Here they are, Tebe, along with your opening commentary...sorry it took me a bit of time to post. I took the liberty of adding in YouTube links in case you or other members of the Scout Nation would like to compare the original with the cover. Also...I've added some comments throughout. I feel silly commenting in the "Comments" section of my own blog. Plus, it's my blog, durnit! I can embellish as I wish! Also, I cut and pasted from your email, making for some weird breaks in the text. Try as I might, I can't fix 'em. Mea culpa.
I pretty much had my Top 5 Cover list ready to go when I issued my
"challenge", but I did find myself making a few last minute revisions.
I also encountered the same conundrum you did concerning remake
versus cover tune. I've always liked The Allman Brothers Band, but
never cared much for "Whipping Post". Then, in the early '90s, Gregg
Allman remade it on a solo album, and that version blew me away, and
gave me a greater appreciation for the original. I originally had it
on this list, but decided it was not a true cover tune.
There are a ton of honorable mentions, I could fill a book with
really cool cover versions. Here is my Top 5.
5. You Really Got Me
Original: The Kinks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvyDWGF290M)
Cover: Van Halen (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YRqkRmRocQ&feature=related)
[Van Halen’s] first single was a kick in the pants for radio and helped them
totally redefine hard rock. The opening power chords are pure
audio testosterone. This was also the soundtrack for possibly
the greatest TV commercial of the '90s.
[Blogger's note: DAMN! Can't believe I didn't think of this one. You nailed it, Tebe. Though expect to see David Lee Roth on my "Worst 5 Covers Songs" list.]
4. I’m a Believer
Original: Neil Diamond (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EJs7-ayeA0)
Cover: The Monkees (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5MfcEDeWBg)
Neil Diamond is as brilliant a songwriter as ever existed, and this is
arguably the crown jewel of his works. I've never heard a bad version
of this song. In fact, Smash Mouth has three separate versions of
it, all good. The Monkees version is a sparkling gem of Pop Music.
It is simple, buoyant, positive, fun and joyous.
Interesting fact that you may or may not know; Stephen Stills,
Jimi Hendrix, and Charles Manson all auditioned for the Monkees.
What would THAT show have been like? I figure Davy Jones was
safe, none the others could match him in the cute department.
Michael Nesmith was the tallest of the group, and also had the
most musical ability, so I figure Hendrix would take his spot.
The only question is would he be able stuff his 'fro into that
knit cap. Peter Tork was the goofy one, so that spot is Manson's
by default, leaving Stills the Mickey Dolenz spot.
Davy Jones, Stephen Stills, Jimi Hendrix, and Charles Manson,
members of a struggling pop band who find themselves in outlandish
situations. Hilarity Ensues.
Hey, Wait! Wasn't that an episode of The Twilight Zone?!
[Blogger's note: What an interesting sitcom THAT would have been. And I agree, Neil Diamond is on the top 5 songwriters' list, as far as I'm concerned (do I smell a new challenge?). Most people would be shocked to know the number of songs that Neil Diamond has written but were recorded by other people. And I got to see him live, about 10 years ago. Women were still swooning...]
3. American Woman
Original: The Guess Who (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1x6NNNfVJc)
Cover: Krokus (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2z2ufBcBvB4&feature=related)
The boys from Switzerland
relentless, meatgrinder riff. Forget the protest song, just Bang Your Head! This version would be a terrific Guitar Hero song. Apologies
to Mr. Kravitz, but this song just isn't the same unless it's sung by "furriners"!
[Blogger's note: I briefly considered LK's version for my list, then rejected for exactly the same reason you noted: An American can't sing this song. Sadly, I don't think most people today realize that this is a PROTEST song, not a song celebrating headstrong Merkin (in the parlance of GWB) women.]
2. Top of the World
Original: The Carpenters (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mq5pLi0huhw)
Cover: Shonen Knife (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHZiDHjq8rs)
It is hard to improve anything that The Carpenters did. They were brilliant in
all aspects of the production of their music. This all girl power pop trio from Japan
ever heard. The semi-singsong, awkward English of the lead singer infuses this version with a wide eyed happy innocence.
