Between this Monday’s release of the latest covers-stuffed War Child charity album—which includes the Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ take on “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker” and Lily Allen‘s drowsy reworking of “Straight To Hell”—and the “what are your favorite cover songs” meme going around Facebook lately, I figured it would be fun to have us all share some of our favorite reworkings of popular songs. A few of mine after the jump, presented with minimal comment because after a week of scandals and Grammys and people not being dead I am wiped out. Feel free to share yours! The newer the better!
Wednesday night I spent $16 on jukeboxes at two establishments in New York City. Sixteen dollars! That could buy, I don’t know, three pints of ice cream at the bodega down the block. But I felt like the investment was worth it, particularly at the second bar I visited, where six Washingtons allowed me to blare 19 songs throughout the bar and my friend and I were pretty much the only customers left in the place. Not that other patrons would have stopped me from playing the Monkees’ “Valleri” and the Raincoats’ “In Love”*; after all, the huge catalogs of the Internet-jukebox era have made it a lot easier to impose your tastes on others, even if doing so costs you an extra credit per song. So this weekend, I wonder: What songs will you always play on a jukebox if you have some unused dollar bills rustling around your wallet? Five songs that I have no problem dropping 25 to 100 cents on after the jump.
Today is the day to get all nutso about eights, or, maybe to just get nutso, if you have Olympic and/or Jonas Brothers and/or Boredoms-drum-extravaganza fever. (Woe to the person who’s suffering from all three.) All the eight-related hoopla got me to thinking about how the eighth track on many an album is a hit-or-miss proposition; particularly on longer albums in the CD era, it serves as something of a midpoint, and albums become unfocused and maybe stick their not-as-good tracks in there. For example: track eight on Appetite For Destruction, for example, is the OK-but-not-great “Think About You,” while track eight on Nevermind is the relatively irritating to my ears “Drain You.” And not to be all lazy-Google-research about this, but the phrase “track 8 is my favorite” only has 22 hits on the search engine; spell out the word “eight,” and you’re down to four.) Anyway, I decided to root through my collection and find some outstanding examples of an album’s eighth track–eight, in fact. They’re unordered, although the last one on the list is probably my favorite (and I found an amazing live version of it, to boot). Feel free to add your own!
It’s probably fitting that I was at a bar when I realized that my musical aesthetic of right now was more informed by the Afghan Whigs’ bonus-track-gone-EP-anchor “Miles Iz Ded” than pretty much any other piece of music in existence. Originally a “bonus” track on Congregation that flowed right into (and in my opinion outshone) a lot of the material on its attendant album, it has taken on a life of its own in my personal pantheon (even if it’s not offically realized by discographers); its junkies-gone-wild video above has only helped that process. (For those of you with long-ish memories: It’s been a year and a half since we posted this song, so I think it’s fair game for revisiting at this particular moment, i.e. me finding it on my local’s jukebox and realizing that it’s still so freaking good.) The last-call apocalypse feel of this track, which I suppose is more epitomized by the description “drinking itself into oblivion” than anything else, rings as true for me now as it did 15 years ago, when I was first wondering “wtf is this?” while letting my 5-disc changer run wild. After the jump, a video clip of “Miles” live (from an unnamed-on-YouTube festival) that more than holds up to the studio rendition.
Yes, I realize the irony of having noted romantic Greg Dulli put together an all-love-songs playlist. However, the Afghan Whigs did do a terrific cover of “Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe”–not to mention all of Uptown Avondale!–so at least you know the man has impeccable taste as far as… More »
Welcome to “On The Flippity-Flop,” where your Idolators spotlight unjustly ignored B-sides, bonus tracks, and EP cuts. Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. More »