Friday, March 30, 2007

Interstate '76 OFFICIAL Soundtrack. OH YEAH!

It exists, I found it, and it's here. The official soundtrack to Interstate '76, which I have searched for on and off for 10 years has been unearthed. For some context, you can check out some old posts. I once wrote "I would kill for this soundtrack, though it may be lost for eternity." Luckily, I did not have to commit murder nor was the soundtrack lost forever. Strangely enough, I was scouring google to find that finale music from the classic SNES game A Link to the Past (perhaps one of the most satisfying game endings I can think of), when I came across the Galbadia Hotel, the most insanely overwhelming, comprehensive collection of video game soundtracks (and anime soundtracks) imaginable. I literally spent a couple hours lost on that site listening to old songs from Lemmings, Worms (I love that that theme!), old music from NHL '99, Lupin III soundtracks... it goes on and on. Anyway, I'm thinking "Well, they've got so many soundtracks, but there's NO WAY they have Interstate '76." So I see a link to "Interstate '7 Official Soundtrack," but I'm still skeptical and think it's gotta be just a rip of the original game CD. Then I see the 32-track list (all with titles) and I am shocked and awed.

Now I realize 95% of you so-called readers will not be as mind-blown as I was, but I know that I am not the only one obsessed with this soundtrack. So now me and a very very small percentage of the world population can breathe a collective sigh of relief. AHHHHHHH. Here it is, the Jesus' tomb of late 90's computer game soundtracks:

Interstate '76 Official Soundtrack

On a bittersweet note, almost all the songs on the soundtrack have been heard before. But now they've been infused with sound effects and game dialogue (evidence of a quick cash-in, perhaps?). The most curious track is Macademia Medley, which is a 5 minute mish-mash of old songs and never-heard songs. For the sake of completeness, it's nice to finally hear this whole soundtrack anyway.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Some Live Stuff

Live covers are usually pretty hit and miss. Here's a batch, you decide.

Drew Danburry - A Metaphorical Pour Out of a 40
[originally "Forgot About Dre" by Dr. Dre feat. Eminem]
Drew Danburry kindly sent me this cover, which if I hadn't looked it up I wouldn't have known what it was a cover of... I guess the only time I listen to Dr. Dre or Eminem is via ironic white guy covers. Check out his original stuff too, which is sort of an indie/folk/experimental blend of goodness (Here's one I like called Tree on Wheels). You may just discover a new favourite artist. Thanks Drew!

Mike Ford (of Moxy Früvous) - Five Years [originally by David Bowie]
At the start of this particular gig, each of the 4 members of the Früvous performed a solo song. Luckily the Moxy Früvous fans (AKA Früheads) are impeccable tapers.

Zwan - I'm Eighteen [originally by Alice Cooper]
If you didn't know (I sure didn't), Zwan was the short-lived band Billy Corgan started up after the Smashing Pumpkins broke up.

Shakira - Back in Black [originally by AC/DC]
I have no idea why Shakira would cover this and you'd think it'd be a complete disaster. The first minute or so is surprisingly sweet with some funky keyboardin' going on, then all of a sudden they "kick it into high gear" (i.e. perform the blandest copycat/karaoke cover imaginable). So it's only a 75% disaster.

Rilo Kiley - Such Great Heights [originally by The Postal Service]
Normally I can't stand listening to the audience, which is why most live recordings suck. Here, it's oddly charming that EVERYBODY knows the lyrics and sings along.

Warren Haynes - Lucky [originally by Radiohead]
I don't listen to a lot of Radiohead, but I distinctly remember this track from an episode of Six Feet Under where the Fisher family is burning old belongings in a mondo bonfire. If I recall correctly, the episode fades to white rather hauntingly as Thom Yorke sings "We are standing on the edge . . ."

EMF - Search and Destroy [originally by The Stooges]
Here's an unlikely cover from that Unbelievable band. Apparently these days, they're crumbelievable. I"m not sure we get that ad up here in Canada (I haven't seen it), but Stephen Colbert was all over it like crumbly cheese on whatever crumbly cheese goes on.

Ben Folds Five - Twin Falls [originally by Built to Spill]
This song brings back fond memories of playing 7-Up in elementary school. What a ridiculous game.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


I was going to write a real post. Then I found out about Desktop Tower Defense and got sucked into a time warp and lost 3 hours of my life. Scarily addictive!

