solo cover of Elliott Smith...

Mp3 Brad Mehldau / Bottle Up and Explode (Elliot Smith Cover)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Do The Clean Teeth Jive

MP3 The Bobbettes / Mr. Lee (1957)

MP3 The Diskettes / Mr. Lee (Bobbettes cover, 2002)

MP3 The Fabulettes (2000s) / Mr. Lee (Bobbettes cover)

There must be a commercial or music video with dancing teeth but I can't think of it. Instead I give you a doo-woppy girl-group classic that has the sound for it. The Diskettes cover, with the male harmonies and the way the lead yelps www-ho! (at :22, :25, :27, etc.), is even funner. South Korea's new national anthem?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Shakey and the Honey Slides

I have feared posting, lest I somehow manage to post something else which can later be used to link me to murderous British record producers (you would be surprised at how many of my potential post topics ran this risk). Anyway, retreating to safe territory: I've spent the last week (er, well, or the better part of most weeks) listening only to Neil Young and thinking about how I shouldn't have cheaped out on buying tickets (although, who really wants to go to the Forum. Not this girl). Anyhow, in an attempt to shake things up, I've also been listening to a lot of Neil Young covers.

Arguably the most prolific of all Neil Young cover-ers (and there are many), Thom Yorke and that band of his have really managed to do a version of almost every song worth doing a version of. Their cover of "On the Beach" (from the terribly underrated 1974 album of the same name--I mean, it's great and is totally without the horrific orchestral numbers that drag down the much more popular "Harvest." Seriously, it guest stars Levon Helm and Rick Danko. I call for an "On the Beach" revival, right now) might be the strongest.

MP3 Radiohead / On the Beach (Neil Young Cover)

For good measure, I thought I'd also throw in a Radiohead cover, a band that, really surprisingly, doesn't seem to get covered all that often. Is everyone too scared off by their popularity? Anyway, Gillian Welch does a kind of lovely version of my favorite of that band's songs (yes, I am a cliche, thanks).

MP3 Gillian Welch / Black Star (Radiohead Cover)

I'm gonna steal your daughter. I'm gonna be your son.

MP3 Rodger Collins / Foxy Girls in Oakland (1970)

MP3 Wilson Pickett / She's Lookin' Good (Rodger Collins cover, 1968)

Rodddddger's original of "She's Lookin' Good" is available here. No one's been stupid enough to attempt topping "Foxy Girls," which puts the d in funk'd up.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


MP3 Suicide / Dream Baby Dream (1980)

MP3 Luna / Dream Baby Dream (Suicide cover, 1997)

This. This is like one of those matching games you get on your paper placemat with the crayons at a Big Boy restaurant. Or Photohunt. The differences are few and hard to find, and that makes all the difference.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mega Man: Fully Clothed, Still Badass

Sally Shapiro free Johan Agebjörn remixes Mega Man 2.

Johan Agebjörn / Mega Man 2 (Remix)

And someone had enough free time to make a video...

And someone had the time to make a mash-up video for Girl Talk's "Shut the Club Down'... and the rest of the tracks on Feed the Animals (not included, but all on youtube).

new newd

MP3 Radiohead / Nude (Big Ideas) [Holy Fuck remix, 2008]

nu nude? noooooo nooooooooooooood??

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

north is up, up is soul

QUOTE "we been broken down to the lowest term"

CLICK Otis Clay / The Only Way Is Up
(written by G. Jackson & J. Henderson, 1980)

the cover by yazz
& plastic population
is lame. this is not.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

KazooKeylele-The Final Countdown

I won't insult this by pretending my language deserves association with it...

Pocketfox (Awesome Dude) / The Final Countdown (Europe Cover)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bathtubs for Jeremy (Unfortunately Without Rod Stewart) Complete With Prostitutes

Anglo-Iranian electronica maestra Leila's rendition of a British sitar song about a British wood named Norwegian featuring, presumably, an Italian man. From Blood Looms and Blooms (great album, great title).

