Monday, October 31, 2005


Well, here I am on All Hallow's Eve haunting the ol' library. Found out today that Hallowe'en is also known as Pooky Night in some places, which is decidedly unscary. Although, it does have a cute ring to it. Pooky Night. Ok, from now on I'm calling it Pooky Night.

When I was but a wee lad, I remember watching some Disney Pooky Night special with clips from Disney films/shows set to music like ELO's Evil Woman, CCR's Bad Moon Risin', Rockwell's Somebody's Watching You, and Stevie Wonder's Superstition. It was all diabolically narrated by the evil "mirror-mirror-on-the-wall" from Snow White. The most frightening clip was from Disney's adaptation of Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. In the scene, poor Ichabod Crane is chased through the menacing forest by the unstoppable Headless Horseman, and it culminates with the horseman rearing and throwing his flaming pumpkin head at the camera. Now, both the original short story and the Disney short film add a little epilogue that reassuring admits that Ichabod Crane's disappearance is likely due to his self-exile out of sheer embarrassment. However, in the Hallowe'en special, the clip is truncated and ends with him apparently murdered in a blaze of pumpkin inferno by the evil headless spirit. Ah, wholesome family fun.

Another treat from the special was an abbreviated version of Bing Crosby's Headless Horseman from the 1949 Disney adaptation. For years this tune would crop up in my head, but it wasn't until last year that I watched the whole film (now on DVD) while doing a group presentation on adapations of Sleepy Hollow for a film class. So here's Bing Crosby's awesome The Headless Horseman and even a cover of that song by Kay Starr, which came out not long after.

Bing Crosby - The Headless Horseman
Kay Starr - The Headless Horseman

Bonus Pooky Night cover:
Ian Brown - Thriller

Saturday, October 29, 2005

And the walls came down...

... all the way to hell.

Headstones - Tweeter & The Monkey Man
[originally by the Traveling Wilburys]

Yes, the correct answer to Cover Riddle numero 2 is The Traveling Wilburys. Each of the covers were of members of the late '80s supergroup The Traveling Wilburys: George Harrison (of the Beatles, of course), Jeff Lynne (of ELO), Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, and Bob Dylan.

They only released two albums: Volume 1 and Volume 3, which are both out of print although I read somewhere that they may be re-released late this year. The non-existent Volume 2 is to account for the passing of Roy Orbison who died just a couple months after recording the first album.

The Traveling Wilburys - Runaway [originally by Del Shannon]
I presume while listening to this song that it's Jeff Lynne singing lead vocals since each of the other Wilburys can be distinctly picked out while listening to any of their songs. Hmmm... not Roy, not Tom, not George, and definitely not Bob. I guess Jeff Lynne was in the midst of producing Del Shannon's comeback album when Shannon committed suicide in 1990. Apparently, there were rumours that Shannon would actually join the Wilburys after Roy Orbison died, but I guess 'twas not to be.

Look for a Wilburys cover coming in January as Rilo Kiley's Jenny Lewis releases her first solo album and does a version of Handle With Care with guests Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard and Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst subbing in for Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan. I'll be looking forward to that one for sure.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

A 2nd Cover Riddle

Riddle me this: What do these tunes all have in common?

Johnny Cash - I Won't Back Down [originally by Tom Petty]

Leslie West - Old Brown Shoe [originally by The Beatles]

The Jeff Healey Band - All Along the Watchtower (live)
[originally by Bob Dylan]

Yeti Girls - Don't Bring Me Down [originally by Electric Light Orchestra]

Rockapella - Pretty Woman [originally by Roy Orbison]

Another easy one, je pense.
The answer in the form of a cover in a few days.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

O Oilers, why doth thou suck?

Oilers lost.

It's so depressing, I can barely muster up the strength to be mad.

We started the season with a promising 3 straight wins before dropping the next 6, punctuated by a humiliating 7-1 loss last night to the hated Colorado Avalanche.


About three or four years ago, the Oilers either broke or were on the verge of breaking a team-record 9 or 10 game losing streak. [EDIT: I just read a newspaper blurb that said it was a 9 game losing streak in the 1994/95 season... so my concept of time is a little off.] At the time, I cobbled together my own personal Oilers Slump Song as a sort of mental rallying call. So I guess it's an appropriate time to un-retire this little ditty in order to appease the vengeful hockey spirits.

Oilers Slump Song by me
[borrows from Simpsons, Zombies, Cardigans, Police, Network, Who, Queen, WDVE, Zeppelin, Beatles, & Ramones]

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Philosopher Kings

Just found out that one of my favourite bands The Philosopher Kings have a new album coming out next month. This Canadian band only released 2 studio albums in the mid-90s and a live album in 2000... and have been on a hiatus since. The individual band members have been busy: Jason Levine and James McCollum went off and formed the cartoon pop band Prozzäk while lead singer Gerald Eaton went and did a solo album under the pseudonym Jarvis Church. Eaton and fellow Philosopher King Brian West as the producing team Track & Field "discovered" and produced Nelly Furtado & K'Naan.

