Friday, August 26, 2005

#1 from Chapel Hill

Shant be anymore posts until late next week... I'm off down to a little town outside of Seattle called Woodinville to see Ben Folds (!) at a winery (?). He's co-headlining with Rufus Wainwright with special guest Ben Lee. That's two-thirds of the Bens. Score!

Ben Folds Five - Barrytown [originally by Steely Dan]
They used to show up with a non-album track on a lot of soundtracks at the turn of the millenium. This one was from Me, Myself, and Irene. Other soundtracks included The Truth About Cats and Dogs, Godzilla, and then Ben went solo on the Grinch, I am Sam, and The Banger Sisters.

Ben Folds Five - Song For the Dumped
[live from The Complete Sessions at West 54th]
I'm lucky they put out this DVD before they broke up since I'll never see them live... sigh. This is probably my favourite version of this song.

Ben Folds - Rockin' the Suburbs
This is live from The Panel, which I think is an Aussie radio station though I could be wrong. I prefer this stripped down "Ben and a piano" version over the studio album cut.

So that'll take care of the top placeholder in the must-see-artists-before-I-die gigs. Ben Folds and White Stripes in the same summer... unbelievable. Next up, Andrew Bird and Harvey Danger (back together with a new album next week! more on that in the near future...).


And tomorrow, Terry Gilliam's first film since Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas (7 years ago) will be coming out... double whammy of Gilliam with another called Tideland coming out later this year. Won't get to see it until next week, but should be a gooder. A quick glance at some initial reviews seem to savour the opportunity to use "grim" puns to describe their bad reviews, but who cares what they think? Adventures of Baron Munchausen was panned (enjoyed it). Fear & Loathing panned (quite enjoyed it). I'll be there next weekend. So to commemorate my Gilliam excitement, here's the music used as the theme to one of my favourite flicks ever, 12 Monkeys.

12 Monkeys theme

Plus, some tracks from his Python cohorts:
Meaning of Life
I Like Chinese
Theme from Monty Python's Flying Circus
(without a doubt, this is the single song I've heard more than any other in my entire life. And not this wimpy truncated theme version, but the full-length Liberty Bell March by JP Sousa. For further details, visit the downtown library in Edmonton at closing time)

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Under the Sea

Squirrel Nut Zippers - Under the Sea
[originally from The Little Mermaid]
My 2nd favourite band out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina (must be something in the water there)... Squirrel Nut Zippers with their rendition of Under the Sea. They performed it for some sort of Disney album, though it was rejected from the final selection. But they later got to release it on their "best-of" album.

Guttermouth - Under the Sea [mmm... not a cover]
While on my endless quest for cover songs, I came across this rather chipper punk version of Under the Sea... or so I thought. It became pretty obvious it was not a cover of the Disney tune, but it's a funny song nonetheless.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Farewell, Mr. Moog

I heard that Bob Moog died yesterday. He was the inventor of the Moog synthesizer in the 60s and an early pioneer of electronic music. Moog synthesizers have been used (or so I'm led to believe) by artists such as U2, Rush, Genesis, Stevie Wonder, The Police, and Fatboy Slim (among many others). George Harrison also played a Moog synthesizer on a number of songs off the Beatles' Abbey Road album including Here Comes the Sun and Maxwell's Silver Hammer. So next time you listen to those songs, think: Moog.

Well, I can't pretend to have known these things before today... but I am familiar with some covers by Moog Cookbook, a group that plays cover songs, Moog-style. Mr. Moog, your contributions have been great, whether we knew it or not.

Are You Gonna Go My Way? [originally Lenny Kravitz]
Whole Lotta Love [originally Led Zeppelin]

Saturday, August 20, 2005

What about Bill?

Just watched Broken Flowers last night. Thus, I was inspired to throw together this unlikely combo of a song covered by Bill Murray and a cover of a Bill Murray song(!).

Bill Murray - More Than This [originally by Roxy Music]
This karaoke version was a hidden track on the Lost in Translation soundtrack.

Lounge Brigade - Star Wars [originally by John Williams, lyrics by Bill Murray(?)]
This one is odd since it's actually a cover of a cover song. The original cover was Bill Murray as a sleazy lounge singer in an SNL skit, which makes this new cover (in a more polished lounge style) a bit redundant. Like those SNL skits after 1am, it goes on a little too long to retain its humour.

