Monday, June 30, 2008

New Bond Trailer!

Sweet! First trailer of Quantum of Solace has arrived! Other than The Dark Knight, this is the film I'm most pumped about this year (wait, did I previously say that about Indy?). Both series have a bit in common with their triumphant reboot/revamp approach to franchises that had descended into mediocrity. Franchise most in need of a reboot: Alien. Let's get back to the Ridley Scotts and James Camerons of directing, and forget the Paul W.S. Andersons and Brothers Strauses, ugh.

David Arnold - The Name's Bond...James Bond
A mild revamp of the classic theme that closed out Casino Royale. Arnold has scored every Bond film since Tomorrow Never Dies, but I was surprised to learn that his album of Bond theme covers Shaken and Stirred actually came out before he became the franchise's composer. In fact, that album directly led to him getting the gig based on a recommendation from John Barry, the embodiment of Bond music, who did the themes/music for pretty much every film between Dr. No and The Living Daylights.

Look forward for a solid week of Bond theme covers when Quantum of Solace comes out November 7.

Amie Street Alert

Not a member of Amie Street yet? Boyhowdy's latest post has a code for $3 free when you sign up for Amie Street. I'm a big fan of the site: DRM-free downloads and sliding scale pricing (all songs start free and increase as they become popular to a max of 98¢). Lots of great indie bands, though there's a frustrating US Only restriction for certain record labels.

So you just got your first $3 or you're already a loyal user looking for new music, what to buy? Lucky for you cover lovers, I've been keeping tabs on the Amie Street cover song offerings... take a listen and load up!

  • Shortstack: a covers EP with songs by The Kinks, Captain Beefheart, and The Pupils. An early purchase for me was their cover of Commotion, my favourite CCR song.

  • Lili Haydn: Supertramp's Goodbye Stranger

  • Jake Shimabukuro: 7 albums from ukulele virtuoso jake Shimabukuro. Lots of covers including his great version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Zeppelin's Going to California, and Cyndi Lauper's Time After Time.

  • Lee Press-On & The Nails: a handful of good covers from this big band swing group. Pink Elephants on Parade from Disney's Dumbo, Van Halen's Hot for Teacher, Stones' Jumping Jack Flash, and more.

  • Mates of State: Bowie's Starman is covered on their All Day EP.

  • Jacqui Naylor: Probably one of the best deals on here, two albums for about $2 each. Naylor calls it "smashing" but essentially she and her band perform live band mash-ups. Some work, some not so much, but they're all in good fun. Particularly great is her cover of Santa Baby intermixed with Zeppelin's D'yer Mak'er from the Christmas album Smashed for the Hoildays. She must be a Zeppelin fan since we also have What Child is This? vs. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You and We Three Kings vs. When the Levee Breaks. I won't spoil some of the other bizarre clashes, but I will give props to her covers of Lola and Hot Legs.

  • Asobi Seksu: The Crystals' Then He Kissed Me

  • Dani Siciliano: Nirvana's Come As You Are

  • Sugarman Three: covers of James Brown's Papa's Got a Brand New Bag and Susie Q (apparently NOT originally by CCR as I thought, but Dale Hawkins).

  • Indie Translations of the White Stripes: White Stripes purists tend to bash this album, but I found at least a few keepers when I bought the physical CD in San Francisco a few months back. Unfortunately, Amie Street doesn't actually list individual artists on this compilation and as an added kick in the crotch, the downloaded tracks are mis-credited to the wrong band. It's a shame because the two best tracks are folksy/country covers of Ball & Biscuit and My Doorbell by an L.A. band called the Long Goners.

  • Bibbidi Bobbidi Bach: Disney covers in the style of famous classical composers.

    US Only
  • Rasputina: From their live album A Radical Recital, gothic cello covers of Heart's Barracuda and Led Zeppelin's Rock & Roll, both under 40¢ each. I love their version of Rock & Roll from their covers EP The Lost & Found, but unfortunately it's not available.

    Leave comments with other good covers you found on Amie Street!