[Blogger's note: As much as I loved the Carpenters, I never really liked this song. Or the Lynn Anderson version, either. Too happy and peppy...even as a 6-yr-old I didn't buy it. Thanks for giving me a version I can embrace. I really wanted to include the Barenaked Ladies' exquisite (though very traditional) rendition of "Close to You" on my list, but couldn't find a YouTube link.]
1. Blue Skies
Original: Written by Irving Berlin in 1926, earliest recording I can find is by Al Jolsen in 1927 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivTt1PEjgtE&feature=related)
Cover: Willie Nelson (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECL1h133Dps&feature=related)
I don't remember who did the original version of this song, I think it
originally appeared in the movie "Holiday Inn" with Bing Crosby and
Danny Kaye. In the late 70's, working at the paper, on Sunday mornings,
in that time where it is light, but the sun is not up over the horizon yet,
KWEL usually played this song. I had to listen to KWEL, all the other
stations were doing there community service programming at this time.
This song was especially fitting after a long night of thunderstorms
plowing through. Storms pass, sun beginning to rise, wet yards,
empty streets, Willie Nelson on the radio. Everything's going to
be just fine. Over the years, I've grown to love this song so much that
it is equal to "More Than A Feeling" in what it means to me.
Shall we now move on to the "Worst 5 Covers" list, Tebe? I've got 4 ready and am feverishly narrowing down that 5th spot...
Shall we now move on to the "Worst 5 Covers" list, Tebe? I've got 4 ready and am feverishly narrowing down that 5th spot...
Hi! I'm [first middle last name]. I'm 8 years old, but I will turn 9 in March. I am 4 feet 4 inches in height and I weigh 62 pounds. I'm very skinny because I run around a lot. I'm sort of strong, and I'm very very flexible. You could twist me into a pretzel and when I untwisted I'd still look the same as I did before I untwisted.
I have blue silver eyes, golden blonde hair, and cherry colored lips, but when I was skipping on some tile floor I fell, and had to go get stitches in my chin.
I'm such a fashion freak, I've wanted to be on a fashion show called "Project Runway" ever since I first saw it because it's funny, and you get to design clothes, and if you win you get 10,000 dollars to sell your own line. [Blogger's note: it's actually $100,000, but I'd take 10K too.] I'm also energetic because I enter lots of races against my sister who's pretty fast and hyper. I'm also pretty smart because I study a lot and do all of my work so I get lots and lots of A+'s.
"A gentleman is simply a patient wolf." ~ Lana Turner
Dr. Subtext, been thinking about our wolf discussions of late. As per usual, I don't have anything substantive to add, but I do have a good-old-cheezy song from YouTube for at least some background music.
Still a great song. Though isn't fey Simon LeBon just completely out of his depth trying to pretend he's some sort of Indy hunting in the jungle?
"Straddle the line, in discord and rhyme..."
WARNING: Very long. And not really about the kids. And not really for the queasy, either.
Last month (5/18), I blogged about my awful bout with gallstones last summer and about how The Friend helped me through the ordeal. But I only blogged about half the ordeal...here's the other half, should you be so interested.
But first...a biology lesson. Bile is a substance produced by the liver to help with the digestion of fats. The gall bladder acts as a 'holding station' for the bile, releasing it into the gut in slow dribs and drabs as needed. Bile is largely made of cholesterol...this cholesterol, in some people, can harden into little pellets, creating gallstones. (Explains why my blood cholesterol is always so low...all of it was being amassed in my gall bladder.) A lot of people have gallstones but never have any symptoms. For others, like me, the gall bladder's squeezing against the stones can cause severe pain. The accumulation of too many stones can cause a blockage of the bile duct, leading to liver weirdness. My blood tests showed this was where I was headed. So...the gall bladder had to come out.