Mp3 Leila feat. Luca Santucci / Norwegian Wood (Beatles Cover)

Great story around the song (from Wikipedia). Maybe Lennon and McCartney can compete with Rod in the sleaze challenge:

The lyrics of the song sketch an encounter between the singer and an unnamed girl. They drink wine in her room and talk into the night. However, at 2 A.M. the unnamed girl ceases their flirtation, which the speaker may have been hoping to end in consummation, declaring "it's time for bed", leaving him to crawl off to "sleep in the bath" alone.
"Norwegian Wood" refers to the cheap pinewood that often finished the interiors of working class British flats. The last verse states that the singer lights a fire, the implication being that the singer in fact sets fire to the girl's flat, presumably as revenge for not sleeping with the singer.
McCartney himself states the final line of the song indicates that the singer burned the home of the girl. As he explained:
Peter Asher [brother of McCartney's then-girlfriend Jane Asher] had just done his room out in wood, and a lot of people were decorating their places in wood. Norwegian wood. It was pine, really, just cheap pine. But it's not as good a title, is it, "Cheap Pine"? It was a little parody, really, on those kind of girls who, when you'd get back to their flat, there would be a lot of Norwegian wood. It was completely imaginary from my point of view, but not from John's. It was based on an affair he had. She made him sleep in the bath and then, finally, in the last verse, I had this idea to set the Norwegian wood on fire as a revenge. She led him on and said, "You'd better sleep in the bath." And in our world, that meant the guy having some sort of revenge, so it meant burning the place down....
This exchange took place in a press conference in Los Angeles:
Reporter: I'd like to direct this question to messrs. Lennon and McCartney. In a recent article, Time magazine put down pop music. And they referred to "Day Tripper" as being about a prostitute...
Paul: Oh yeah.
Reporter: ...and "Norwegian Wood" as being about a lesbian.
Paul: Oh yeah.
Reporter: I just wanted to know what your intent was when you wrote it, and what your feeling is about the Time magazine criticism of the music that is being written today.
Paul: We were just trying to write songs about prostitutes and lesbians, that's all.
And, as for the Beatles, Ringo is still the sexiest.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Prophets of Overmuchness, or, Kevin Shields Controls the Skies ≈ Jon Hamm?

Upon hearing [Rod] Stewart sing, [Joe] Meek rushed into the studio, put his fingers in his ears and screamed until Stewart had left.

MP3 The Tornados / Telstar (1962)
MP3 Hans Annéllsson / Telstar (Tornados cover, 1990)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Byrne-ing Down The House (Because No One Has Ever Made That Pun Before)

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing David Byrne (along with some highly questionable (and I sincerely hope ironic) interpretive dancers) at the Greek Theater. He didn't play this cover (or any covers for that matter), but maybe he should have. Two of my favorite things? David Byrne and songs to which one might throw an impromptu dance party.

MP3 David Byrne / I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Whitney Houston Cover)

Speaking of impromptu dance parties and songs that Mr. Byrne did play, Austin-based Voxtrot does an attempt at at a Talking Heads impersonation with "Heaven." Maybe it doesn't need to be said, but Ramesh Srivastava? No David Byrne.

MP3 Voxtrot / Heaven (Talking Heads Cover)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Paradise Lost In Translation

Pre-sobriety Chan Marshall is undoubtedly responsible for some of the greatest covers of recent years ('Moonshiner' and before, The Covers Record, 'Werewolf' and 'Keep on Runnin'', live 'House of the Rising Sun', etc.); post-sobriety Jukebox disappoints, but this awkward, translated Serge Gainsbourg /Jane Birkin cover with Karen Elson simultaneously inhabits the irritating and the sublime. Elson's odd, breathy 'you go and I come' sounds kind of tasty--like Birkin in the original--whereas Cat Gainsbourg should probably lay off the Lucky Strikes and get a little sleazier. Nonetheless, 'I love you either' clearly enunciates E.T. and Elliot's suppressed call for crosspollination. You're a coward Spielberg--let either declare itself.

Mp3 Cat Power and Karen Elson / 'I Love You ... Me Either' (Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin Cover 'Je t' non plus')

Also, here's a French boy band, 2be3, redoing the bliss of Rick Astley's 'Never Gonna Give You Up':

Rod Stewart, Great Under the Covers

I'm not sure if this is one of those commonly known facts about me or if I've long kept it hidden out of fear of attack, but I'm kind of indifferent about the Beatles. I mean, really entirely indifferent. It would be a very strange moment for me to ever actually put on a Beatles album. So it's even stranger that lately I've been obsessively playing not the Beatles, but solo Paul McCartney, which, across the board, is basically terrible (terrible!). That said, "Maybe I'm Amazed" is a great song.

To make me feel moderately better about this, I've rediscovered a cover of said great song by the Faces, a band I've always found really surprisingly underrated. Okay, maybe not so surprisingly. Rod Stewart is terrifying. But two Ronnies! Anyway, the cover might not quite be the original, but it's pretty swell.

MP3 The Faces / Maybe I'm Amazed (Paul McCartney Cover)

And since apparently the Faces were equal opportunity cover-ers, they also have a pretty solid cover of John Lennon.