Groovie Ghouls - Time Warp [originally from the Rocky Horror Picture Show]

Green Day - Sassafras Roots
Not a cover, but when I think about wasting time this song springs immediately to mind.

Do NOT click that link! You've been warned!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

White Stripes in Edmonton?

After a slew of hoax tour dates for their upcoming album Icky Thump, there were further developments today as the band sent out their newsletter that included the following tidbit:

"In fact, The White Stripes have yet to confirm their North American routing as of yet. But we are happy to say that it will include all 10 provinces and 3 territories of Canada, as well as the remaining 16 states of the United States the band have yet to play. A few major markets that have been journeyed to in the past will be also be included."

An article in today's Edmonton Journal thinks ol' Jack & Meg are having a joke at the expense of Canadians (their argument being that even the White Stripes wouldn't venture all the way up to Nunavut). And yet it wouldn't shock me in the least if they did decide to be one of, if not the first, rock band to tour the Canadian territories. Despite mentioning the hoax dates, the article still ends by laughingly pointing to Vancouver tour dates on August 7th and 8th.

Hey, I went to both those shows two years ago and they were THE two best concerts I have ever been to! In fact, looking back, August 11th, 2005 was the day this very blog started with (what else?) a White Stripes post. It's a little creepy and embarassing to look back at those tentative first few posts. Creepy in a listening-to-a-recording-of-yourself sort of way and embarassing since I haven't changed much since then, though I have gained about 3000 covers. I was living in Vancouver for a couple months at the time and I remember sending this crude drawing to taunt friends back home in Edmonton:

The White Stripes - Death Letter (Live Aug. 7, 2005 - Vancouver, BC)
[originally by Son House]

The White Stripes - Ball and Biscuit (Live Aug. 8, 2005 - Vancouver, BC)
These hardly capture the energy and excitement of these epic shows, but I still think it's cool to have a recording of them. As evidenced in the past few years, I think professionally recorded discs of the concert you just went to are probably among the best souvenirs one could get. I still get flashbacks when I go back and listen to the Pixies and Who Edmonton gigs. The technology's there, I hope more and more bands jump aboard. I know The Raconteurs did it on some of their gigs last year, so it wouldn't be stretch to hear a White Stripes Canadian tour set down the line, eh? I'd be all over that! Here's hoping for a tour announcement soon so I can start packing for a concert roadtrip.

The Raconteurs - Bang Bang (Live At Wolverhampton Civic Hall - 24/10/06)
[originally performed by Cher]
The Raconteurs - It Ain't Easy (Live on BBC Radio 2) [originally by David Bowie]

KT Tunstall - My Doorbell
Jack Johnson - My Doorbell
The Dresden Dolls - My Doorbell [via]

I generally hate the Pickin' On albums which churn out bluegrass covers in a little factory somewhere, but I think the White Stripes material lends itself very nicely to bluegrass makeovers and someone did a good job with these ones. Check out Jack White's contributions to the Cold Mountain soundtrack for some similar sounding material from the man himself.
Banjo Army for a Bluegrass Nation - It's True That We Love One Another
Banjo Army for a Bluegrass Nation - Fell in Love With a Girl
Jack White - Sittin' on Top of the World

By the way, check out Frunoflckr for that missing Tino Casal cover of Life on Mars?. My Spanish is a bit rusty (as in non-existent) and if Babelfish is to be trusted, which is doubtful, then "The uncle is Fongolia."

Thanks, Fruno! :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Happy Pi Day!