About ninety percent of people who have their gall bladder removed adjust automatically to the change in their digestive workings. Guess who's one of the 10% freaks? Yep, me. (I always have to be different.) What this meant for me practically was that my liver, without the gall bladder for a way station, was just continually pumping bile into my gut.
And as I've said before on this blog, bile is one nasty mofo.
First and foremost, bile is one of nature's most powerful laxatives. In addition, when it backs up in the other direction, it can cause extreme nausea and vomiting.
After my few days of recovery from my surgery, I went back to work, assuming I was one of those happy 90%-ers. In fact, I didn't know the 10% option was even available to me. But it soon became clear that something was very wrong. Bile's two effects (see above) were hitting me, but hard. I tried to soldier on. I had heavy duty work responsibilities. The Jr. Scouts were heading to art camp. Bosco was set to go to her first overnight Girl Scout Camp soon.
But soon I was less-than-functioning. McLovin was carrying my load at work. The Dad was out of town, so I asked Ms. Dad to keep the girls for me. The Friend was shuttling the girls back and forth to art camp every day.
I couldn't eat. I couldn't drink. I couldn't sleep. I was getting severely dehydrated and I was in trouble. Numerous prescriptions called in by my gastroenterologist (and picked up by The Friend) didn't help.
Finally, early on another Friday after another sleepless night, I called the doctor again in desperation. She told me to go to the ER. I phoned The Friend to come get me. When he arrived, not only did he have to deal with my dehydrated, delirious self but he had to sit and watch me pack up Bosco's stuff for GS camp, set to start two days later. I put him in charge of making sure all the stuff got to The Dad and Ms. Dad and that I had in fact gathered everything that was needed. (Turned out I hadn't...Bosco needed one more medical form from her doctor that The Friend managed to procure and get delivered to the Dads in time.)
I can be overdramatic at times, but this time I don't think I so: Due to the dehydration, I think I was not far from death's door at this point.
Once at the ER, The Friend sat with me again while I waited to be seen, to be evaluated, to be given a bed. I got some more IV Dilaudid (painkiller) and Zofran (anti-nausea drug), and then was told I needed a CT scan to see if I had a bile-duct leak after the surgery. So I got to drink two big bottles of barium liquid...mmmm, just the thing for a totally nauseated person. The CT scan turned up negative for any leaks. (I'm not going into the rest of the CT story. I'm just not.) My ever-so-charming chief gastroenterologist then came in and said that I'd basically 'failed' outpatient care and that he was going to admit me to better try to figure out what was going on. He repeatedly asked me if I could possibly be pregnant, because if there was any chance of that, this could all be a waste of everybody's time. I had to finally basically yell at him that I hadn't FELT WELL ENOUGH to get pregnant, and anyway I was on my period RIGHT THEN. F-tard.
The Friend continued to stay with me, but I made him leave. You see, the Jr. Scouts' art show (the art camp finale) was that afternoon, and I wanted to make sure the girls had a presence there. The Friend ended up calling Ms. Dad (The Dad was still out of town), and they went together. Apparently, when they walked in the door, one of Bosco's classmates said "Hey, there's your mom and dad!" And she just matter-of-factly said, "No, that's my mom's friend and my dad's girlfriend." (At least that was fairly trauma-free.)
During The Friend's absence, while I was still in the ER, an almost comical scenario occurred. My ER room faced directly toward the nurses' station. I'd been there about 3 or 4 hours and was due for some more Zofran (anti-nausea meds). Was feeling particularly green. Right about that time they brought in a guy who'd been rear-ended in his car. They had him on a backboard, and he was due to be x-rayed. Because spinal injuries had yet to be ruled out, they needed to keep him where they could see him at all times. So they parked him right in front of the nurses' station...right in front of my room. He was a friendly chap...chatting up all the nurses in a folksy voice. But then...he started to feel nauseated. Which he let everybody know with progressively loud moaning interspersed with "I'm'a gonna be sick!" A good 5 nurses lunged at him with puke buckets, but still he managed to miss, and I got to hear it splatter on the floor. He apologized profusely, the orderlies cleaned it up. And then it happened again. And again. Lather, rinse, repeat. Finally he got wheeled away for his x-ray and the nurse came in and said, "Wow, I'll bet that didn't help your nausea any, did it?" I wanted to say "No s*it, Sherlock!", but she had the magical Zofran in her hands.
