January 10, 2008

How I get out of washing dishes

Last week, I tried really hard to sift through the Thursday Thirteen roll and read all of the other entries. The problem is, there were, like, 250 of them. if I ever get 250 comments on this blog, accept my apologies now. I can't read 250 anythings.

Anyway, I did stumble across one in particular that I liked (can't remember where now) where the writer listed their 13 favorite song remakes.

The best things come to those who steal.

I'm so going to give this a whirl.
  1. Mrs. Robinson: Originally done by Simon and Garfunkel. Rocked the hell out by the Lemonheads. Normally, I'd decapitate you with my eyes if I caught you daring to touch a S&G song, but this one is totally sweet.

  2. Losing My Religion: I own every single stinking REM album. It's not that I love them so very very much, but sheesh the husband does. After having them shoved straight down my throat for 12 years, I have grown to appreciate their genius. They have this lead singer with a specific sort of voice, and they write their music specifically for him, at least as I see it. I would never have approved of someone covering them until Higher Learning came out in 1995. Tori Amos covers REM's (arguably) biggest hit and takes it from its tongue-and-cheek poppy blasphemous nature and makes it fragile and tender. I think that song was written for her to sing. Of course, Tori Amos could sing Hot Crossed Buns and make you cry. (You can't get it on iTunes, so that's the Amazon link)

  3. South Central Rain: Again, I have serious issues with those who try to redo REM songs, only because Michael Stipes has one of those voices that makes the songs he write work. But see, there's this band, and their name is Hem, and they are quite possibly the greatest band alive today and they covered South Central Rain. It is is a thing of beauty.

  4. I Hope That I Don't Fall in Love With You: (Also not available on iTunes. Grrr.) God may strike me down for saying this, but Tom Waits has got nothin' on Darius Rucker's version of this song with Hootie and the Blowfish. Listen to it before you start throwing rocks at me. It's brilliant.

  5. Tangled up in Blue: I am not old enough to really really love Dylan the way some people do. I think I missed the cutoff by 3 years tops. I like him, but I'm open on the subject. And so, naturally, when I first heard the Indigo Girls crank out this song in their rocky, harmonic, bluesy way that they so do, I about died. I have bought many albums for one song, but I have never bought a $40 double cd for one song before. It was worth it. The whole album is phenomenal, but this song takes the cake.

  6. Hallelujah: In 1984, Leonard Cohen first recorded Hallelujah. (It's my favorite word in the English language, btw.) Since then, oh, everyone has covered it. It's in 8,000 tv show and movie soundtracks. Your kids know it from Shrek. No one, however, not one single person, has ever or will ever sing it like Jeff Buckley. I first heard Jeff Buckley soon after he died, and my world has never been the same. He had the most beautiful voice I have ever heard, and he sings Hallelujah like his cat just died and the IRS took the house. It never doesn't make me cry.

  7. Maybe I'm Amazed: I am totally old enough to love the Beatles like some people do. And thank GOD for that. Once upon a time, some horrible little teeney-bop show called the OC went kind of mental with sound-tracking their episodes, and to their credit, they did a good job. A band called Jem decided to take on the gargantuan task of doing-up Sir Paul with a cover of Maybe I'm Amazed, and I would bet you $5 that Sir Paul has it on HIS iPod.

  8. Little Wing: Since Jimi Hendrix first sang this in 1967, people far and wide have tried to cover it. Stevie Ray Vaughn may have the most famous cover of it. Sting also covered it on his album Nothing Like the Sun. It is the only Sting album I have ever liked (*ducks*) and Little Wing is definitely one of the main highlights of the album. I think it does justice to and pays respect to the great great greatness that is Jimi Hendrix. Sting didn't try to change the song, or improve it, he just sang it from his heart. Jimi would be proud.

  9. When Doves Cry: I am head over heels in L.O.V.E. with Baz Luhrmann. You know, the insane man who did Moulin Rouge? I love his movies for the cinematography, the casting, the raw grittiness of what he does. Mostly, though, I am gaga for his soundtracks. That man is a freaking genius with the music. When he did Romeo and Juliet in 1997, he found Quindon Tarver and had him cover When Doves Cry. I think that's what Prince meant that song to be when he wrote it. Even if you hate Prince, you can't help but love listening to this 10 year old belt out his song.

  10. Thank You: I really like Led Zeppelin, and this song in particular. When Encomium was released, Duran Duran covered Thank You and it was super good. But when Tori Amos did it, when she sang the song originally sung by the man who inspired her to be what she is today, she meant it. She felt it. She sang it for Robert Plant. It almost hurts to listen to it.

  11. A Friend of the Devil: (Seriously, iTunes. You're killing me here.) I am by no means a Dead-Head, but I get it. I get how they spoke to people like Elvis did. I never was blown over by them myself, but the husband likes them a lot and so every now and then we wear the tie-dye and don't shower and listen to a cd of theirs. All I have to say is Thank Jebus for Lyle Lovett. Lyle Lovett could come to my house and sing me Belinda Carlisle songs all day long and I would swoon. He nailed A Friend of the Devil.

  12. Try a Little Tenderness: (You know what, iTunes? I hate YOUR taste in music, too.) Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know. No one should touch this song. But one day in 199-something, this local group in Denver called The 17th Avenue All-Stars came to my high school and did a show. They sang this song. We all died. They are an incredible a cappella group and I cannot believe that they don't own you yet. I love this cover because A) it's good and B) you remember my ex that I posted about the other day? The one who hates my guts now? Yeah, he can sing that song just as well as those guys do, maybe better. And he totally used to sing it to me all the time. Go listen, and be 19 year old Mr Lady in love for 5 minutes.

  13. Whiskey in the Jar: I am of Irish decent, and being of Irish decent with a rock and roll lineage, I am contractually obligated to like Thin Lizzy. I do, I really do. Now, if you were ever to meet me, you'd be all, "Oh, look at the mild-mannered milf. how cute! I bet she likes classical music and air fresheners." Dudes, please. I need Metallica like Kathy needs Regis. And man, seriously, oh man. They do to Whiskey in the Jar what I can only hope and pray Johny Depp does to me someday.

Honorable mention, only because it's not fair to include her 3 times on one list? Tori Amos, Smells Like Teen Spirit. Wowzas. Who knew?


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