Thursday, December 25, 2008

Stocking Stuffers

Happy holidays, everyone! As you may have noticed, blogging has been in the decline the last few weeks... Christmas stuff and general lack of enthusiasm. But hopefully I'll get back to regular posting in the new year. I still intend to do my annual year-end monster post whether you want it or not. In the meantime, here's a roundup of cool stocking stuffers for you.

  • DJ Muranao of the Nagoya, Japan based electro unit I'm So Look You e-mailed me this stocking stuffer, an irresistible electro cover of Wham's Last Christmas:

    I'm So Look You - Last Christmas [originally by Wham!]
    I'm So Liking it!

  • If you're looking for a TON of free Christmas music, head on over to Suburban Sprawl Music's 2008 Holiday Sampler, a 2-disc, 44 song behemoth of a compilation. Not only that, but you can also download their X-mas compilations dating back to 2002! If you scour the track listing, you'll find covers of Happy X-Mas (War is Over), I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas, The Chipmunks' Christmas Don't Be Late, the Justin Timberlake/Andy Samberg Dick in a Box, and a unique indie rock cover of Run DMC's Christmas in Hollis by Thunderbirds are Now. You'll even find a cover of Christmas Vacation... that's right, the theme song to the National Lampoon Christmas classic! I still get a chuckle out of Chevy Chase hiding presents in the attic and finding previously hidden presents of past Christmases. I stumbled on this Santa sack of Christmas tunes via a link in Boyhowdy's x-mas post over at Star Maker Machine.

  • Kindercore has a 4-song Xmas/Hannukah EP, including a cover of Tom Petty's Christmas All Over Again, which brings back fuzzy memories of the Very Special Christmas compilations

  • Speaking of which, Butch Walker and Taryn Manning recently recorded a cover of that same Tom Petty Christmas song (a new standard now?). Stream it here or find it on iTunes.

  • Some cool news for fans of Danny Michel. As of couple days ago, Danny now has full control of ALL his music digitally worldwide and his entire back catalogue has been re-released under his own indie label on iTunes and Zunior. Many of the re-released albums have bonus tracks including unheard demos. Physical discs and other merch will still be available from Maple Music.

  • You lucky UK readers... the brand new Wallace & Gromit short, A Matter of Loaf and Death, debuts Christmas day on BBC One at 8:30pm. Jealous!!

Alright, time to get to bed before I run into Santa...

Monday, December 15, 2008

More POZ-OR!

In nearly forgot... last week reader How Marvellous sure lived up to his moniker by directing my attention to even more covers by Russian recyclists, the PoZitive Orchestra. So if you can't get enough of them (like me), you'll love these covers of the King of Pop, Deep Purple, Queen(!!), and Tito & Tarantula. I'm trying out a new file host (no relation to, I hope), so let me know if there are any problems. I also re-upped all the covers from the last POZ-OR post, which of course is mandatory listening.

PoZitive Orchestra - Smoke on the Water [originally by Deep Purple]

PoZitive Orchestra - Bad [originally by Michael Jackson]

PoZitive Orchestra - The Show Must Go On [originally by Queen]

PoZitive Orchestra - After Dark [originally by Tito & Tarantula]
You may recognize this song that was featured in a memorable scene from the Robert Rodriguez vampire flick From Dusk Till Dawn. Think Salma Hayek and a snake.

**UPDATE: Boxstr has a 1GB daily bandwidth limit which didn't take too long to exceed, so I'm going to have to figure something else out. For now if you're having download issues, I've uploaded a zip of all 4 covers to Megaupload.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

12/10/2008 update

Hey-o, just a quick update to let you folks know I'll have a real post coming soon... My dad's been visiting since the weekend and I have barely touched my computer in the last few days except to answer week-old e-mails. But first, I'm off to see Amanda Palmer tonight! If it's even half as amazing as the last time I saw her, it'll still be spectacular.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Rockwell & MJ were on to something