By the time The Friend returned to the hospital, I'd been moved to a room. He brought a few pieces of art and hung them up on the wall across from my bed. This made me sob and sob and sob. Which was just great, cuz then Il Duce walked into the room. A horrible looking dinner was brought to me. I hadn't eaten in about 5 days, and even if I'd felt hungry this for sure was not going to be my next meal.
I had an upper endoscopy the next morning, to see if there was something separately weird going on in my stomach. Nothing. Was sent back to my room. At this point, I was taken off the IV Dilaudid and switched to Vicodin pills.
Not long after, I had a severe panic attack. I didn't make the connection between the Vicodin and panic attacks until much later, when I was again prescribed Vicodin for strep throat. Immediately, the same sensation of fight-or-flight-oh-my-god-i'm-dying-or-seriously-flipping-out returned. Anyway, I experienced several panic attacks during this hospital stay, not helped by the teensy room I was in and the paranoia-inducing parade of people coming in to constantly ask me to rate my pain (and yes, all you Brian Regan fans, I always said 8. Pretty much to my detriment.)
The pain improved, the nausea didn't. The gastroenterologist told me he'd done every test he could think of. He thought maybe I was just going to be one of those people that was slower to adjust to having their gall bladder out. Case closed. The next day, a much kinder doctor came by...Dr. Berg. I will never forget him or his soothing manner. He said that a lot of people who carry stress in their gut (uh yeah, that would be me) have a harder time adjusting to the loss of their gall bladder. But in most cases, it DOES improve. Sometimes very slowly, but still. Some people may never improve, but there were medications that helped. He guessed that I would see, if not total resolution, then significant improvement--especially with the meds, within a year.
And he was right, God bless him. Now, I take these ginormous pills that absorb bile. Seriously, they are about the size of a Barbie's head. And they don't even dissolve...they simple absorb bile in the gut. The prescription is to take them 3 times a day...now I'm down to about 1 every other day (unless I'm having a flare...more to come on that). I've read on the Intertubes that some people have taken this medicine for over 20 years for these same bile issues. I'll do that if I have to, but there is some risk of vitamin malabsorption with these pills. I also take meds that 'paralyze' my bowel. And I avoid Vicodin.
Things have slowly gotten better. I'd say I'm 75% better than I was this time last year. But still, I have what I call 'flares', where the bile gets the better of me and I'm knocked down by nausea and the other unpleasant side effects. I've tried, but I can't track these flares to any difference in eating pattern or change in medication plan. Ironically, I'm in the middle of such a flare right now...and The Dad has taken an extra day of Jr. Scout duty so that the girls are not prisoner to my digestive woes. As always, thanks to The Dad for being so flexible.
And really, that's the point of this whole, long, meandering blog entry: Thank you to everyone who helped me through that time.
Thank you to McLovin, who saved my ass at work again. (I often refer to her as the Ass-Saver.)
Thank you to Ms. Dad, again, for keeping the girls when I couldn't and for being there for the art show.
Thank you to Jenji, who visited me in the hospital and then brought me a trunkful of groceries for my stint on disability after I was released from the hospital.
Thank you to Grandma, Papa, and the Tebes for the calls and warm thoughts.
Thank you to The Dad, who brought the Jr. Scouts to see me in the hospital, who got Bosco to GS Camp with everything she needed, and who took care of them then and now as I slowly ramp up to as close to 100% as I can get.