  • Thursday, June 26, 2008

    Weekend to do list

  • From Amanda Palmer's myspace:
    "Text your friends currently getting muddy at glastonbury:
    I just *might* show up on stage with ben folds tomorrow to do some
    *possibly* crazy shit that just *might* involve ben playing drums on songs
    that *perhaps* might be appearing on my new record.

  • Danny Michel & Emm Gryner's Under the Covers starts airing this Saturday night at 9pm (in whatever time zone you're in!) as part of CBC Radio 1's summer programming. The first episode is actually a repeat of last year's pilot, though it'll be airing for the next 5 weeks with new episodes. Check the episode guide to see what they've got in store. Very exciting.

  • For Vancouverites, the Vancouver Jazz Festival is already well underway. I'm excited to see Elizabeth Shepherd performing Sunday, a free show at David Lam Park downtown.

  • Covering the Mouse Vote 2008: in honour of his first year of Disney cover blogging, Kurtis is tabulating votes for a sort of reader's choice awards. For roughly the next month, vote on the best, the worst, the weirdest, and most unlikely of Disney covers.

  • By the way, in case you aren't already, reading Fong Songs on via the RSS feed is the best way to keep up-to-date on new posts here. I'm partial to Google Reader.

  • In regards to Cover Riddle #6, no one's got it right yet. Some good guesses and one person is so close it's almost over, but not quite. I forgot Canada Day is next Tuesday so I'll probably postpone the answer until after that sometime. Some additional clues for the rest of you:

  • Wednesday, June 25, 2008

    Cover Riddle #6

    Answer: Part Five in the extraordinarily sporadic Cover Riddle feature was posted on this date.
    Question: What is November 27, 2006?

    And here we go with Cover Riddle #6! Unlike previous ones, this one's a visual puzzler. What unique distinction is shared by the following people?

    The answer is quite remarkable once you find out, at least I think so. E-mail me your guesses [fongobongo AT gmail DOT com] and I may be inclined to send a covers-themed prize to the first person who gives the correct answer, if anybody at all. I'm on the fence as to whether this is too easy or too hard... I'll be back next Monday with the answers in the form of cover songs.

    Okay, okay, here's your hint:
    Skanatra - New York, New York [made famous by Frank Sinatra]

    Tuesday, June 24, 2008

    Worst cover of all time?

    Gee, big world news headline: Celine Dion's cover of AC/DC's You Shook Me All Night Long is "responsible for the world's worst cover version" according to Total Guitar magazine. And you know, I have absolutely no qualms with that. In fact, I almost wrote a fevered post about this cover atrocity when I was first exposed to it on youtube a long while ago, but decided it was best buried and forgotten about. But like John McClane it's come back with a vengeance!

    There's bad, there's mediocre, and then there's active horribleness. Celine Dion is not the only guilty party; guest star Anastacia joins her on stage for a tag team assault on the audience. Usually when I hear or see a bad cover I'll scoff or roll my eyes, but this time I got a little tickle in my throat and a queasiness in my belly that had me rapidly clicking for the stop button. Perhaps if I had just heard the cover, it wouldn't be so bad, but seeing the accompanying video is a frighteningly visceral experience. Yes, you can pretty much taste the awfulness. Dion's air guitar intro with elbow streamers (?) that just scream ROCK & ROLL, the enthusiastic crowd, the pelvic thrusts, Anastacia's garish wardrobe, and simply the utter discrepancy between song choice and performers. I had to turn it off before my brain boiled. I'm generally all for cross-genre covers, but it's no surprise that some of the worst covers in the last few years are pop stars + rock classics. I'd give a strong nod to Fergie's Live & Let Die cover as one of the worst in recent memory. I'll leave you on you own to dig up these youtube links.

    Rounding out the bottom five: All Saints' Walk This Way, Westlife's More Than Words, Will Young's Light My Fire, and The Mike Flowers Pops' Wonderwall. The inclusion of the latter is kind of odd since the cover is clearly tongue-in-cheek, like saying "Austin Powers is the worst drama ever!", or is that the joke?

    The Mike Flowers Pops - MacArthur Park [originally recorded by Richard Harris; written by Jimmy Webb]
    Here they cover one of the reputed "worst songs in history". For the record, I LOVE MacArthur Park, covers and all.

