Music to sing-a-long to…

There are some really great cover songs…and some really bad ones too. Right now let’s focus on the good ones, some that might even be better than the originals. And hey! It’s probably a lot of songs that you’ve heard before, just in a whole new light.

1) To start us off, here is my absolute favorite cover of all time. We downloaded this song illegally years and years ago, back when that was legal. A really creative cover of Snoop Dogg’s “Gin & Juice by The Gourds.” -caitiebee

2) James McNew, the bassist of Yo La Tengo, has a side project called “Dump.” In 1991, Dump released an album polluted with lo-fi, grungy Prince covers called “That Skinny Motherfucker With The High Voice.”  Here’s “When You Were Mine” –rye

3) I was always indifferent towards John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy” until I heard Donny Hathaway take it to new heights on his “Live” record performance.—rye

4) “Toxic” by Britney Spears is a brilliant pop song. It’s that one Britney song that people don’t mind admitting they love. I also enjoy this Mark Ronson version. -caitiebee

5) Always good at turning anything just creepy enough, Cocrosie did a great job making my feel weird lisening to the Beach Boys’ “Surfer Girl“. -caitiebee

6)  Just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day, Irish singer songwriter Sinead O’Connor announced this week that she’ll no longer perform one of my favorite songs, “Nothing Compares 2 U” live.  So who will carry the torch? Capital Cities, perhaps? —rye

7) Growing up I loved all of those “punk gone pop” albums, you know when some up and coming hard rockers would cover Backstreet Boys. Here’s some of today’s punks going pop, on a song that became famous as a cover to begin with, Joyce Manor’s “Video Killed the Radio Star.” -caitiebee

8) Another one of my favorite songs turned totally creepy, SQURL featuring Madeline Follin covering Wanda Jackson’s “Funnel of Love.” -caitiebee

9) Of the many versions of Kraftwerk’s “The Model”, former Residents member Snakefinger’s version comes out on top, with Big Black taking a very close 2nd. —rye

10)  Ryan Adams re-imagined  Iron Maiden’s “Wasted Years“, really capturing the wistfulness of the song’s lyrics. To me, this is what covers are all about –rye

11) Here is a song that, I must admit…when it came out…I didn’t even know was a cover. But it is! A cover of a Kate Bush song! Here is “Hounds of Love” by The Futureheads. -caitiebee

12) Never thought David Bowie’s “Ashes To Ashes” needed a cover until I heard Warpaint take a crack at it —rye

13)  “Age Of Consent” – One of my favorite songs ever receiving a tender Geographer treatment –rye

14) This one blows me away, Nina Simone’s version of “The House of the Rising Sun.” -caitiebee

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Music to Thank Your Fathers to…

In the wake of Father’s Day, we decided it would be worth reflecting on one of, (if not THE ) most important musical influences in our lives: our Dads!  In doing so, we realize we owe much of our eclectic musical taste and knowledge to their paternal musical brainwashing, and want to celebrate their passion for the weird and the wonderful with a playlist of important songs and artists they’ve turned us on to over the years.

1.  One of the first concerts I ever attended was with my dad to see BOC at the good ol’ Canyon Club. With such a prolific catalog of songs to choose from, it was pleasing that the band chose this face-melting diz-buster for their encore (per my dad’s requests) and just about took down the house. Blue Oyster Cult – Dominance And Submission –rye

2.  My dad took me to my first Coachella when I was 14, and then he was dragged around to see all of our dumb tweener indie bands…luckily he put his foot down when some band called Gang Of Four came on. Little did I know I would later brag that I saw Gang Of Four when I was 14. Naturals Not In It – Gang Of Four — caitiebee

3.  Archie Bell & The Drells – Tighten Up  This track went on to be covered and sampled by countless acts, and after one listen to that opening bassline, it’s not hard to hear why.  Consider this a call to action for all wedding DJs to make this song a regular in your playlists. –rye

4.  My parents used to talk about biking down to the boardwalk to see Ted Hawkins playing for change. I love that mental image.  Strange Conversation – Ted Hawkins — caitiebee

5.  Pere Ubu – The Modern Dance — Hearing this at a young age, I recall Pere Ubu as one of the many, “you-just-don’t-understand-it-yet” groups that my Dad would play me.  Copies of “The Modern Dance” and “Dub Housing” more or less gathered dust until I found a copy of the play “Ubu Roi” in the Arts Library and realized the surrealistic origins and influences of the group. And as they say, everything was illuminated.  –rye

6.  I remember the very first time I ever heard X. It was coming home from Tower Records with my dad, after he purchased the 2 CD set of X’s greatest hits. He chose to show me “White Girl” first, because…I’m a white girl. But as the years past I learned it was the softer side of X that is his favorite, and my favorite too. Though still one of my favorite memories of my dad is watching him mosh at an X show in his work attire and Prada dress shoes. See How We Are – X — caitiebee

7..  A video exists somewhere of a diaper-clad, yours-truly “dancing” to the original version of Kraftwerk’s “Showroom Dummies.”  Perhaps it might surface someday, but in the mean time, let’s cha-cha to a Latin-style rendition of this brilliant piece, just for kicks. –rye

8.  Never have I ever seen a mariachi band at a Mexican restaurant not be coerced into playing this song (sometimes multiple times a night) for our table, Cuando Caliente Sol — caitiebee

9.  Frank Zappa – Willie the Pimp — It was really Frank Zappa’s involvement with the Mothers Of Invention that had a greater impact on my musical sensibilities, but this song encapsulates everything I love about Zappa, and features the notorious bat chain puller, Captain Beefheart, on vocals.  You just can’t go wrong with this gem. –rye

10.  Afterimage – Satellite Of Love  If you keep up with the always-excellent offerings of Brooklyn label Sacred Bones, then you may’ve heard this brooding 80s number on their recent compilation “Killed By Deathrock, Vol. 1”– a collection of “little-heard post punk, deathrock,” all marked by their “dark, icy atmospheres.” The drummer on this group may or may not be related to me in the paternal sense.  –rye