But thank you most of all to The Friend, who took me again to the hospital, pestered the doctors and nurses, shared his computer, brought me comfy pj bottoms, patiently and lovingly talked me through those horrific panic attacks, fed my animals, gave up valuable work hours, chauffered me and Bumby to the Dancing With the Stars Tour show the day I was released, drove me to pick up Bosco from camp so I could at least experience a bit of it, helped me out with the Jr. Scouts--including providing playdates well into late summer as I continued to convalesce, kept my mom posted...well, really--you did more than I even can remember. But to you, most of all, THANK YOU!
Bosco is in AISD's Gifted and Talented program for Language Arts. (Yes, I'm bragging, but there is a point. Oh, BTW, Bumby is also G/T for Math.) For her G/T special project in 3rd grade, Bosco had to create an autobiography. The final 'book' came home with her at the end of the year. Here, in various posts, I'm going to share her autobiography with you.
Here's the opening page--all names are changed to protect Grandma's fear of interwebs stalkers:
Sweet, cool, artistic, cute,
sister of Bumby,
Cares deeply about her family,
Who feels happy,
Who needs more paint
Who gives presents,
Who fears her hyper sister,
Who would like to see a lunar eclipse,
Resident of Texas.
Chapter 1 to follow shortly.
Though it would seem I haven't been doing a lot of writing lately (most of the stuff here of late has been mostly YouTube posts with a tiny bit of analysis), I have in fact been writing. At work.
Currently I am part of a large group of editors working on a brand-new, 3-book middle school science program. A huge part of this new program is a relevance/engagement strand. But we in Editorial are in a stand-off with the Marketeers about what 'relevance' really means. We want this strand to show how science is everywhere, in everything. They want this strand to show how science is relevant to a student's daily life. (Our continued pointing-out that this will be difficult in chapters about the periodic table and the outer planets seems to fall on deaf ears.)
So, Il Duce directed me to write a philosophy statement about our intentions for this strand, reflecting the hundreds of pieces of this strand we've already developed across the three books. (Another argument that falls on deaf ears: changing our meaning of 'relevance' will require redoing work we've spent the past year on.) Here's what I came up with:
"Students often view science as a subject isolated unto itself, as opposed to an integral part of the world—indeed, the universe—they live in. The intent of our relevance strand is to show students, through eye-catching imagery and engaging text, the myriad ways that science is everywhere, in everything. To capture the wide-ranging interests of our diverse audience, this strand will focus not just on relevance to the student’s own life but on other engaging areas as well: sports, the environment, technology, the cute and whimsical, the gross and scary, forensics, the arts, history, social issues, and more."
Il Duce declared it perfect, and it also passed the hurdle of our department director. Now we'll have to see how the Marketeers respond.
Is this very exciting to the Scout Nation? Probably not. Am I being show-offy? Maybe a bit. But it feels like the first positive thing to happen in my work life in a long time, so there you go.
Based on your As, I think I found the perfectly ironic choice for a blog post to you. Thank God I'm clever enough that I didn't have to go all the way through to the Zs...that would have taken forever.
(And warning to the Scout Nation: Kewpie-faced Ani Difranco, the singer of this song, drops the F-bomb on a regular basis throughout. Still, I think it's rather sweet. I'm weird that way.)
Because of you, FT, I will never be able to eat cottage cheese again. Thanks A LOT.
Here they are, Tebe. Send me yours by email, and I will post them accordingly.
FYI: I was originally going to list song years, but it got too tedious. Wiki it yourself, Scout Nation.
I'm listing mine here in Letterman style, counting down to the #1.
Original: Prince (it's impossible to find Prince songs on YouTube...he's totally embargoed any use of his music that doesn't earn him money. Which I can't gripe about, given the legal issues that he faced with his label for so many years. Which is what actually led to his ridiculous use of that unpronounceable symbol...but I digress.)
Cover: Tom Jones and The Art of Noise (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzxMQAAx_4Q)
What could have been a total cheesefest became, because of The Art of Noise, IMO, a re-establishment of Tom Jones as a true sex symbol, even to more recent generations of viewers. Still, too close to the original to rate a higher rank than #5.