    The Mike Flowers Pops - Bowie Medley [originally by David Bowie]
    A medley of Bowie hits performed live by The Mike Flowers Pops.

    By the way, here's an extreme example of a cross-genre cover courtesy of a Jonathan Coulton fan: Still Alive on Carillon.

    Monday, June 23, 2008

    Musquodoboit School of Rock

    A few weeks ago I posted about a special gig in Nova Scotia with three school choirs performing songs by indie Canadian artists. On a recent CBC Radio 3 podcast, they spoke with the music teacher/organizer, Jarred Gates, Julie Doiron who was on hand to hear them cover her songs, and to some of the choir kids.

    CBC Radio 3's School of Rock Special, report by CBC Halifax's Phlis McGregor
    Here's the clip from the podcast specifically about the indie kids. Throughout you can hear snippets of the kids singing Feist's 1234, Julie Doiron's Me and My Friend, and Joel Plaskett Emergency's Nowhere With You, the latter of which they played more or less in its entirety.

    Musquodoboit Kids - Nowhere With You [originally by Joel Plaskett Emergency]
    Very reminiscent of the Langley Schools Music Project. I'd love to hear a full recording someday since I have the sneaking suspicion the CBC recorded the whole thing. Let me just throw this idea out there: school fundraiser perhaps?

    The kids' music teacher is the singer/guitarist of a local Halifax band called The UpBeat. Here's their Myspace page and profile on CBC's New Music Canada.

    Sunday, June 22, 2008

    The Polka Floyd Show

    A covers CD showed up on my doorstep last week: The Polka Floyd Show. The name says it all, Pink Floyd done in a polka style, but don't let that scare you. I think the accordion gets a bad rap as a joke or novelty instrument, but I think it's severely underrated and in the right hands the accordion can definitely rock. Moxy Früvous's Darlington Darling was probably the first time I actually wished I could play the accordion. Of course, I'm a huge fan of Weird Al who partly contributes to the nerd aspect of the instrument and Captain Tractor is another band that made me a staunch accordion supporter. In fact, The Polka Floyd Show reminds of most of Captain Tractor for their ability to seamlessly incorporate the accordion into a rock setting. They've got the accordion and the oom-pah, but they still have growling vocals and some shredding guitar solos.

    The great thing about tribute bands like Hayseed Dixie (bluegrass AC/DC), Dread Zeppelin (Elvis reggae Zeppelin), and now The Polka Floyd Show is the clear passion of these bands for the original artists. Translating the songs into their own distinct style, they will replicate nuances of even the lesser known tracks, which speaks to a devotion and close reading that's atypical of your average cover. By that same token, if you're just a casual Pink Floyd fan you might not be inclined to pick this CD up, but you'd be missing out. Honestly I only knew three of the covers, though I'm still digging the rest of the album.

    Track listing:
    1. See Emily Play
    2. One of These Days...
    3. Breathe/Time
    4. Have a Cigar
    5. Pigs on the Wing
    6. Hey You
    7. Outside the Wall

    It's a testament to the quality of The Polka Floyd Show that I'll repeatedly cue up their cover of Breathe/Time, a 10-minute opus that's the clear highlight of the album. The band is clearly having fun with these covers (they cheekily alter a famous line to "Desperation is the Polish way..."), but it's never a joke. They like to rock and don't mind bringing the accordion along to rock too.

    Check their official site, order from CD Baby (only $10!), and check their myspace page for non-album covers of Another Brick in the Wall and Us & Them. I hope to hear more in the future from The Polka Floyd... a polka In the Flesh? or Shine On You Crazy Diamond perhaps?

    Friday, June 20, 2008

    Random Rules with JoCo

    Random Rules with Jonathan Coulton just went up on the AV Club. JoCo talks about Lennon vs. McCartney, giving his CD to Jon Brion ("like handing a piece of poop to an angel"), and running into OK Go at the Senate building and pretending not to know who they were. It also likely contains the first ever post-Raconteurs reference to Brendan Benson that doesn't mention the Raconteurs or Jack White (I am not immune). Great article.

