Friday, June 29, 2007

Random two from the random ten

In honor of actually seeing the Queers Sunday, a favorite, though another popped up on the random ten:

"Kicked Out Of The Webelos"---The Queers

And one of the random ten from an album I dig a lot.

"Gotta Go"---Victor Scott

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Will the return of the 80s be used for good or for evil?

It appears both. Gorilla vs. bear has posted about Miami Horror and I have to admit that it's disturbingly fun stuff.

Codebreaker--"We Don't Need No (EXILED)" Miami Horror remix

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Monday, June 25, 2007

In which I brag on my mash-up mixing houseboy

And his new mash-up of Tupac Shakur's "Changes" and Radiohead's "Fake Plastic Trees".

You can read about his experiments here.

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New Gogol Bordello!

And it rocks, of course. And has clever lyrics denouncing superstition and pleading for more reason. Apparently, they have a new album coming out.

"Supertheory Of Supereverything"---Gogol Bordello

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Random two from the random ten

Random panda picture and random songs from the random ten.

"How To Explain"---The Cat Empire

"Parentheses"---The Blow

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Supporting the troops is not the same as supporting the war

The myth about protest music is that it's supposed to all be very folky-sounding and played primarily by smelly hippie sorts who are out of touch with both reality and what a smart-sounding tune sounds like.

This stereotype is reactionary crap. There's a lot of good protest songs from all sorts of genres. I was reminded of this fact while bicycling the other day and having this moving song by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas come onto my iPod.

"I Should Be Proud"---Martha Reeves and the Vandellas

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Monday, June 18, 2007

The Devil and Daniel Johnston

I finally watched "The Devil And Daniel Johnston" last night, and I have to say that it deserves all the raves it's getting. It helps that Johnston seems to have recorded everything that happened to him, ever, giving the filmmakers a lot to work with. In a subtle way, the movie was something of an indictment of the way people romanticize artists with mental illness, when mental illness is mostly just a tragic waste. Indicts to a degree---more interestingly, the filmmakers allowed that Johnston's manic depression is personally hellish, but quite probably one of the factors that makes him a genius songwriter. All in all, it's hard to make a movie that's even-handed and still intriguing, and this movie is it. I particularly liked how the filmmakers were able to show Johnston's parents sympathetically without whitewashing the way their fundamentalist religious methods of bringing him up seemed to have escalated his mental problems.

This mural Johnston did is a bona fide city landmark, and the city even stepped in to protect it when the record shop it was on was bought out by a Baja Fresh. I can attest that it's something of an arresting bit of graffiti---whenever I've taken people who don't know about it down to the Drag, they usually remark upon it. It makes people happy.

If you've never heard Johnston's music, I recommend checking it out. Here's a particular favorite of mine:

"Like A Monkey"---Daniel Johnston

Frequent Pandagon commenter Kathy McCarty is interviewed extensively in the movie, and she's done an album of Johnston cover songs, with the idea being that a lot of his stuff is inaccessible because of the obtuse way he performs it and her covers might make it more accessible. Here's her lovely cover of "Walking the Cow".

"Walking the Cow"---Kathy McCarty

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Random two from the random ten

Is it wrong that I want these shoes?
I'm getting corny in my old age. She seems to have quite the collection of arty shoes. What I like about these is the really extraneous lace around the edges.

Something of a garage rock theme.

"Don't Give Up"---The Noisettes

"Moonshine"---The Marksmen

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Pandas bring the funk

Bohannon---"Let's Start To Dance Again"

Irrelevant but cute picture:

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Taint-free taintation

Obviously, I like cover songs quite a bit, but here's a version of an original where the cover became more famous:

Gloria Jones---"Tainted Love"

I will admit to liking both this version and the Soft Cell version, but then again, I have a soft spot for soulfree 80s New Wave. The song I got off the peerless box set Beg, Scream and Shout. It's on the first of the two Scream discs, which are my favorite discs. However, the Beg ones have the pull of the Jackson 5 kicking some soulful ass.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Dedicated to the 101st Fighting Keyboardists

May all your bumper stickers be safe.

Mojo Nixon---"Louisiana Liplock"

Friday, June 8, 2007

Dark Side of the Reggae Moon

One of the more interesting projects for cover music fans is the Easy All-Stars. They cover familiar tunes in the reggae style. We went to see them after they did an amazing cover of Radiohead---featuring Horace Andy one of the great vocalists of reggae.

He wasn't there. Still, their reimaginings of famous songs from "Dark Side of The Moon" are well worth hearing.

"Time"---The Easy All-Stars

"Money"---The Easy All-Stars

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Ciccone Youth

One part joke and two parts awesome---in the 80s, Sonic Youth got together with Mike Watt and formed Ciccone Youth, a band that existed strictly to cover Madonna songs. They only did a handful, since such a project has a sort of top limit on how interesting it can be, but the results are surprisingly listenable. Very mix-tape ready. Here's their cover-ish version of "Into the Groove".

"Into the Groovey"---Ciccone Youth

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Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Before the equinox, a song inspired by spring fever

Magnetic Fields ---"Let's Pretend We're Bunny Rabbits"

Monday, June 4, 2007

Lee & The Laydeez

It's a lovely summer day, so as a good a time as any to indulge the IMS fascination with Lee Hazelwood. First, a cover of the Lee Hazelwood & Ann Margaret song "You Turned My Head Around" by Dean & Britta:

"You Turned My Head Around"---Dean & Britta

And a song I find endlessly amusing---Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra singing "Love Is Strange", taking what's supposed to be a sexy song, draining all the sex out of it and filling it up with sexiness repellent. It's like the cold shower of cover songs, except funnier.

"Love Is Strange"---Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood

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Saturday, June 2, 2007

Cover songs that improve on the original

Ilyka started a thread about when bad covers happen to good songs, and the topic came up of what cover songs people actually like. We had a really great thread on that last year, and I thought I could post a couple MP3s of some of my favorite songs. These are both versions I think improve dramatically on the original, though I wouldn't go so far as to say that I think the originals are bad songs. I wouldn't gouge my eardrums out listening to the originals of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" or "Ohio", but I'd rather hear these versions in a heartbeat.

Al Green---"I Want To Hold Your Hand"


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Friday, June 1, 2007

The White Ghost Shivers

Local Austin favorites The White Ghost Shivers bring something of a punk rock sensibility to playing a rather old fashioned combination of 20s-era jazz and western swing. Which means they often cram a gazillion musicians on the tiny stages meant for 4 piece punk bands.

The White Ghost Shivers---"Mama Said"

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