Category: random

Random Friday MusingsRandom Friday Musings

0 Comments 7:46 pm

The guys who write for the Cleveland newspaper cover the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, since it’s in their town. That said, sometimes you wonder why they hired people who don’t actually know anything about Rock & Roll to cover the Hall of Fame.

To whit, this article about cover songs by R&RHoF inductees

A very ‘meh’ list… half of these were borderline ‘popular’ songs by the artists in question, and you never even knew they were covers. But if you’re going to bitch about something being on a list, you gotta also come up with what you put back after you take something away:

45: Nirvana, Where Did You Sleep Last Night
Got it. You list makers want to show how cool you are by digging up the “obscure” cover and you miss the much better cover of a better-known song. Nirvana’s Man Who Sold The World is a way better cover (which is why it’s also on the list, much higher), but if you’re going to insist on digging into mis-matched obscurities, their cover of Kiss’ Do You Love Me is better than this one oddball folks/blues tune.

50: Bonnie Raitt, Angel From Montgomery
There should never be any discussion of Bonnie Raitt covers that doesn’t have her cover of Burning Down The House at the top of the list

42: Metallica, Whiskey in a Jar
No. Just… no. 
Stone Cold Crazy is the right answer, now and always

58: GNR, Knocking on Heaven’s Door
Crap. How a song can be soporific and overly bombastic at the same time defies logic, but they pull it off with this one.
What to put on there instead? If you’re sticking with GNR, put on Live & Let Die, or Mama Kin

FWIW, they did get the right Blondie tune in there – The Nerves’ version of Hanging on the Telephone was definitely much more punked up and a great cover.

Meanwhile, what got left off of covers by Hall of Famers that coulda/woulda/shoulda been on here somewhere?

  • U2’s cover of All Along the Watchtower (maybe swap out the inclusion of Jimi’s for his cover of Hey Joe instead)
  • SRV’s cover of Voodoo Chile. They do get his version of Little Wing on the list, but his cover of Voodoo Chile goes up 100000% in coolness for its use in the takeoff scene in Blackhawk Down
  • VH’s cover of You Really Got Me is a defensible pick, but their covers of You’re No Good and Pretty Woman were a better songs
  • Mellencamp’s version of Wild Night couldn’t find *any* place in the top 75?
  • Aretha’s version of The Weight is so good that The Band should just stop playing it
  • Somehow, someway, somewhere, Linda Ronstadt’s version of Desperado has to be on this list, and arguably in the top 15 or so. I don’t give a crap what you take off to fit it in there.

Songs you could take off to make space for any of those 6?
45: Nirvana, Where Did You Sleep Last Night
See above
35: The Doors, Alabama Song
It’s just not very good
53: The Pretenders, Stop You Sobbing
You don’t put a song on a list b/c the original and cover artists ended up having a kid together
67: George Harrison, If Not For You
There’s a lot of Bob Dylan covers on this list (which is better than the Dylan versions of a lot of the songs, so at least there’s that) but this one seems like just trying to show off obscure musical connections
27: Grateful Dead, Morning Dew
Like every other song in their catalog, it’s an extended jam that is indistinguishable from any other song when they play it live

Let’s also take a moment and be thankful that Cheap Trick’s cover of Don’t Be Cruel did *not* make the list, as it’s complete crap.

Plus, we probably need a separate category just for Prince songs that other people have recorded (I Feel For You, Sugar Walls, Nothing Compares 2U, etc)

Random Friday MusingsRandom Friday Musings

0 Comments 7:46 am

I’ve been thinking about songs that would make good cover tunes. Let’s face it, no one really expected The English Beat to cover Tears of a Clown by Smokey Robinson, but it works.

However, I’ve come up with a twist – the artists have to trade songs. So here are a few suggestions:

Van Morrison covers Thorn in My Pride by The Black Crowes. The Black Crowes cover Cleaning Windows by Van Morrison

Mindi Abair covers Righteous by Eric Johnson. He covers Come As You Are by her

Train performs Not Even The Trees from Hootie & The Blowfish’s debut. Hootie covers Calling All Angels

Bryan Adams takes a crack at Daylight Fading from Counting Crows. They turn around and cover She’s Only Happy When She’s Dancing

Whitesnake does Jealous Lover; Rainbow does Fool For Your Loving. Roger Glover gets totally confused.

Sheryl Crow sings Keep the Faith by Bon Jovi. He belts out If It Makes You Happy.

There’s plenty of fun to be had by all here…

What are some ‘cover trades’ you’d like to see?

Random Friday MusingsRandom Friday Musings

0 Comments 8:08 pm

Here’s another writer expounding on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, while not seeming to know very much about rock & roll, or how halls of fame actually work.