Bonus cover:
More lyricized sci-fi theme fun: Tenacious D - Star Trek

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

TV Tunage

Here are a bunch of full-length songs used as TV Themes:

The Rembrants - I'll Be There For You [Friends]
I never really watched Friends, but I remember when this was a radio hit in the mid-90s. Instantly catchy with some ridiculous lyrics: " When it hasn't been your day, your week, your month, or even your year . . ." Heh.

Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet - Having an Average Weekend
[Kids in the Hall]
Classic theme. Who knew this song had a title?

Lazlo Bane - Superman [Scrubs]
No, not the theme from Smallville, but Scrubs. One of my favourite shows (and a pretty good song too).

The Refreshments - Yahoos and Triangles [King of the Hill]
Never liked this show, but liked its theme.

Christopher Tyng - Futurama [Futurama]

Gary Burton & Friends - Tossed Salads & Scrambled Eggs
[originally from Frasier]
Had to include at least one cover here. A jazzy instrumental version.

The Presidents of the United States of America - Cleveland Rocks
[Drew Carey Show; originally by Ian Hunter]
Bonus! A cover used as a TV theme.

And just for fun:
Ira Newborn - Naked Gun Theme [AKA theme from Police Squad!]
Iggy Pop - Space Goofs Theme
The idea of Iggy Pop doing the theme to an animated monster kids show is brilliant warped. The little kids' monotonous chanting is a nice touch. A video of the opening sequence is here.

Saturday, August 13, 2005


Also... a couple Fiddler on the Roof covers:

Captain Tractor - If I Were a Rich Man
Nice accordion usage on this cover by local Celt-rockers, Captain Tractor.

The Magnetic Fields - If I Were a Rich Man
Another cover courtesy of's free downloads with singer/songwriter Stephin Merritt bringing his distinct musical sensibilities (think: ukulele) to a Fiddler on the Roof cover album. His main band is The Magnetic Fields, though he also releases music as The 6ths, The Gothic Archies, and Future Bible Heroes

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!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Covering Jack & Meg

Double post! trying to get some content on this here blog...

Continuing the theme of White Stripes and covers, here are two unique covers that stray far from the original, but are both quite successful, IMHO.

Seven Nation Army
A sort of jazz-funkified 7 Nation Army by Nostalgia 77 (AKA Ben Lamdin) with wailing vocals by Alice Russell. I like it.

Fell in Love With a Boy
I'm sure you've all already heard this, but Joss Stone's gender-swapping, soul-stylin' take on this White Stripes song is quite nifty. I even heard one sacriligious reviewer attribute this to Joss Stone with The White Stripes doin' the covering (?!). This is from her album The Soul Sessions, which is all cover songs. It's hard to believe she was 16 when she recorded this. Listen to that husky voice! Wow.

First post: you go, me.

Ok, here's my blog. Since one of my favourite hobbies is imposing my musical tastes on others, I decided it was about time I jumped on the proverbial bandwagon and started an mp3 blog. As I understand it, sharing music on a blog is sketchy in terms of copyright/fair use policies, but most blogs have an average audience of 12 people and the record companies don't really care because it's free advertising. So, it's not a big deal as long as I encourage you to buy music, which you do. Yeah, support your favourite bands... I do.

As my friends found out on a winter roadtrip, I have a disturbing amount of cover songs on my iPod. Until this was pointed out to me (and I was mocked), I did not think of it as being particularly odd... collecting covers, that is. I only have a few hundred, but apparently that's more than the average schmuck [EDIT: upon further review of my itunes collection and some re-labelling, it's actually closer to 1200 covers... yikes!]. So the main focus of my mp3 blog shall be (drum roll please) cover songs! Now there are already a number of cover blogs, which i'll talk about in another post sometime. I'll try not to rip them off too much (or cover them, ho ho). But in addition to cover songs, I'll post whatever I so fancy.

For instance, I recently had the insane pleasure of attending back-to-back White Stripes shows in Vancouver. These are some photos I took from my 6th row seat (rock!).

Today's mp3 is of Boll Weevil, a White Stripes cover of a Ledbelly song, which typically closes out the night at their concerts (including both shows I went to). The highlight of this version from the Roseland Ballroom (NYC, 11-19-2003) is Jack stops mid-song twice to rant and swear at the moshers in the crowd. I think this is awesome because I find moshers are pretty annoying at concerts. I guess it's fine at punk shows and stuff, but I find it weird that people go to concerts specifically to get drunk and shove people around. So Jack gives them a little piece of his mind... I also think it's funny because he sounds a bit like Steve Buscemi when he's mad.

Jack's Boll Weevil Rant

That's all for now. Let's see how often I update this blog...

"Everybody got their teen angst out over here?!?"