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Caturday Horsecovers

Posted: May 21st, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Caturday Covers | Tags: | Comments Off on Caturday Horsecovers

Sonic Youth – Bull In The Heather, off of Experimental Jetset, Trash and No Star, a good but not great (not Daydream Nation, maybe not even Goo) album.
The Go! Team – Bull In The Heather, off of some free promotion deal

This is the thing that Sonic Youth do that I love. They do other things fairly often, but this thing they do is the one that I look to Sonic Youth to do. The other things they do I could get from somewhere else, if I cared to, which I probably don’t, but there’s this one thing that they do that most other bands don’t or can’t do and that’s what I want Sonic Youth to do. One of the things they’re doing within the thing they do that I love is they are banging below the bridge of one of those surf-style guitars. That’s the very Sonic Youth-y sound in the beginning. Try doing this! You’ll fail, effortlessly. They succeed, effortlessly: that’s part of their thing they do; they succeed, effortlessly, while also being cool. (You know you’re a hipster if you sort of can’t believe it when a band is actually really good at playing their instruments, but I sort of can’t believe how effortlessly tight a paradigmatic Sonic Youth song like this one is.) That one thing that The Go! Team does was pretty played out, to use the parlance of our time, by the time their first album had stopped taking the world by storm and started taking all the TV commercials by storm. Some/all of my opinion on this band may be due to having a flawed mix of that first album, or having somehow messed up the equalization on the MP3s back in my fiddlier days. The point is, they give me a bad headache, instantaneously. But not here! This is a faithful recreation of this song, chosen, I assume, because it is a rock song that they can cover without really changing that thing they do, which is hire young people to chant while they play their instruments very well. Desert island-wise, I would obviously choose the Sonic Youth version, but if I accidentally ended up with The Go! Team cover I wouldn’t, like, kill myself or anything.

Let’s all shut up and watch the video for Bull In the Heather, in which a youngtiny Kathleen Hanna looks like she wants to get married (this video could maybe do with like five fewer concepts, guys):

Things we did not discuss: 1. horses, 2. the role of Pavement’s Bob Nastanovich in the titling of this song.


Caturday Covers

Posted: May 14th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Caturday Covers | Comments Off on Caturday Covers

Adam & The Ants – Prince Charming
XXL [Xiu Xiu Larsen] – Prince Charming

Don’t you ever, don’t you ever
Stop being dandy, showing me you’re handsome
Don’t you ever, don’t you ever
Stop being dandy, showing me you’re handsome

Prince Charming
Prince Charming
Ridicule is nothing to be scared of
Don’t you ever, don’t you ever
Stop being dandy, showing me you’re handsome

Don’t you ever, don’t you ever
Lower yourself, forgetting all your standards
Don’t you ever, don’t you ever
Lower yourself, forgetting all your standards

Prince Charming
Prince Charming
Ridicule is nothing to be scared of
Don’t you ever, don’t you ever
Stop being dandy, showing me you’re handsome

Silk or leather or a feather
Respect yourself and all of those around you
Silk or leather or a feather
Respect yourself and all of those around you

Prince Charming
Prince Charming
Ridicule is nothing to be scared of
etc.


Caturday Covers

Posted: May 7th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Caturday Covers | Comments Off on Caturday Covers

Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardot – Bonnie & Clyde
Luna (with Laetitia Sadier of Stereolab) – Bonnie & Clyde

The original was written the same night as last Caturday’s cover, as a duet for Brigitte Bardot. The lyrics are based on a poem Bonnie Parker wrote not long before she and Clyde were killed.

The Luna version is maybe not the coolest song that has ever been recorded, but is certainly the most coolness-generating. By which I mean that the playing of the song creates a layer (wave? particle?) of ambient coolness around itself in space and time. It’s featured in the movie Irma Vep in a scene where a bunch of French people are having a dinner party, and when the song comes on they seem like the most sinisterly hip people in the universe. You could add this song to footage of a guy filling out a W-9 and he would still seem like the sexiest badass to ever independently contract.

It is objectively greater than the sum of its parts:

Here is Stereolab performing the song:

Here is Luna performing the song:

BOEHNUS:

Belinda Carlisle:

This is a good example of how easy it is to ruin something wonderful.


