Friday, August 12, 2005

Musical Brouhaha

When I was in elementary, I was taken to a bunch of musicals containing many tunes that I still love to this day. So today, some musical covers from film and stage. It's great to get a hold of some showtune covers because generally they're very different from the original version. I'd love to hear a Les Miserables cover, but I've yet to find any...

Nightwish - The Phantom of the Opera
This Finnish metal band does a rousing rendition of the Phantom, which was already a bit of rocker to begin with.

Toy Dolls - Any Dream Will Do
[from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat]
The original is pretty cheesy, but a bit of a guilty pleasure. This cover by the Toy Dolls rocks, with a sense of humour too (the children's choir is a nice touch). This band has a number of really good covers that I'll put on future posts.

The Bens - Wicked Little Town (Tommy Gnosis version)
[from Hedwig and the Angry Inch]
The Bens were a collaboration between the three Bens: Ben Kweller, Ben Lee, and Ben Folds (one of my favourite artists). I have to admit I've never seen the film (or musical) that this comes from, though I hear it's good. Nor have I heard the original song... but since I'm an ardent fan of all things Ben, I came across this song, which I took a quick liking to.

Me First & The Gimme Gimmes - Rainbow Connection
[from The Muppet Movie]
I'm glad to see artists recognizing the awesome tunage from The Muppet Movie, particularly Kermit the Frog's The Rainbow Connection, which has been covered several times. I love the Gimmes' pop-punk updates of distinctly non-punk songs such as their album of R&B covers, Take a Break, which has a great cover of Nothing Compares 2 U. This muppet cover is from their album, Are a Drag, which is dedicated completely to musical covers. It also contains another Phantom cover and Don't Cry for Me Argentina.

The Fantastic Leslie - Movin' Right Along [from The Muppet Movie]
Another Muppet Movie classic! This version by an Aussie pop/rock band called The Fantastic Leslie that I discovered long ago on a defunct version of and whose official website has now disappeared into internet oblivion, but not before I bought their 6-song CD, A Tiny Mark (one of my first online purchases ever).

Less Than Jake - Summer Nights [from Grease]
This song is available as a free download on off the album Greased, which features Less Than Jake doing no less than eight cover versions of Grease songs. Not a particularly good cover, but a nice segue into the next song:

Tenacious D and special guest - The One That I Want [from Grease]
Over on the Live Music Archive, there's a Tenacious D show hosted from The St. James Theatre in Wellington, NZ (12-27-2004). JB introduces a "friend of the D" with some mental problems who launches into this Grease number. I imagine Jack Black was in New Zealand for filming King Kong when this concert was performed, which should give you a hint as to the special guest's identity... Very surreal and hilarious (also vaguely obscene).

There are a couple great covers including an Abbey Road medley and a Tommy medley. Jack Black & Kyle Gass will rock your socks off. Note: the files are in the lossless FLAC format, which are a lot larger in size to mp3s because they're not compressed in order to preserve sound quality, so you'll need a winamp plug-in or another player to hear these. There are 20 or so other shows by the D hosted there as well!

I just found out about the Live Music archive last week, which collects live concerts of trade-friendly artists for posterity. Lots of great artists' concerts are available here such as Andrew Bird, The Ditty Bops, and Jack Johnson (about 100 shows). By far, the most represented artist on there is the Grateful Dead with nearly 3000 shows covering 30 years!


DG said...

Hey, sorry to bother you.
I came across your blog while google searching The Fantastic Leslie, I love their music and was trying to find one of their songs which I don't have "Moving Right Along"
Your blog came up when you mentioned the song, do you by any chance still have a mp3 of the song, if you do would you mind sending it to me at all?

Thanks =)

Fongolia said...

Sorry for the delayed reply... just got back from China a few days ago. If you're still there, send me an e-mail at fongobongo AT gmail DOT com since I don't have any other way of contacting you!

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