Covers – Part II

“Ain’t It A Shame” — Nirvana (Leadbelly)
“I Don’t Wanna Grow Up” — The Ramones (Tom Waits)
“Blinded By The Light” — Manfred Mann (Bruce Springsteen)
“Fearless” — Low (Led Zeppelin)
“Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me” — Grant-Lee Phillips (The Smiths)
“Bertha” — Los Lobos (The Grateful Dead)
“Ceremony” — Xiu Xiu (New Order)
“Transmission” — Low (Joy Division)
“This Murder Won’t Hurt You” — The Foghorns (Levi Fuller)
“It’s Oh So Quiet” — Björk (Betty Hutton)


Covers That Are Better Than The Original

This is a potentially controversial theme, to the extent that we are emotionally invested in our musical tastes, but I’m invoking no greater authority than my own omnipotence in the DJ booth. In my opinion, all these songs are better than their respective originals. Some are only slightly better. The original “Mrs. Robinson” is an undisputed classic. The Lemonheads version is just a bit more fun. Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” is brilliant, but Jimi Hendrix’s version is iconic. Some of these covers are vast improvements. Nirvana knocked it out of the park with “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” Same with Johnny Cash’s rendition of “Hurt.”

“With A Little Help From My Friends” — Joe Cocker (The Beatles)
“Got My Mind Set On You” — George Harrison (James Ray)
“Let’s Spend The Night Together” — David Bowie (The Rolling Stones)
“The Man Who Sold The World” — Nirvana (David Bowie)
“All Along The Watchtower” — Jimi Hendrix (Bob Dylan)
“Mrs. Robinson” — The Lemonheads – (Simon And Garfunkel)
“Always Something There To Remind Me” — Naked Eyes (Burt Bacharach song, originally recorded by Dionne Warwick)
“Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon” — Urge Overkill (Neil Diamond)
“Such Great Heights” — Iron & Wine (The Postal Service)
“Danny Says” — Tom Waits (The Ramones)
“Hurt” — Johnny Cash (Nine Inch Nails)
“Mad World” — Michael Andrew And Gary Jules (Tears For Fears)
“Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometimes” — Beck (The Korgis)
“I Will Survive” — Cake (Gloria Gaynor)*
“(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, And Understanding” — Elvis Costello & The  Attractions (Brinsley Schwarz)*
“Dancing Barefoot” — Smokeshack Okiestraw (Patti Smith / Ivan Král)*
“Molly’s Lips” — Nirvana (The Vaselines)
“Superman” — R.E.M. (The Clique)
“Hallelujah” — Jeff Buckley (Leonard Cohen)

*by request


Recent Discoveries

Today I’m playing songs that I have discovered over the last few months. They include songs I heard playing on the stereo at a birthday party last Saturday, songs I heard in a friend’s car, and songs I heard on the sound system at random bars and restaurants that I then identified using Shazam.

“This Magic Moment” — Lou Reed
“I Love You Like The Way That I Used To” — Rocketship
“You! Me! Dancing!” — Los Campesinos!
“Stolen Wallet” — Minutes
“Petals” — Bibio
“Caesar” — Ty Segall
“The Lamb” — Little Scream
“Hello In There” — John Prine
“Run, Run, Run” — The Gestures
“Colourphone” — Magnétophone

So This Is The New Year

I hope 2018 is better than 2017. ‘Nuff said.

“New Year’s Day” — U2
“The New Year” — Death Cab For Cutie
“New Year’s Eve” — Tom Waits
“It Was A Very Good Year” — The Kingston Trio
“Last Year’s Man” — Leonard Cohen
“April New Year” — The Melody Unit
“This Will Be Our Year” — The Zombies
“Changes” — David Bowie
“Happy New Year” — ABBA*
“All I Wanna Do” — Rich Ajlouny*
“MMV” — The New Year*
“A Long December” — Counting Crows

* by request

Garage-A-Rama 2, Garage-A-Ramier!

“20th Century Boy” — T. Rex
“Space Trucking” — Deep Purple
“Seven And Seven Is” — Love
“Making Time” — Creation
“Six Barrel Shotgun” — Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
“Think” — James Brown
“Hello” — Oasis
“Communication Breakdown” — Led Zeppelin
“Love Gun” — KISS
“Watershed” — Foo Fighters
“You Could Be Mine” — Guns N’Roses
“Inaction” — We Are Scientists
“Lust For Life” — Iggy Pop
“Land Of 1000 Dances” — Wilson Pickett
“Mental Hopscotch” — Missing Persons
“At The Speed Of A Yellow Bullet” — Head Automatica
“(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” — The Monkees


For the next few weeks I’m going to blast a playlist put together by my friend and bandmate Milhows. He calls it Garage-A-Rama. I would not consider all the bands to be “garagey.” However, all these specific songs fit comfortably into a garage milieu. Here it is:

“Riff Raff” — AC/DC
“I Wanna Know About U” — The (International) Noise Conspiracy
“Here We Go Again” — The Hives
“Get Loose” — The D4
“Neat Neat Neat” — The Damned
“I Gotta Move” — The Kinks
“Walk Idiot Walk” — The Hives
“The Reproduction Of Death” — The (International) Noise Conspiracy
“I’m A Lover Not A Fighter” — The Kinks
“Jenny Take A Ride” — Mitch Ryder, The Detroit Wheels
“Caught By The Fuzz” — Supergrass
“Dead Language Of Love” — The (International) Noise Conspiracy
“Can’t Stand It” — The Greenhornes
“Hold Tight!” — Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
“Evil Ways” — Jean Jackets
“The Rules” — Ben Kweller
“Helicopter” — Bloc Party
“My Generation” — The Who
“Heaven And Hell” — The Who, Andy Macpherson, Jon Astley

Gun Control

I got a 20-gauge shotgun for my 13th birthday. Before I could use it, I had to complete a class in hunter’s safety, offered one evening per week in the library of the junior high over the course of a winter. I was a member of the NRA for a few years as a teenager.

My NRA membership had no more ideological significance than my membership in Ducks Unlimited or the Sierra Club. Already as a teenager I was a flaming liberal, and unaware that the NRA had morphed from a sporting organization into a political advocacy group that championed a far-right agenda.

My first clue came in the 2000 election, an election in which I voted for Ralph Nader. During the fall of 2000, in the lead-up to election day, I received a newsletter from the NRA which told me to vote for George W. Bush. It claimed, with no apparent sarcasm, that if Al Gore was elected he would steal all the guns for his own private use, and the only people in America that would be allowed to hunt would be Gore and his wealthy friends. It was absurd and ridiculous, and I let my NRA membership lapse.

I’m in favor of gun control. I also think hunting is a worthy pastime. I see no contradiction between these two positions. You don’t need a semi-automatic rifle to kill a deer. You don’t need lead bullets or a magazine that holds 30 rounds, and it seems sensible to me that people with psychological disabilities or those on the no-fly list should not own firearms.

“No Killing” — Violent Femmes
“There Goes My Gun” — Pixies
“Shoot” — Sonic Youth
“Don’t Play With Guns” — The Black Angels
“Celebration Guns” — Stars
“The Big Guns” — Jenny Lewis With The Watson Twins
“Shot Down” — The Sonics
“Shot By Both Sides” — Magazine
“Me And A Gun” — Tori Amos
“Murderer” — Low