This dude drops this nugget on the reader:

“Eligible this year for the first time are many artists who are good, bad, or eh. Those include Sheryl Crow, Weezer, Wilco, Notorious BIG, Daft Punk, Oasis, Keb Mo, and Marilyn Manson. But do any of them really belong in the Hall of Fame with the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, the Temptations, Aretha Franklin, and Sam & Dave? Think hard on that question.”

You’re asking the wrong question. If you’re trying to put anyone in the Beatles / Dylan / Franklin / Stones stratosphere, almost everyone is going to fall short.

Are Sheryl Crow, Oasis, or Daft Punk worthy of being in a Hall of Fame with Paul Butterfield, Cheap Trick, Laura Nyro, Donna Summer, Richie Valens, and The Mamas & The Papas?

You don’t judge a Hall of Fame by the top of the list, but the bottom of the list, because that’s where you’ve set the bar.

If you’re setting the bar at Beatles / Dylan / Franklin / Stones / Springsteen, then there’s a good 25-40 acts already in there that need the boot.

And if you’re going to come back in the same article trying to list your snubs…

Those include Nile Rodgers & Chic, Carole King (she’s in only as a songwriter) and Sting (in with the Police only, and not for his 25 year solo career) each as artists, Chubby Checker, Tommy James and the Shondells, as well as Rufus and Carla Thomas, Barry White, Harry Nilsson, Carly Simon, Chaka Khan, and — still most embarrassingly, The J Geils Band.
Any or all of those artists should have been inducted long ago. Also missing are Billy Preston, Motown’s Mary Wells, The Spinners, Steppenwolf, and the Doobie Brothers.

(only about 3 of which are *actually* worthy)

… but you’re leaving out Judas Priest, Paul Weller / The Jam, Iron Maiden, The Scorpions, Janes Addiction, and Rage Against the Machine? Yeah, this writer can pound sand.

Random Friday MusingsRandom Friday Musings

0 Comments 7:37 am

Want to improve the mix CDs you’ve got in your car? Want to throw a new twist into your tunes at the party?
Here’s a bunch of recommendations, including a bunch of songs that are going to get more detail here as time goes on.

  • “The Day Brings” by Brad; mix with: pop rock, especially with pianos (like Coldplay); also works on many smooth jazz mixes
  • “Ashes” by Embrace; mix with: soaring Britpop tunes, like Oasis, James, Paul Weller/Jam/Style Council, also works with Maroon 5 or Matchbox 20
  • “Change” by John Waite; mix with: 80s pop tunes, was a minor hit, but people will still know it
  • “Moments with You” by Gran Torino; mix with: Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth, or other similar pop bands, has a very clappable/singable chorus
  • “Give” by Dishwalla; mix with: slower rock, this one will add a bit of groove to otherwise mellow mood music, like “Black” or “Indifference” from Pearl Jam or anything from Dido, or the airy piano stuff from Sarah McLachlan
  • “Movin’ on Up” by Primal Scream; mix with: blues rock like Black Crowes, classic heartland tunes like Tom Petty, or even Coldplay
  • “Mekong” by The Refreshments; mix with: hummable guitar rock like Counting Crows, Hootie, or Train
  • “Big Dog” by Seven Nations; mix with: harder rock like Paramore or Daughtry
  • “I Want You” by Gato Barbieri; mix with: big soul tunes like Marvin Gaye, or 70s disco
  • “Not Even the Trees” by Hootie and the Blowfish; mix with: the song you never heard of has a very catchy bass riff and goes good with Mellencamp, Petty, Seger, or even Springsteen
  • “In the Shadows” by The Rasmus; mix with: Techno-ish rock, like NIN or Ministry or even Elastica
  • “I’m in Heaven When You Smile” by Van Morrison; mix with: oldies. You can’t help but sing along. You’ll know it in 10 seconds.
  • “The Little Girl” by Gary US Bonds; mix with: oldies. Another easily-singable tune that people don’t know they know
  • “Party’s Over” by Journey; mix with: Classic rock. Another one you didn’t know you knew. Great intro guitar riff gets lost with low mix volume
  • “Thinking of You” by Paul Weller; mix with: acoustic folk, like Jack Johnson or David Gray; cover tune translates well to mellow treatment
  • “Tears Don’t Lie” or “Midtown” by Little Caesar; mix with: 80s hard rock. Forgotten 80s hair band had great songwriting, cover of “Chain of Fools” also good
  • “The People’s Drug” by John Wesley Harding; mix with: REM, Mighty Lemon Drops, or other 80s folk-rock
  • “Move on Up” by Curtis Mayfield; mix with: Soul. Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, even Puffy could do with an upgrade of Curtis. But find the radio edit; the full one is over 8 minutes
  • “Inner Smile” by Texas; mix with: dance pop. You’ll be singing the “Yeah, yeah, yeah” line all night.
  • “International Bright Young Thing” by Jesus Jones; mix with: more dance pop… great job of mixing the drums so they flow from speaker to speaker