3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406286208998628034825342117067982148086513282306647093844609550582231725359408128481117450284102701938521105559644622948954930381964428810975665933446128475648233786783165271201909145648566923460348610454326648213393607260249141273724587006606315588174881520920962829254091715364367892590360011330530548820466521384146951941511609433057270365759591953092186117381932611793105118548074462379962749567351885752724891227938183011949129833673362440656643086021394946395224737190702179860943702770539217176293176752384674818467669405132000568127145263560827785771342757789609173637178721468440901224953430146549585371050792279689258923542019956112129021960864034418159813629774771309960518707211349999998372978049951059731732816096318595024459455346908302642522308253344685035261931188171010003137838752886587533208381420617177669147303598253490428755468731159562863882353787593751957781857780532171226806613001927876611195909216420198938095257201065485863278865936153381827968230301952035301852968995773622599413891249721775283479131515574857242454150695950829533116861727855889075098381754637464939319255060400927701671139009848824012858361603563707660104710181942955596198946767837449448255379774726847104047534646208046684259069491293313677028989152104752162056966024058038150193511253382430035587640247496473263914199272604269922796782354781636009341721641219924586315030286182974555706749838505494588586926995690927210797509302955321165344987202755960236480665499119881834797753566369807426542527862551818417574672890977772793800081647060016145249192173217214772350141441973568548161361157352552133475741849468438523323907394143334547762416862518983569485562099219222184272550254256887671790494601653466804988627232791786085784383827967976681454100953883786360950680064225125205117392984896084128488626945604241965285022210661186306744278622039194945047123713786960956364371917287467764657573962413890865832645995813390478027590099465764078951269468398352595709825822620522489407726719478268482601476990902640136394437455305068203496252451749399651431429809190659250937221696461515709858387410597885959772975498930161753928468138268683868942774155991855925245953959431049972524680845987273644695848653836736222626099124608051243884390451244136549762780797715691435997700129616089441694868555848406353422072225828488648158456028506016842739452267467678895252138522549954666727823986456596116354886230577456498035593634568174324112515076069479451096596094025228879710893145669136867228748940560101503308617928680920874760917824938589009714909675985261365549781893129784821682998948722658804857564014270477555132379641451523746234364542858444795265867821051141354735739523113427166102135969536231442952484937187110145765403590279934403742007..... and so on and so forth.

Belated Happy Pi Day everyone. I almost missed it. Ok, I did miss it but I'm not waiting another year to post my π songs!

Hard 'n Phirm - Pi
My favourite all-time π song. And check out the awesome music video here. The funniest is when that chubby kid starts to wander off the set and then gets wrangled back on by an angry production assistant. Keith Schofield's other music videos are worth a look too.

The Specifics - 3.1415
Very pleasant tune about how love is like π (my interpretation). "3.1415, the non-recurring story of my life..."

The Seatbelts - 3.14
This a strange little ditty from the Cowboy Bebop movie soundtrack with Ed singing what sounds like a Japanese nursery rhyme then reciting some π-ness

Also, a Pi Day treat: some requests! Don't let this lead to a bombardment of requests now, I'm just in a good mood today. :)

A couple more from Osaka Popstar:
Osaka Popstar & The American Legends of Punk - Astro Boy
[originally by Donald Rockwell & Tatsuo Takai]
I didn't recognize this cover at first, then I found out that this is the 60's Astro Boy and not the 80's Astro Boy that I grew up with.

Osaka Popstar & The American Legends of Punk - Man of Constant Sorrow
[traditional; made famous by the Stanley Brothers]
Upon closer inspection, Sailor Moon and Astro Boy are the only anime covers on the Osaka Popstar album, though 75% of it is still covers (like this one). You can see the full tracklist here.

Five months ago I made a post called Life on Mars? to the Max, with about 30 covers and versions of one of the best David Bowie songs. You can all thank Joe for me re-posting the "Life on Mars? Collection" with a few changes:
-Tino Casal's cover was incomplete the first time around so it's been cut
-I lost my David Bowie live in Edmonton version (don't worry the quality was terrible)
-I've replaced the Dresden Dolls version with an official version I got from the .2 Contamination Bowie Tribute album, although I suspect it was recorded from the same show
-I've added a Caecilie Norby jazz cover

The Life on Mars? Collection: [EDIT: I"M NOT RE-POSTING THIS AGAIN!]
Part 1 (A - L)
Part 2 (M - Z)

Word on the street is that experimental jazz surrealists The Bad Plus offer up a Life on Mars? cover on their new album that comes out at the end of May (not to mention covers of Tears for Fears and Rush!). Anyone got any other Mars covers?

The Onion AV Club posted their "14 Cover songs that are better than the originals". I originally wanted to post some of my picks, but I'm a little bogged down with work so that'll have to wait until maybe next week. Also check out their interview with Andrew Bird about his upcoming album, the Scythian empire, and his appearance on Jack's Big Music Show. Can't wait 'til next Tuesday!
One last bonus track: Andrew Bird as Dr. Stringz

Alright, going to the mountains this weekend for some skiing! See you next week.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Do the Bartman!