    Thursday, June 19, 2008

    Covers from The Living End

    In exactly one month, July 19th, The Living End will release their latest album White Noise. I've mentioned them here and there, but never really given them their proper due on Fong Songs, which is remarkable because

  • A) They're one of my favourite bands
  • B) They're very cover friendly

    In fact, I consider their Tainted Love as bit of a modern cover classic and it's the song that introduced me to the band. After repeatedly digesting the cover, I was compelled to check out their 1998 self-titled debut and its 2000 follow-up Roll On from the library, both incredible albums. I've been a huge fan ever since, snapping up each subsequent release, though honestly nothing really tops those first two albums (they're just too good).

    The Living End - Tainted Love [originally recorded by Gloria Jones]
    [**link removed by request**]
    This has a great guitar solo by lead singer/guitarist Chris Cheney, who has got to be one of the most underrated guitarists in modern rock. In fact, I can't really think of anyone comparable. His playing is just unreal, especially live. See them perform E Boogie and you'll become a believer. Their song Carry Me Home made an appearance in Guitar Hero II, but I could easily pick about a dozen more Living End tracks that I'd want to play in that or Rock Band. Someone should definitely make it happen.

    The Living End - How Do We Know?
    This is their latest song from from the upcoming White Noise. It's pretty good and built on some killer riffs, a bit of a different sound than the usual Living End release. Perhaps because everything I hear is filtered through the White Stripes, I'd say it sounds a bit Icky Thump-ish (song, not album), in the same way that Supergrass's Diamond Hoo Ha Man sounds like the Stripes' Blue Orchid.

    I was very fortunate to catch them live in 2006 when I was visiting Toronto, an amazing gig that I shockingly never blogged about for some reason. I get the impression there's a massive disparity with the Living End's popularity in their native Australia and here in North America. They were playing at a medium sized nightclub and I went an hour early to line up, though that wasn't necessary since there were only 12 fans in front of me. At first I wasn't even sure I was at the right place. About 20 minutes before the doors opened, the band casually walked by the line and went to a restaurant across the street. That was a bit surreal because I imagine any other band would be mobbed if they did that, whereas here only a handful of people even recognized them, including one guy who immediately began hatching a scheme to go in there and buy the band drinks (successfully I found out later). The opening bands were local band The Mark Inside and The Lashes, whose lead singer jumped off the stage and stepped on my feet while haphazardly dancing. Eventually the place filled up by the time The Living End came on and I was in a particularly great spot, one layer of bodies from the stage, which unexpectedly provided a cushion from the moshers behind me (i.e. instead of being crushed against the stage, I was indirectly crushing others). Um, I'll just let some photos tell the story:

    Yeah, needless to say it was awesome. I've got some more photos from the show in a facebook album. Here's a sweet clip from the show, a Mr. Sandman cover:

    Here are just a handful of the many covers they've released:
    The Living End - I Get a Kick Out of You [originally by Cole Porter]
    The Living End - I've Just Seen a Face [originally by The Beatles]
    The Living End - Rising Sun [originally by Cold Chisel]

    The Living End - Jailbreak (live) [originally by AC/DC]
    Recorded live just three days ago on an Aussie webcast, The Living End cover Bon Scott era AC/DC.

    The guitar/double bass/drum trio set-up of the band is modeled after the Stray Cats, Brian Setzer's rockabilly group who were a huge influence on the band. In fact, Scott Owen switched from piano to the double bass after seeing the Stray Cats live with Cheney. Pre-Living End, they were a cover band called Runaway Boys after one of the Stray Cats' songs.

    Runaway Boys - Rock This Town (live) [originally by Stray Cats]
    Runaway Boys - Looking Out My Back Door [originally by Creedence Clearwater Rivival]

    "The Living End" itself is borrowed from the 1956 rock & roll movie Rock Around the Clock featuring Bill Haley & The Comets, which ends with that very phrase instead of the usual "The End". For a ton of Living End live tracks and rarities including the full set of Runaway Boys demos, head on over to audio gallery of fansite The 23rd Precinct.

