Monday, March 27, 2006

New Cover Riddle & Overdue Answers

I know, I know. I've been slacking with posts and this trend looks to continue in the foreseeable future. To compensate, I'll try to cram a few extra tunes in here.

There's some unfinished business with the David Fincher cover riddle. Fincher is one of those music-video-turned-film-directors from back when that inspired an "Oh, that's interesting." rather than an "Another bloody music video director!?!" response. Among the videos he directed were:

Paula Abdul's Straight Up covered here by Halifax
George Michael's Freedom '90 covered here by Robbie Williams (as Freedom '96)

...and he even directed the video for Billy Idol's cover of LA Woman [originally The Doors]. Kudos to him!

I've even got another semi-cover riddle lined up for you:
What is the common theme between these tunes?

The Who - You Better You Bet
REM - The Wake-Up Bomb
All the Young Dudes
This was originally written by David Bowie for Mott the Hoople and becomes one of those complicated instances of who you credit the original song to... My instincts are to credit the song to Bowie who didn't release an album cut until later, although Mott the Hoople's version came out first. Oh the dilemma.
The F-Ups
Jill Sobule
Ozzy Osbourne
Des de Moor and Russel Churney
Switchblade Kittens

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Cover Answer #4 (sort of)

Alright, no time for a proper post-- but I figured it was about time I revealed the answer. I've been told the answer can be discovered with a little help from Google... Damn you, Google, ruiner of trivia!

So the answer is that the three songs prior were used as the music at the end of three consecutive films of David Fincher, a near-great director who's been missing in action for the past few years though seems to be on the verge of a comeback with films coming out this year and next.

1. Se7en (1995) - Trent Reznor's remix of Bowie's "The Heart's Filthy Lesson"
2. The Game (1997) - Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit"
3. Fight Club (1999) - Pixies' "Where is My Mind?"

These films are bookended by the flawed Alien 3 (1992) and the disappointing Panic Room (2002), which may have only been disappointing because it happened to follow SE7EN, THE GAME, and FIGHT CLUB. I would easily consider Se7en and Fight Club to be two of the best films of the 90s. Coincidentally, both containing Brad Pitt back when he used to act instead of playing himself. Fight Club also marked the last time Edward Norton was in anything worth watching. Prove me wrong, Ed, prove me wrong. Se7en also features a pre-Scrubs John C. McGinley who is described as "hardcore" by Fincher and Pitt on the DVD's commentary, which I still distinctly remembered when I started watching Scrubs years later. The Game is oppressive and relentless with its story, yet simultaneously darkly amusing. Highly recommended as well.

But the conceit of these cover riddles is that I answer in the form of covers... so you can ponder what I might post in the near future (when I have more free time!).

Monday, March 06, 2006

Cover Riddle #4

Riddle me this, riddle me that: How does anyone find the time and motivation to post on their blog on a regular basis?*

After a disappointingly easy Cover Riddle #3, I tried to come up with something a little trickier. That said, I guess it's very obvious if you already know the answer... (well, obviously). Also check out this week's Coverville episode, for Brian Ibbott's version of Cover Riddles. My guess is that it has something to do with the Oscars-- at least three of the songs are featured in Oscar-winning films, though I'm not sure about the others. I'm amused because a couple weeks ago Brian also beat me to a video games cover post, which I may still do in the future because he left off one of the best ones...

Alright, what is the unifying link between the following covers?

The Heart's Filthy Lesson by Lunasect [originally by David Bowie]

White Rabbit [originally by Jefferson Airplane]
For some reason, when I first heard White Rabbit I immediately thought it'd make a good cover song for an up-tempo rockin' version. I've yet to hear the perfect cover of it, but The Damned's is pretty damn close. I have 14 covers of White Rabbit and these are the best ones:
Karen Abrahams with The Austin Lounge Lizards
Blue Man Group featuring Esthero
The Damned
The Murmurs (this one is distinctly Björkish)

Where is My Mind? by Ghoti Hook [originally by the Pixies]

And now for something completely different...

Watched the Oscars tonight and it played out just about as expected including the not-so-shocking "upset" of Crash for Best Picture over Brokeback Mountain... Memoirs of a Geisha was nominated for and won more Oscars than I realized... this year they added elevator music to the thank you speeches to distract the winners, I guess... more arbitrary montages than I remember in past years: tribute to biographies! tribute to epics! Jon Stewart quipped: "Coming up next, tribute to montages!"...

It was slightly embarrassing that they let a bunch of sound editors/costume designers/actors ramble on while totally gypping the winners of Crash (twice) on their speeches. Shouldn't the winner of the night's ultimate prize get to speechify to their heart's content? No. Crank the music, cut to ceiling shot, and show another JC Penney commercial featuring non-stop Bang A Gong remixes. Classy stuff. If they're trying to save time, seriously cut the barrage of montages.

Some favourite moments from the show:
-montage of controversial/socially conscious films including clips from (among others): In the Heat of the Night, Born on the Fourth of July, Hotel Rwanda, The China Syndrome, Network, The Insider, Philadelphia, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and The Day After Tomorrow. Way to go, Roland Emmerich. Your important contributions to cinematic history are duly noted.

-some Oscar winner for Memoirs of a Geisha thanked director Rob Marshall-- and the camera cut to a nodding Steven Spielberg. Ha.

-Crash wins Best Picture and half the crowd stands up and hugs because apparently everyone was in Crash

-Jon Stewart's analysis after the Best Song Oscar for It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp: "Martin Scorsese: 0; Three 6 Mafia: 1." Frightening, but so true. Robert Altman got his honorary Oscar too... he's now tied with Three 6 Mafia.

-Rachel Weisz wins her Oscar and as she's walking up, the announcer proudly announces she was in The Mummy and The Mummy Returns

-sorta of lame opening with past hosts, but then Mel Gibson comes on in full-Apocalypto mode (my sister has no idea what's going on)

-bizarre camera angles from behind the Oscar winning speeches like an SNL monologue with continuous reaction shots from Matt Dillon

-after Paul Haggis' speech, the co-writer for Crash steps up to the mike and is brutally cut off with the camera cutting away to an agog Charlize Theron who is clearly appalled at the Academy's lack of class

-the South African winner for foreign film demands the cameras to show the two stars of his film, Tsotsi.

-Stewart looking to Spielberg for a Jewish Tragedy Trilogy: "I can't wait to see what happens to us next!" Spielberg did not seem overly amused.

-Ang Lee gives props to China; my dad walks in and asks: "Is that John Woo?"

Cover answers next week (hopefully sooner than later).

*I have absolutely no idea.