Caturday Covers

Posted: April 30th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Caturday Covers | Tags: | Comments Off on Caturday Covers

Je t’aime… moi non plus – Serge Gainsbourg & Brigitte Bardot (1967)
This is the original recording of the song, written in one night (along with next Caturday’s cover) at the request of Brigitte Bardot and banned immediately for reasons that should be abundantly clear. (WTB: a definitive list of songs whose trivia include possibly apocryphal reports from the engineer of “heavy petting” in the recording booth.) I love the bass line and absurdly close mic’-ing.

Je t’aime… moi non plus – Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin (1969)
Re-recorded two (I assume eventful) years later with his new girlfriend, this cleaned up version is the first one actually released. I cannot recommend the wikipedia article about this song highly enough, parce que: “Gainsbourg asked her to sing an octave higher than Bardot, ‘so you’ll sound like a little boy.'” This one just sounds like a farty old pop song. None of Gainsbourg’s recordings with Jane Birkin really do anything for me.

Mais la raison d’ĂȘtre:
I Love You (Me Either) – Cat Power & Karen Elson (2006)
Like you I desperately miss Chan Marshall’s unstable caterwauling, but if the world in which Cat Power is the dictionary definition of the word chanteuse is also the world in which she sings the male part in babymaking songs with a creepily-browed supermodel, I accept this strange future. I think this is the first song Karen Elson recorded before she decided to be Jack White’s wife and a “musical recording artist,” which makes about as much sense as Jane Birkin as a singer (and leaves me semi-ambivalent about its position in history). But god those fake flutes! And an oboe?


Caturday Covers

Posted: April 23rd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Boring Crap, Caturday Covers | Comments Off on Caturday Covers

Blondie – Union City Blue
Radiohead – Union City Blue (live)
The effect this song has on me is colored by having heard the Radiohead bootleg first (years ago, as an unlabeled MP3, and it was only in the past few years that I dug it up and archeologized it). Somehow the way the song bursts into sudden clarity (out of the wavering, shitty recording and the first few muddled chords) has carried over into the Blondie version as well, so I always get this image of sudden piercing sunlight when the song fully kicks in. I’m sure there’s a lot to unearth about the original version and its weird placement on some pop fulcrum between disco and punk, but I wasn’t born yet so I don’t care. I am always struck, however, by how much inarticulable commentary on Radiohead’s circa-Ok-Computer sound is encapsulated in this recording.

Magazine – Shot By Both Sides
Radiohead – Shot By Both Sides (live)
Useful as an excuse to listen to Magazine.

BOEHNUS:


Footnoted for:

  1. amazing teeth
  2. the realization of what you would accomplish if you damaged the part of your brain that experiences embarrassment

Caturday Covers

Posted: April 16th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Caturday Covers | Comments Off on Caturday Covers

 

Bob Dylan – He Was A Friend of Mine (1962)
This is a traditional song first recorded by Shorty George.

The Byrds – He was a Friend of Mine (1965)

The Byrds rewrote the lyrics to refer to the Kennedy assassination, which is kind of dorky.

Mercury Rev – He Was A Friend of Mine

Cat Power – He Was A Friend of Mine (Live version #1)
I don’t know when this was recorded. You may notice that she plays this song to almost the same tune as her cover of Still In Love.

Cat Power – He Was A Friend of Mine (Live radio version 1998)
And this (payoff time!) is the radio recording you’ve been looking for where Chan Marshall sobs audibly through like half the song.


Caturday Covers

Posted: April 2nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Caturday Covers | Tags: | Comments Off on Caturday Covers

Fleet Foxes – Tiger Mountain Peasant Song
First Aid Kit – Tiger Mountain Peasant Song

Let the Swedish hippies sing, dammit!


Caturday Covers this is what I want to do right now

Posted: March 26th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Caturday Covers | Comments Off on Caturday Covers this is what I want to do right now

Yo La Tengo – Decora, off of Electr-O-Pura
Spoon – Decora, from some thing for The Believer
I ruined so many “grownup-style” dinner parties in college by forcing the host to play an entire Yo La Tengo album, I cannot even tell you. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Yo La Tengo demand a lot of attention for a fairly low key, organ-dronish band. They do not fade into the background politely. Things start out pretty chill and then suddenly you realize that the same droning binaural spazout has been going on for twenty minutes and that’s usually when some mollypop-noggin interrupts the scintillating intellectual conversation to scream “WHAT THE FUCK ARE WE LISTENING TO ???!!!????|| }L/// |}|?!” and then punch herself to death in the face. This was like a thing with me, for a year or so. Maybe it was early baby-steps along the road to realizing I could ruin everyone’s fun just by doing what I wanted (it was not). Anyway, what I’m saying is if I had played Spoon instead I’d probably have finger herpes instead of a wife right now, so, like, no regrets.