  • Wednesday, June 18, 2008


    I'm not one to resort to lol's, wtf's, or omg's, but seriously... OMG. I just read this on Amanda Palmer's blog about her upcoming solo record:

    "neil gaiman is working with me on the book that is going to accompany the record. he's also writing some liner notes for the back of the album art, which is taking a bizarre turn into the 1960s.
    he's an amazing man, this neil gaiman. (the ambien is kicking in). he is kind of a rock star trapped in a writer's body. i like the way he talks about things, it makes me feel like i could spends hours and hours with him and never get bored and never stop laughing and never forget for too long the profundity of silliness. i feel so lucky. all of these incredible people have come into my life lately. neil gaiman. ben folds. beth, my assistant who is helping me save my life so that i can go tour in peace.

    WTF. I was agog two years ago when I found out Ben Folds randomly called up Amanda Palmer and said he was a fan. This led to the Dresden Dolls joining him for a few gigs in Australia, after which he offered up his own Nashville studio and services to produce Amanda's solo debut album. Two of my favourite artists teaming up, a subconscious wish realized. And now Neil Gaiman is working on liner notes and an accompanying book!?! Yes, THAT Neil Gaiman who's hung out on my sidebar as "my fav author" since this blog began. A veritable Fong Songs dream team. Well that's enough to reduce me to a blubbering fanboy. Sign me up! I was already excited about this album, but it's now the holy grail release of 2008.

    Amanda Palmer - Such Great Heights [originally by The Postal Service]
    Ben Folds - Such Great Heights (live on Myspace) [originally by The Postal Service]
    Neil Gaiman - Such Great Heights [heh, I wish]

    UPDATE: More cool news... special guests include the Dead Kennedys' East Bay Ray shredding on a track called Guitar Hero and one-time Polyphonic Spree member Annie Clark (AKA St. Vincent) joining Amanda for a cover from the 1945 Rodgers & Hammerstein musical Carousel. Zoë Keating, formerly of Rasputina, is another guest musician.

    Monday, June 16, 2008

    Thanks Stan (updated with pics)

    I was deeply saddened to read that special effects genius Stan Winston passed away yesterday after a lengthy battle with multiple myeloma. When I was little I used to borrow these big ILM and Digital Domain tomes from the library, entertaining thoughts of one day getting into visual effects, and Stan Winston was one of the giants of the industry. He's helped create some of the greatest special effects in cinematic history, make-up and animatronics that remain unsurpassed by even current usage of CGI effects. His filmography speaks for itself: Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Aliens, Edward Scissorhands, Predator, Jurassic Park, just to name a few. I mean, just re-read that list... amazing. He won Oscars for his work on Aliens, Jurassic Park, two for T2 with several other nominations as well. He was recruited by frequent collaborator James Cameron to contribute designs for his upcoming return to sci-fi cinema, Avatar due in 2009. The two of them were co-founders of VFX house Digital Domain. His most recent work was creating the physical suits for Iron Man. We'll miss you Stan, thanks for all the memories.

    UPDATE: I wanted to include some photos in the earlier post but Blogger was having issues. Now take a look at these shots below and imagine movies without Stan Winston.

    (this fitting portrait of Stan Winston is by the always awesome Sebastian Kruger)

    The Last Bitches Ain't Shit

    Though Ben didn't exactly debut any completely new songs at Bonnaroo this weekend, it likely saw the retirement of a fan favourite and surprising crowd pleaser, his strangely poignant cover of Dr. Dre's Bitches Ain't Shit. Apparently he already played it "for the last time" at recent gigs, but this may very well be THE final performance since Ben wanted it to go out in a blaze of glory. With the song recorded for posterity (thanks AT&T!), as far as I'm concerned it is... The Last Bitches Ain't Shit.

    Ben Folds - The Last Bitches Ain't Shit (live at Bonnaroo) [originally by Dr. Dre]
    I love how it's totally become this huge sing-a-long and everyone knows the overly profane lyrics verbatim.

    Three new songs played from his as-yet-untitled album due in the fall:
    Ben Folds - Errant Dog (live at Bonnaroo)
    Ben Folds - Hiroshima (live at Bonnaroo)
    Ben Folds - Free Coffee (live at Bonnaroo)


    The Bonnaroo webcast also yielded a typically great performance from Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, who finished off their set with some James Brown tracks.

    Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings:
    Nobody's Baby (live at Bonnaroo)
    It's a Man's Man's Man's World (live at Bonnaroo) [originally by James Brown]
    Things Got to Get Better (Get Together) / There Was a Time (live at Bonnaroo) [originally by Marva Whitney / James Brown]
    The big closing number starts off with Things Got to Get Better (Get Together) by Marva Whitney, a funk diva who performed as part of the James Brown Revue, then segues into James Brown's There Was a Time, which serves as a showcase for Sharon Jones to demonstrate various dance moves. She starts with the Camel Walk, does the Boogaloo, the Mashed Potato, The Tighten Up, and more. You really need to see the accompanying video for the full effect, but I still think you can get a sense of the Dap-Kings experience just from listening to these live tracks. If they come to your town, definitely check 'em out.

    Friday, June 13, 2008

    Ben at Bonnaroo

    With a new album due this fall, Ben Folds has been working the new material into his live gigs. There are plenty of youtube videos and bootlegs around of the new stuff, which I've kinda avoided since I don't want a garbled camera phone version to be my first exposure to the songs. But that self-imposed moratorium will end tomorrow since he'll be playing at the Bonnaroo music festival tomorrow and AT&T has got a surprisingly decent webstream available for the whole festival.

    Just tonight (afternoon in Vancouver) the Raconteurs rocked the Bonnaroo stage with a blistering set, which by all accounts included Jack going crazy in Blue Veins and throwing his guitar. I missed that part since I only had audio and I didn't really figure out how to fix the video until later, though now I'm totally prepped for tomorrow's performances. According to this Billboard interview, Ben will likely be debuting at least one new song tomorrow. Very exciting. Also, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings and Gogol Bordello playing tomorrow too.

    Born in the USA,
    Live tonight in Vancouver

    If you're a Bruce Springsteen fan, live in the Vancouver area, and have nothing to do tonight, here's a suggestion: Born in the USA performed live in its entirety by Patrick Brealey, who's classified on his myspace profile as "Folk Rock / Roots Music / Lyrical".

    Patrick vs. Bruce Springsteen
    Friday, June 13, 2008
    The Main Restaurant (4210 Main St. @ 26th)
    Start time: 9:30pm

    Patrick Brealey - You Shook Me All Night Long [originally by AC/DC]

    Speaking of live-in-its-entirety performances, yesterday I coincidentally came across this awesome post of The Waybacks with John Cowan performing Led Zeppelin II live at MerleFest. Best Zeppelin covers I've heard in a while.

    Wednesday, June 11, 2008

    There's something Happening here...

    ...and what it is ain't exactly clear. M Night Shyamalan's The Happening opens this Friday and I'll be lined up to see it even though his track record has steadily declined with each successive film. He started off well (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable), got carried away with increasingly inane twist endings though I still enjoyed them (Signs, The Village), then stumbled mightily with Lady in the Water. Trailers seem to be setting up another Big Reveal, though I have a theory on what's happening in The Happening. It's Shyamalan's feature-length explanation for Radiohead's music video for Just:

    Just kidding, I have a real theory about The Happening... I'm thinking something along the lines of Day After Tomorrow and being "chased by cold air". Anyway, this is just a good excuse for some Just covers.

    Mark Ronson - Just (DJ Premier Remix feat. Blaq Poet) [originally by Radiohead]
    Mark Ronson - Just (The Loving Hand Remix) [originally by Radiohead]
    Mark Ronson - Just (Go! Team Remix) [originally by Radiohead]
    In 2006, Mark Ronson produced the highest profile Just cover yet, featuring Alex Greenwald of Phantom Planet and the funky horn section of The Dap-Kings. The, ahem, "original" cover can be found on Ronson's Version album or on the Radiohead tribute album Exit Music: Songs With Radio Heads. The subgenre of remixed cover songs is worthy of a future post, but for now here are three remixes of Ronson's re-version of Just. My pick goes to the Go! Team remix, which basically creates a new instrumental song using a variation of the familiar Just opening riff, the Dap-Kings horns, and a harmonica.