"Masters of War"
Original: Bob Dylan (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWkWSLEW-Ds)
Cover: Eddie Vedder (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2kk-v7NLr4)
"Just Like a Woman"
Original: Bob Dylan (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueGuzmotwaI)
Cover: Richie Havens (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9UuK-rIpJk)
I always felt somewhat un-American because I never liked Bob Dylan. What I discovered, after watching the Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Special that aired in 1992, is that I really love his music...as long as someone else is singing it. Here are two of the best. And "Masters of War" is probably more appropriate today than it was when Dylan wrote it or when Eddie Vedder re-mastered it in 1992.
3. "Always Something There to Remind Me"
Original: Dionne Warwick (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCIcT3L8zuc)
Cover: Naked Eyes (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtPKa7MXLfA)
I had no idea this 80s song by Naked Eyes was a cover until I received something I'd truly coveted...the complete Burt Bacharach boxed set. Yep, Bacharach wrote this one. Interestingly, Warwick's version is actually a cover of an even earlier version. But Dionne Warwick was (and it's hard to believe for those of us who grew up watching her host Solid Gold and the Psychic Friends Network) Bacharach's main muse and the only singer who could truly master his intricate melodies. If you're doubtful, just listen to "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" sometime.
2. "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)"
Original: The Talking Heads (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITC2qdxXQXA&feature=related)
Cover: Shawn Colvin (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5ChC_n5JZY)
If I heard these two songs back to back, I'd be hard-pressed to say they were the same song. Despite coming of age in the mid-80s, The Talking Heads were not much on my radar beyond "Burning Down the House." I first heard this song on a Shawn Colvin cover album, which made me seek out the original. Of all of the songs on the list, this is the one where the cover is farthest afield from the original. Shawn Colvin manages to reveal it for the beautiful love song that it really is. A real love song...it describes what I want, warts and all.
1. "Higher Ground"
Original: Stevie Wonder (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wZ3ZG_Wams)
Cover: Red Hot Chili Peppers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hS3hEuAbuLE)
As far as taking the original and ramping it up, taking it to the next level: THIS IS IT. Starting with Flea's opening bass grooves. It's Stevie's song, lovingly revisited, mightily amplified. They even fleetingly reference Stevie. To me, this is The Ultimate Cover Song Ever. They take the song where it was meant to be. Almost makes me wish I'd gotten that RHCP tattoo I considered back in the early 90s after all.
Not sure this can be considered a cover...if the same artist redoes his own classic, is it a cover? But I love it, and I'm including it.
Original: Eric Clapton (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtTBQohdi_0)
Cover (?): Eric Clapton (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4i-cOv69tw&feature=related)
I've listened to this several times over the past few days...still can't decide which is my favorite. Both are amazing. I think maybe I need the original in the morning, to wake me up. Then, at the end of the day, I need the slower version to wind down.
There you are, Tebe. Another challenge met. Can't wait to see/post your five.
The previous Jack Black entry prompted this. Both these songs were considered for my top 5 covers but ultimately didn't make the cut. (See how I'm building the suspense toward when I finally reveal them?) And I've already warned Tebe that my list will probably come tomorrow--yep, a full 5 days ahead of schedule. It feels great to actually beat a deadline, for once.
First up, Jack Black doing "Let's Get It On", from the movie "High Fidelity." You'll have to see the movie to understand why this song is such a surprise, as shown on John Cusack's face.
And how awesome is the name "Kathleen Turner Overdrive" as a possible band name?!? Genius.
Next, Soul Asylum doing "Sexual Healing." This cover was little known at its time (and what the hell happened to Soul Asylum anyway?). I never actually liked the MG version much, but this one I like very much. Especially the full-on rocking during the chorus.
Yep, that's Jack Black, the voice of Po the Panda, singing lead on this cover. (And no, as much as I like it, it won't be on my list of top 5 cover songs.)
