Thursday, November 24, 2005

6 Degrees with Winnie the Pooh, Radiohead, & Bette Midler

The wonderful thing about covers:

1. Carly Simon - Winnie the Pooh
[composed by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman]

2. Radiohead - Nobody Does it Better (live)
[originally by Carly Simon]
Thom Yorke prefaces this live version with "This is the sexiest song that was ever written..." and they perform it like they mean it. Indeed, I've never heard a better cover of this.

3. The Darkness - Street Spirit (Fade Out)
[originally by Radiohead]
Pretty good 80s metal interpretation of Radiohead, who are not sacred in my books.

4. Ben Folds - Get Your Hands Off of My Woman
[originally by The Darkness]
Pounding keys replace the heavy guitar riffs of the Darkness with Ben doing his best falsetto.

5. Bette Midler - Boxing
[originally by Ben Folds Five]
This is one of, if not the only studio recorded cover of a Ben Folds Five song. This cover scares me in the same way as clowns & carnivals (makes me involuntarily twitch). Midler sings it with about as much poignancy and pathos as a cardboard box. Though, I may be biased toward the original.

Not quite 6 degrees, but I think Kevin Bacon would be proud (or spiteful).

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Dead links

Is it just me or are all the savefile links dead?
Um, I'll figure something out in the next few days.

[EDIT: They're alive!!! No worries, they were just upgrading their servers.]

Friday, November 18, 2005

Now That's Edutainment!

Over at I Dig Worms, the latest post features Sesame Street Fever, a disco Sesame Street album sporting a cover with a vaguely disturbing image of Grover striking a John Travolta stance -- disturbing, I think, mainly because a full-bodied muppet is a little creepy. Ernie looks unsettlingly dispropotionate too... but I digress.

The highlight of the post is a full 2:41 version of the Pinball Number Count! Remember the animated pinball rolling through a plethora of obstacles to the beat of the funkiest little number ditty imaginable? Rock on. Here it is in all its glory. I remember several years ago going on a mission to find this song and eventually downloading a shortened version (just the number 4) through Napster. This was also pre-"google-takes-over-the-world", so I never did really find out anything more about it. What a difference a few years makes. Inspired by I Dig Worm's uncovering of this long-lost childhood relic, I googled "Pinball Number Count" and found this swack of cool links:

1. A Letter from Walt Kraemer
This guy composed and produced the Pinball Number Count. A couple years ago, some guy (obviously way more determined than I was) tracked this guy down and e-mailed him about the song. Here's his response, which details the hitherto secret history of the Pinball Number song. I didn't know this, but the vocals on the track are, in fact, The Pointer Sisters. Nice!

2. The Dead Hensons
A Muppets/Sesame Street cover band... bloody brilliant. Guess what: a cover of the Pinball Number song. Get it here. There's even a cover of "Can You Picture That?". This made my day. Possibly my month.

Year-old blog entry on the Dead Hensons and the jackpot: a 26Mb avi movie of the Pinball Number Count. I am currently wallowing in nostalgia.

4. Hockey Night - For Guys' Eyes Only
A couple weeks back I downloaded this awesome track by Hockey Night, which I admittedly only downloaded because the band was called Hockey Night. About 1:30 into the song, an unexpected quotation of the Pinball Number Count. Must have been an omen.

Some related tracks:
Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra - Sesame Street theme
Captain Vegetable [from Sesame Street]
Goodness - Electricity, Electricity [originally from Schoolhouse Rocks]
Deluxx Folk Implosion - I'm Just a Bill [originally from Schoolhouse Rocks]
Moxy Früvous - Photosynthesis [re-lyricization of their own Jenny Washington]

"Out of his secret garden somewhere in New Jersey..."

Friday, November 11, 2005

Neil Young covered

[EDIT 11/16/05: OK, I've (hopefully) fixed all the broken links there. I'm not sure why some links worked and others didn't but I'm back to SaveFile until I find something better. I did in the meantime get a hold of that Phantom Planet cover and have added a link to that below as well.]

So the new Philosopher Kings album Castles hits stores in less than 2 weeks. I've got all their albums (only 3) and I thought I had heard all their one-off contributions to compilation albums such as "Work", which was on a 30 Hour Famine charity album. I was wrong. Just a couple weeks ago at the library I stumbled onto Borrowed Tunes, a 1994 2-disc tribute album to Neil Young, and lo and behold: there's another Philosopher Kings track. The entire album features Canadian artists covering Neil Young and includes such names as Treble Charger, 54·40, Big Sugar, and Randy Bachman. Here's a few tracks from that album (I particularly liked OLP's cover) and some other Neil Young covers:

The Philosopher Kings - Coupe de Ville
Our Lady Peace - The Needle and the Damage Done
Lawrence Gowan - Heart of Gold

Oddly enough on a Canadian tribute album to Neil Young, there were no contribution from Tragically Hip or Rush. Though Rush did do a version of Mr. Soul on their covers album Feedback: Rush - Mr. Soul

Pixies - Winterlong

Devo - Ohio [originally by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young]
Interesting factoid: Devo founders Mark Mothersbaugh and Jerry Casale were on campus during the Kent State shootings. Casale's first-hand account of the shootings can be read here.

Dread Zeppelin - Suite: Judy Blue Eyes [originally by CSNY]

Some big names covering For What It's Worth [originally by Buffalo Springfield]:
Robert Plant
Ozzy Osbourne
Rush (also from their Feedback album)

Phantom Planet also does what sounds to be a pretty good cover of CSNY's Our House for the soundtrack to The Chumscrubber (a snippet is featured in the trailer). I intended to buy it via iTunes but for some reason it's only available in the US and it wouldn't let me buy it through my Canadian account. Bah!

[EDIT 11/16/05: Got it! Check out Phantom Planet's Our House]

(Yeah, trying a new file-hosting site too)


11:11 by Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire

Monday, November 07, 2005

Zkippy Stardust

Oops, kinda slacked off on the postings there. I'll try to add something more substantial tomorrow. For now, here's an Italian David Bowie tribute band Zkippy Stardust and an mp3 album of one of their live shows "The Garden of Reality". It's actually pretty cool and it's great to hear an electric cover of Queen Bitch, one of my Bowie fav's.

Check it out here: Zkippy Stardust