    The Section Quartet - Just [originally by Radiohead]
    From one of them String Quartet Tributes. It's okay, but like the Pickin' On series of bluegrass covers, my tolerance for string quartet covers has diminished quite considerably.

    Nickel Creek - Just (Live at the Largo) [originally by Radiohead]
    I'm lucky to have caught the Watkins Family Hour at the Largo in January. Turns out the old Largo closed up shop last month with an epic Jon Brion concert and re-opened with an Aimee Mann gig last week at a new locale, the Coronet Theater. Gone is the in-your-living-room atmosphere, but also gone is the $15 food & drink minimum. The same rules apply: no electronics, no talking. It's all about the music (or comedians). The line-up is stellar as usual, which is not hard when you have Jon Brion playing two sets every Friday night! I definitely need to make a return trip to LA just for the Largo redux.

    Aimee Mann & Michael Penn - I Just Wasn't Made For These Times [originally by the Beach Boys]
    Speaking of Aimee Mann, Brian just alerted me to this article in the Globe & Mail, which reports that Aimee is looking for YouTube covers of her new song Freeway. The contest runs until July 7 with the winner getting the opportunity to sing onstage with her at a future gig. Official details here. In the coming months, Aimee will be doing a bit of a folk festival circuit in Canada with headlining performances at the Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton folk fests. Canadian rock fans should be well familiar with her prominent back-up vocals on the Rush classic Time Stand Still.

    Rush - For What It's Worth [originally by Buffalo Springfield]
    "Stop, children, what's that sound, everybody look what's going down."

    Stephen Colbert co-opts HNIC Theme

    Heh, check out this clip from the Colbert Report:

    The funniest thing is the "fuming politician" that Colbert makes fun of is the Alberta premier, Ed Stelmach. Colbert's a little late to the licensing party after CTV sniped the Hockey Night in Canada theme a couple days ago... Anyway, he hails the HNIC theme as the greatest piece of sports-related music since Gary Glitter's Rock & Roll, Part 2 (Duh duh duh nuuuh naaaa HEY! dun dun dun). After Glitter was charged with child pornography in 1997, arenas put a ban on playing the song at sporting events, although I have heard it more recently at some games and it still gives me the creeps.

    So you all know part 2, but have you ever heard Rock & Roll, Part 1?? It's essentially the same thing WITH LYRICS.
    Gary Glitter - Rock & Roll, Part 1

    Alright, I'm sure you're sick of all this HNIC coverage, so there's another full covers post coming up later today.

    Monday, June 09, 2008

    A twist in the HNIC theme saga

    Days after CBC announced it would not be renewing its rights to the Hockey Night in Canada Theme, rival network CTV (who owns TSN, the Canadian sports network) picked up the rights FOREVER.

    Robbie Williams - Ain't That a Kick in the Head [originally by Dean Martin]

    Sigh, don't forget, some HNIC covers in the last post.

    Saturday, June 07, 2008

    Farewell to HNIC Theme (sniff, sniff)

    Another hockey season came to an end earlier this week as the Detroit Red Wings finished off the Pittsburgh Penguins to take home the Stanley Cup. Yet when the puck drops next season everything will be different. The unthinkable has happened, Canada's other national anthem is no more. The Hockey Night in Canada Theme, which has warmly welcomed viewers to a Saturday night of hockey for the past 40 years, will not be returning next year.


    The rights expired after the 2007/08 season and after "13 months of negotiations" with the original composer Dolores Claman who's been in a legal battle over the theme's usage since 2004, the CBC chose not to renew the deal. Instead CBC will be holding a contest to choose a new theme in a manner that sounds suspiciously like a reality TV program.

    Let us all take a moment of silence to say goodbye to a long-standing Canadian tradition.

    We will miss you, old friend. Maybe someday you'll come out of retirement.

    Shuffle Demons - Hockey Night in Canada Theme
    Mother of Pearl - Hockey Night in Canada Theme
    Moxy Früvous - Hockey Night in Canada Theme (live)
    Jimmy Swift Band - Hockey Night in Canada Jam

    In other hockey news, Bob Cole will not be announcing next year's Stanley Cup finals.
    Praise!Rejoice!Clap Hands!