Things were slowly getting back into semi-normal, but alas rat-a-tat-tat here comes more fun with "Don't be evil" Google and colleagues. I got another DMCA notification and Blogger deletion for an old Max Vernon post. I panicked, thinking it was my big Max Vernon interview, which recalled 17 Seconds' Glasvegas debacle, but oddly enough it was the post from back in July when I first discovered his I Kissed a Girl cover. I'd re-post it without the mp3 links, but there were no mp3 links. Yay. kindly informed me yesterday it deleted the PoZitive Orchestra's cover of The Girl From Ipanema for infringement. Fine, be that way. The whole account will be deleted effective next Thursday anyway, so it's not such a big deal (grab any last active links while you can!). I didn't mention it earlier, but the last straw which led to my account been deactivated was actually a Max Vernon original song, which when it was expunged had Max e-mailing them to give them an earful to sort things out. A week later, my account was cancelled. Yay.

Also, check my last post's comments, for an odd message from the Web Sheriff commending me for talking about Andrew Bird without posting pirate links. Yaaaarrrr.

Morris Day - Somebody's Watching Me [originally by Rockwell]
Warmen - Somebody's Watching Me [originally by Rockwell]
"I always feel like somebody's watching me... who's playing tricks on me?"

I was naïvely hoping this whole anti-blogger campaign would blow over, but it's obviously not. Sigh. I'm mentally projecting lumps of coal in the stockings of my enemies.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

From the Fong Songs Newsroom

Too busy to assemble a regular post, but there's plenty of exciting news (covers-related and otherwise) filtering through my inbox and RSS feeds this week.

  • Ben Folds' a cappella covers project is full steam ahead. Ben's listened to over 200 a cappella covers of his own music and posted the shortlist here, which is a mix of solo and Ben Folds Five stuff. Looks like we'll likely be getting the first "official" cover of a Way to Normal track with a University of Georgia group tackling his collaboration with Regina Spektor, You Don't Know Me. Hopeful release date is this spring with proceeds going to Save the Music.

  • Hear Ben chat with Stephen Merchant on BBC Radio 6 (find the link on the right side of the page and fast-forward to about 42 minutes in). Thanks to reader Ian for that tidbit!

  • Andrew Bird's new album Noble Beast has an official release date of January 20. If you haven't already, pre-order the deluxe edition from Fat Possum records, which includes a bonus disc Useless Creatures (a collection of instrumental works), extra photos, a fold out poster, a 24-page illustrated lyric book, and exclusive album artwork by Diana Sudyka that differs from the standard edition. Awesome!

  • Speaking of Mr. Bird.... Bobby Bare, Jr. and his pop Bobby Bare are producing a tribute album to Shel Silverstein(!!) for a mid-2009 release. Confirmed artists include: Emmylou Harris, Black Keys, George Jones & Ray Price, Allison Krauss, Band of Horses, Dr. Dog, Andrew Bird, Kris Kristofferson (backed by members of the Silver Jews), and My Morning Jacket. Definitely something to look out for in '09.

  • Following the bluegrass-ification of their song Top Yourself as a b-side, The Raconteurs have taken it up a notch by enlisting Ricky Skaggs and country singer Ashley Monroe for a phenomenal country/bluegrass reworking of another Consolers track, Old Enough. A little bit of an Everly Brothers cover even sneaks its way in. Great stuff. This was released via digital outlets yesterday and you can watch the video here.

  • Mark Ronson, who had the awesome cover album Version in 2007, is "reportedly" working with Elton John on his new album due in late 2009. That is, according to Fox News who are definitely my go-to guys for music news. Uh, right.

  • CBC Radio 3 notes that Aussie fans of CanCon have much to look forward this winter. Stars, Tegan and Sara, Holy F*ck, Jill and Matthew Barber, Hawksley Workman, Final Fantasy, Hey Rosetta!, and A-Trak are all heading down under on tour. I also have to add to their list: Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Billy Talent, Crystal Castles, and Bedouin Soundclash.

OK, ok, I do have a couple covers for you... More covers fun from Russia! Check out these awesome covers of Misirlou and Super Mario Bros. I snagged them from this guy, who is presumably the artist (and my Russian is too poor to find out otherwise). Fantastic, I want more!

Misirlou [originally by Michalis Patrino]
Super Mario Bros. [originally by Koji Kondo]