I was very happy to find this cover this weekend:
Shonen Knife - Do the Bartman [originally from the Simpsons; co-written by Michael Jackson]
An all-girl Japanese band covers Bart Simpson. Yes!

Osaka Popstar & The American Legends of Punk - Sailor Moon [originally performed by Nicole and Brynne Price (--thanks Sarah!)]
An all-guy American band returns the favour, covering a Japanese cartoon theme. I stumbled upon this album yesterday at the library, but unfortunately the concept of aging punk stars covering anime themes is more exciting than the output. The American Legends of Punk refers to members of the Misfits, Black Flag, The Voidoids, and The Ramones.

Bart Simpson & Buster Poindexter - School Days [originally by Chuck Berry]
I remember the Simpsons Sing the Blues album was so cool when I was like 7. It's actually fairly listenable.

Hoja - Coney Island Baby [originally by Les Applegate]
You may recognize this as one of the songs Homer's barbershop quartet (The Be-Sharps) performs.

Captain Thorns - Baby on Board/Coney Island Baby
[originally by the Be-Sharps/Les Applegate]
Wow, while checking who originally did Coney Island Baby, I found this guy's site with a full-on cover of the Be-Sharps! Bonus, the man known as Captain Thorns even has a couple Moxy Früvous covers! Check out this cover of The Greatest Man in America.

Steinski's Simpsons Remix
I can't remember exactly where I got this from, but presumably from over at WFMU.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Canadian Cover Content #3

Right on the heels of the last post, I had to put up this next track that I found at the library a couple days ago. Because who knows when the next CCC feature will surface...

You may know Neko Case from her solo career or (like me) from her membership in the Canadian indie supergroup The New Pornographers. She's American, by the way, though she could be considered an honourary Canadian for being well entrenched in the Canadian music scene starting with her career beginnings in Vancouver, British Columbia.

You may also know Sook-Yin Lee possibly as the lead singer of 90's alternative band Bob's Your Uncle or more than likely as a former MuchMusic VJ turned CBC radio host of Definitely Not the Opera. She's Canadian, by the way, and she has also appeared in several films, most recently last year in a controversial lead role in John Cameron Mitchell's Shortbus. So controversial, in fact, she almost got sacked by the CBC (read all about it here) if not for large public outcry and some celebrity rallying from the likes of Yoko Ono, Michael Stipe, and Francis Ford Coppola.

So I saw this compilation album at the library called Fields and Streams, and lo & behold there's this song by Neko Case written by Sook-Yin Lee. From the liner notes: "Hi my name is Neko. I live in Chicago but I spend lots of time in Canada where I've met lots of great songwriters like my friend Sook Yin Lee who's [sic] song 'Knock Loud' I really love and covered for this compilation. I recorded it in my kitchen."

Neko Case - Knock Loud [originally by Sook-Yin Lee]
Excellent cover. Check out the original on Sook-Yin's myspace page.

Rufus Wainwright - The Origin of Love [originally from Hedwig & The Angry Inch]
Now here's another Canadian Rufus Wainwright covering a tune from the film Hedwig & The Angry Inch, which was also directed by John Cameron Mitchell. Sook-Yin Lee also has cameo is this as well-- Aha! See the connection?

Some covers for Yoko, Stipe, and Coppola, the "Celebrity Defenders of Sook-Yin Lee":

Cornbred Red - Be My Yoko Ono [originally by The Barenaked Ladies]
The Barenaked Ladies' first album Gordon is still their best, yet here we are 15 years later and they're still around. They must be doing something right. One of those things is their Barenaked Planet initiative to address environmental concerns. I saw Steven Page & Ed Roberts talking about this on The Hour last month, a CBC newsmagazine show hosted by George Stroumboulopoulos, also a former MuchMusic VJ. If you're Canadian, you should be watching The Hour regularly. Fantastic content.

Paul Anka - Everybody Hurts [originally by REM]
Canadian pop icon Paul Anka covers a little REM. Did you know he's Jason Bateman's father-in-law? As in, Arrested Development's Jason Bateman? I didn't know that until about 5 seconds ago.