John Cale – Hanky Panky Nohow, off of Paris 1919
Yo La Tengo – Hanky Panky Nohow, off of Genius + Love = Yo La Tengo
Is this the most inexplicably moving song to also have batshit meaningless lyrics? It is. Feels kind of cynical to press all the obvious heartstring-pullers while also singing “There’s a law for everything/And for Elephants that sing to keep/The cows that agriculture won’t allow.”

BOEHNUS:

Beat Happening – Cast A Shadow
Yo La Tengo – Cast A Shadow
(Does anyone prefer the original version of this song? No. Maybe when you’re woozy it sounds right, but when you’re not woozy it makes you woozy.)


Caturday Covers Teen Homicide Fantasies

Posted: March 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Caturday Covers | 4 Comments »

Ugh. I guess let’s do this, huh?

Tonight, Tonight – The Smashing Pumpkins
Tonight, Tonight – Passion Pit (I know, right?!), off of The Levi’s Pioneer Sessions

The Smashing Pumpkins were one of the bands that I was basically arm-twisted by teenage love into ever caring about in the first place, and though I had no patience for their more rat-in-a-cagey sentiments, I did own the obvious album and I did listen to it on infrequent occasions. Seeing that this cover existed prompted me to pull “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” (infinite cringe) out of deep, deep storage recently: just to see, you know, how well they withstood the ravages of time, etc.? AND GUESS WHAT:

The Smashing Pumpkins sound like if Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs had been successful in making a cloak out of human skin. If there had been no Clarice, no Hannibal Lecter to inexplicably give a shit about stopping his rampage of murderous non-normative gender angst, if he had instead managed to finish his fatgirlskincloak and then spent the rest of his life tucking his little penis away and modeling his grotesque trench coat in the mirror, the soundtrack would be “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” on repeat FOREVER. I think we can agree that deep, deep storage is where this alternate reality belongs.

Nevertheless when I saw that they had been covered by Passion Pit, whose album I truly do love (thanks Misty B., I think) I imagined a nostalgia-drenched party anthem combining majestic summer glowTM with just enough ironic detachment that it could prompt drunk girls to yell “I fucking loved the Smashing Pumpkins” (as though considering it for the first time in their lives) without immediately compelling me to toss my appletini on them. But instead we have what sounds like a rushed attempt to fulfill a contractual obligation with a middling WB teen drama, which manages to capture none of the (ugh) urgency or majesty of the original, despite a few synth lines that sound directly imported from Alphaville (how could that go wrong?) and despite the fact that this is a band that basically traffics in majestyTM–to an extent that I have actually referred to their songs as “fun” and not meant it contemptuously. So we can only conclude that all this was a calculated decision by some committee who insisted that the song have all traces of homicide-inducing gender confusion removed, which I guess shows what we’re left with.

Debaser – The Pixies
Debaser – Rogue Wave, off of “The OC Mix 6: Covering Our Tracks,” NEED I SAY MORE?well, I’m going to

Well before it was this, Debaser was the song that made me want to yell bad things out of car windows, the song that I would turn up so loud my testicles shrank. When you are 18 you think that you might actually stand a chance of being a debaser, until you have lived long enough to see that 9 out of 10 effective debasements happen in board rooms for the consumption of people with tans and functioning abdominal muscles. (And you are not dispositionally-suited for that kind of thing.) The Rogue Wave1 version of this song, from its totally inappropriate channeling of Mark Kozelek2 in the beginning to the fake flute hook, encapsulates everything that is horrible about Modern Life in California.3

1 Who I normally have no problem with
2 Mark Kozelek, who is neither a debaser nor anything that is horrible about Modern Life in California, I would just like to say that for the record. Love u, homie.
3 I promise that I will start posting good songs again next week.


Caturday Covers?

Posted: March 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Caturday Covers | Tags: | Comments Off on Caturday Covers?

Kelis – Milkshake

Mary & The Boy – Milkshake