The Philosopher Kings - Cry [originally by Godley & Creme]
The Philosopher Kings - If I Ever Lose This Heaven [originally by Quincy Jones]

Prozzäk - Wild Thing/Poor Boy Medley [originally by The Troggs]

Jarvis Church featuring K'naan - One [originally by U2]
This is a really nice version of the song, although I'm not a huge fan of the rap rant near the end.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Top 10

At the expense of clogging up the sidebar, I've added my Top 10 cover songs based on ipod playcounts. Just curious... for any iTunes users, care to divulge what your #1 most played cover is?


The White Stripes - I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself
[originally by Burt Bacharach]

Jobless and out of university, the above song was my personal theme song for the past month... but I'm happy to report that in the last 24 hours I was offered two library-related jobs, both of which I accepted. The second call that came this morning was a shock since I thought I had bombed last week's interview and had been all but assured by external sources that I didn't get the job.

So, I'm in a jolly good mood right now. I've taken to walking with a spring in my step, a goofy grin on my face, and with this song on my ongoing personal soundtrack:
Bobby Darin - Don't Rain on my Parade

This song also came to mind: Wax - Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy [originally from Ren & Stimpy]

Saturday, October 08, 2005

You Probably Think This Song is About You

The answer to Sunday's cover riddle is, of course, Carly Simon's You're So Vain. Her song's one of the enduring music riddles that have had people clamoring to find out the identity of the song's subject. A couple years ago, there was even a charity auction where she finally revealed the secret to the high bidder... however, the winner was obviously bound to secrecy by penalty of death by cabbage.

Three of the previous tunes posted were covers of potential candidates: James Taylor, Cat Stevens, and Mick Jagger (who sand back-up vocals on Carly Simon's original hit). Another potential suitor was Warren Beatty, who I'm pretty sure does not have the distinction of having another artist cover his songs (if any), hence the Beatty/Madonna duet.

Alright, so here's some covers of Carly Simon's You're So Vain... the Anna Waronker version is particularly good, IMHO:

Anna Waronker
Faster Pussycat

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Hockey Hockey Hockey Hockey Hockey Hockey Hockey

Well, goshdarn, it's been a while... NHL lockout is over, CBC strike is over, Hockey's back! And my how we've missed you. Tonight I'm off to the Oilers home opener versus Colorado in about an hour. Should be a rocker. Go Oilers!

To celebrate the kick-off (or rather, face-off) to another NHL season, here's some hockey tunage:

Shuffle Demons - The Hockey Night in Canada Theme [originally by ? for CBC's Hockey Night in Canada]
Ah, the other Canadian national anthem.

Coach's Corner Theme
Like or hate Don Cherry, I'm sure any Canadian hockey fan can whistle this sweet theme from Coach's Corner.

Hanson Brothers - The Hockey Song [originally by Stompin' Tom Connors]
Punk cover of THE most enduring hockey song.

The Corb Lund Band - The Hockey Song (live) [originally by Stompin' Tom Connors]
Another cover of the Stompin' Tom Connors song with an Edmonton twist.

Jughead - The Hockey Song
Not a cover... Same title, different song. Awesome hockey song.

Warren Zevon - Hit Somebody (The Hockey Song)
I guess guys writing songs about hockey just aren't that original with their titles... They're all called "The Hockey Song". This one about a hockey goon was co-written by author Mitch Albom, features Paul Shaffer's Late Show band and David Letterman himself on background vocals (probably the guy yelling "hit somebody!").

There are some good hockey parodies to be downloaded here by 'Scary' Pete Cugno, which are pretty funny despite being from a Toronto-centric view. Check 'em out:
Leaf Kings (The Tragically Hip's Wheat Kings)
Goodbye Stanley Cup Hopes (Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road)
Every Shot You Take (The Police's Every Breath you Take)

The two best ones are:
Bye-Bye Flyers (Don Mclean's American Pie)
The Ottawa Song (Adam Sandler's Hanukkah song... often miscredited to Sandler on the p2p networks)

BTW, I'll post the answer to Sunday's riddle in a couple days.

[Post-game EDIT: Awesome home opener! We beat the Avalanche 4-3... Let's hope that's sign of things to come.]

Sunday, October 02, 2005

A Cover Riddle

Today's theme is "Guess the Theme"...
Riddle me this: What do the following tunes all have in common?

Little Richard - Brown Sugar [originally by the Rolling Stones]
Try to imagine Little Richard covering the Rolling Stones and you'd be 100% right. This cover brings a big grin to my face at precisely the 18-second mark.

Me First & The Gimme Gimmes - Fire & Rain
[originally by James Taylor]

Madonna & Warren Beatty - Now I'm Following You (Part I)
Catchy tune from Madonna's album I'm Breathless, which served as a soundtrack to Dick Tracy (hence Beatty's guest vocals). News to me, but Madonna's massive hit Vogue was originally from this album.

Mr. Big - Wild World [originally by Cat Stevens]

That shouldn't be too hard, methinks.
I'll post the answer in a few days in the form of a cover.