Harry Connick Jr. - Speak Softly Love [originally by Larry Kusic and Nino Rota]
No Canadian content here, but that's okay I only need 35% to meed CRTC standards. This is the love theme from The Godfather directed, of course, by Francis Ford Coppola. You'll know it when you hear it.

And because I can't resist:
Steppenwolf - Sookie Sookie [originally by Don Covay]
Steppenwolf, might I add, also Canadian.

Etta James - Sookie Sookie [originally by Don Covay]

Monday, March 05, 2007

Canadian Cover Content #2

Time for another round of Canadian cover content.

Sarah McLachlan - Dear God [originally by XTC]
DMC feat. Sarah McLachlan - Just Like Me ( of Black Eyed Peas Mix)
[a variation on Cat's in the Cradle by Harry Chapin]
Originally I was just going to post the Dear God cover (which I love, by the way), then I read this remarkable story of how Sarah McLachlan saved the life of Darryl "DMC" McDaniels (yes, THE DMC of Run DMC), which led to this unique collaboration. In DMC's own words, read this IGN interview from last year. The unlikely end result is. . . curious.

Styx - Summer in the City [originally by The Lovin' Spoonful]
Styx themselves are an American band, that is until Canadian Lawrence Gowan took over vocal duties from Dennis DeYoung a few years back. In 2005, they recorded an album of covers called Big Bang Theory, which is not as horrible as one might imagine. In fact, I quite dig this Summer in the City cover.

Shirley Bassey - Spinning Wheel (DJ Spinna remix) [originally by Blood, Sweat & Tears]
BS&T are another American band fronted by a Canadian, David Clayton-Thomas (who incidentally was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1996).

Blood, Sweat & Tears - Sympathy for the Devil [originally by the Rolling Stones]
This is unlike any Stones cover you've ever heard. Blood, Sweat & Tears put their distinctive psychedelic jazz-rock stamp on this song, though the degree of success is open to debate.

Dread Zeppelin - Suite: Judy Blue Eyes [originally by Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young]
Speaking of bands with a Canadian in their midst, there's of course Mr. Neil Young who put the Y in CSNY. Here's proof that Dread Zeppelin can also belt out some pretty sweet non-Led Zeppelin covers. I posted this a couple years ago, but I like it so much it's getting another round in the spotlight.

The Allman Brothers Band - The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down [originally by The Band]
Now here's a band that's predominantly Canadian with American Levon Helm on drums 'n vocals. Ah, The Band, the "Who's on First" of rock music (probably moreso than the Who).
I can just hear it now:
"What band is this?"
"The Band."
"No, not the Who. The Band."
"What the deuce?"

Duane Allman & Aretha Franklin - The Weight [originally by The Band]
Apparently the Allman Brothers like The Band.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Wolfmother & Zeppelin

Went to the Wolfmother gig a few nights ago. It was rockin'. The high tempo show kicked off right into Dimension, which is one of my favourite Wolfmother tracks, and they rocked hard for close to two hours straight including a five song encore. The lead guitarist/singer had an awesome afro that made his head look puny and he pulled off some entertaining antics such as flipping his guitar in the air and some Roger Daltrey-esque microphone swinging. They played through probably the entirety of their only album and also threw in a new song. The best surprise was a cover of Led Zeppelin's Communication Breakdown (rock on!). Apparently I was among the few who hadn't been expecting this, as there were a disproportionate amount of people sporting Zeppelin shirts including a roadie.

So I got home and did some googling and yes, they do regularly perform Communication Breakdown and even performed it live when Led Zeppelin was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame last year.

Wolfmother - Communication Breakdown [originally by Led Zeppelin]
This barely captures how wicked it was to see them perform this live in a smallish venue as the crowd went wild.

Wolfmother - Woman (Avalanches Millstream Remix)
Almost a completely unrecognizable version of this song.

Joss Stone - Son of a Preacher Man [originally by Dusty Springfield]
A pretty snazzy cover from the same UK Music Hall of Fame ceremony where Dusty Springfield was also inducted posthumously.

Some bonus Zeppelin covers:
Prince - Whole Lotta Love
Chris Cornell - Thank You
Jimmy Page & The Black Crowes - Celebration Day
Otis Clay - Since I've Been Loving You