MP3 The Faces / Jealous Guy (John Lennon Cover)

While I'm at it (and trying to play blog catch up): This stab-yourself-with-a-kitchen-utensil sad version of the same song is maybe the complete and utter opposite of Rod Stewart, who you know was never feeling insecure. Oh, Elliott.

MP3 Elliott Smith / Jealous Guy (John Lennon Cover)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Earmarked Pork Barrel Eagles

Kevin Barnes and Glenn Danzig united at last. And, fortunately, neither one is a goddamn son of a bitch.

Mp3 Of Montreal / Nupital Eagles Sharpened (Misfits Cover 'Where Eagles Dare')

Also, here's Of Montreal covering nearly everything ever live. Especially like 'Moonage Daydream' and the Prince covers ('I Would Die 4 U', "Raspberry Beret', etc.), but am deeply saddened that "The Final Countdown' lasts less than a minute...

Midnite Vultures, Osama Remix Edition

MP3 Beck / Diamond Dogs (David Bowie cover, 2001)

Exquisite sleaze-funk—plays in the X-rated version of E.T. as he's bumpingrindin' his sexy wrinkled way out of that yellow tent. The elevator's broke. So? He slides down a rope...

Monday, October 6, 2008

I miss the belle and sebastian, spy music, etc. name

Too Soon?

Is it too soon for a Vampire Weekend cover? I didn't think so either. Especially when it sounds as awesome as this Banjo or Freakout one.

I put a mediocre Townes Van Zandt cover in there just for good measure.

Thanks for sending these along Erin. UR my soul.

It is unable to title

Take On Me: Literal Video Version

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Covers Theory #3.33333333

Is a song a cover when it has the same title as one of the most well known (and most frequently covered) songs ever written? Even if it has seemingly nothing to do with the song? I ask you, Cornelius, twice.

Mp3 Cornelius / Like a Rolling Stone (Bob Dylan, etc. Not Cover?)

God Only Knows that God Only Knows...

Mp3 Cornelius / God Only Knows (Beach Boys Not Cover?)

Covers Theory #3

MP3 Galaxie 500 / Listen, The Snow Is Falling (Yoko Ono cover, 1990)

MP3 Graham Lambkin & Jason Lescalleet / Listen, The Snow Is Falling (Yoko Ono cover?, 2008)

Is a cover still a cover if only the (statistically improbable) name is the same? Multiple songs titled "I Want You" (by the Beatles, the Troggs, Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Third Eye Blind) a cover do not make. Multiple songs titled "Listen, The Snow Is Falling" are another matter.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Covers Theory #2

MP3 Galaxie 500 / Cheese and Onions (The Rutles cover)

Band #1 is a real band. Band #2 is a fake band. Band #3 is a real band. Band #2 is a parody of Band #1. Band #3 covers a spoof of Band #1 written, performed, and recorded by Band #2. What is the ontologico-aesthetic status of the third-wave version of the song? Is it wiped free of spoof?

If you make fun of someone making fun are you being serious?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Please Apply Additional Pressure

At some point during (or perhaps prior to) the recording process of the otherwise decent Women As Lovers, Jamie Stewart decided to invite Michael Gira over for this rather unfortunate cover of Under Pressure. Complete with gross sounding saxophone (see here on why the sax should often be avoided) the song raises a rather simple question: why?

Mp3 Xiu Xiu featuring Michael Gira / Under Pressure (Queen and David Bowie cover)

And to compensate for that rather unfortunate infliction, see King David himself on how to cover songs well.

Mp3 David Bowie / Let's Spend the Night Together (Rolling Stones Cover)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Creole Computer Candy Love

If Italians do it better, then why do they do German and Creole (both in English)? Does anyone do it better than Kraftwerk? Is covering doing it better? Glass Candy attempts to answer all and none of these questions...only Jack Schmidt knows the truth.

Mp3 Glass Candy / Computer Love (Kraftwerk Cover)

Mp3 Glass Candy / Iko Iko (James "Sugar Boy" Crawford Cover "Jock-A-Mo"

Covers Theory #1

MP3 New Order / Ceremony (Joy Division cover, 1980) [beginner]

MP3 Luna / Fourth of July (live Galaxie 500 cover, 2001) [advanced]

Band #1 writes and performs Song A, dies. Band #2 rises from the ashes, covers Song A or (Song A). Who song is it? Is Song A' a cover?

MP3 Galaxie 500 / Ceremony (JD-NO cover, 1989) [just right]

Is Galaxie 500 covering Joy Division, or is he/she/it covering New Order covering Joy division? If Luna performed "Ceremony" would the universe implode or explode?