The movie was fantastic, even from an adult point of view. Dustin Hoffman totally stole the show.
The Jr. Scouts' favorite line from the movie, uttered by DH's character:
"I'm NOT dying, you idiot. I'm simply at peace."
Commenting on my post "I May Be Middle-Aged..." on 6/13 last week, Tebe (my older brother, for those of you who may just now be pledging allegiance to the Scout Nation) questioned my label of 'cheesiness,' particularly in regard to the Guns'n'Roses entry. I guess all I can say is...look at that hair, that eyeliner, those leather pants. I'm not denying that the song is worthy, or that Guns'n'Roses produced some great music. But I think, by definition, any video in which the frontman has Big Dallas Hair earns the label of cheesy. (You didn't link the cheesiness question to the Def Leppard song, but seriously...any song named "Pour Some Sugar on Me" automatically makes it onto the Cheese list. Not that I don't love it dearly.)
In his comment, Tebe also challenged me to a list of the top 5 cover tunes. Here, officially, I accept that challenge. I expect you to provide your list, too, Tebe. Not that you have to follow suit, but here are the criteria I intend to use: The original should be a classic in its own right. The cover song has to be as good as, or better than, the original. No corny/cheesy knock-offs allowed (see below). The cover should, if at all possible, take the song in a somewhat different direction than the original.
I already have my #1 cover song in mind. Let's meet back here, say a week from today (6/23), and compare notes.
And when that's done...let's do the 5 WORST covers ever.
Here's an example of what should NOT be included in our Top 5 GREAT cover songs (though you can't deny that Richard Cheese does some of the best covers out there...this just happens to be a cover of the GnR song previously referenced):
I would love to include Richard Cheese's cover of NIN's "Closer" here, but I'm afraid it might make some regular readers faint. I'll never forget introducing McLovin to that version, at work (on headphones), and hearing her infectious, outrageous laughter ring out over the cubicle jungle. Her laughter was probably heard on the floors above and below us. Look it up on YouTube if you're curious.
Ze Barbee trebuchet...she has been ordaired. Expect to see photos of some high-powered Barbie (and other small item) flinging soon. We might even try to work in some subtle lessons on inertia, momentum, velocity, and machines while we're at it. The science geek in me just can't help it.
All this thinking about trebuchets lately made something bubble up from my long-term memory bank. I was never a big watcher of "Northern Exposure"...mostly because it came on at a time of night while I was still toiling away on one textbook or another. (Before I had kids, I would often work pretty much all damn evening in an effort to meet brutal deadlines. The deadlines are still brutal, it's just that now I refuse to give up the time with my kiddos.) But I saw two or three episodes at least, and one particular episode has always stayed with me. I found the final scene so poignant...watch for yourself.
I agree with (the oh-so-adorable) John Corbett's thoughtful response to the fling: "Yeah."
Check it out...my friend Comedy Boy is gettin' all famous and stuff.
Hope you don't let it go to your head, CB.
Thanks to Jul for the heads-up on this.
Happy Father's Day, Papa!
Here's your gift...a brief trip down memory lane. I'm sure these are your fondest memories of bringing up me and Tebe.
First--that skit about your alter ego:
Next, your most favoritest song evarrrrr...I have no idea why it's set to scenes from "The Phantom of the Opera":
G**DAMN! CHRISTINE SIXTEEN!
Happy Father's Day!
Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there. But this one goes out especially to GG. You are a super-fantastic dad...I know, cuz I've seen you in action. Heck, you're even great with MY kids! And you can fix things around the house. I hope you know what a stellar dad you are, cuz it's clear to everyone around you.
A rockin' Father's Day to all!
...but I'm certainly not mature.
The evidence? I heard these two songs (which can probably be classified as 'oldies') recently and couldn't help but totally lose myself in their cheesy goodness.
For both songs, I was in my car, and the Jr. Scouts were not with me. So I was able to crank it high. (We've yet to make the flip to where I tell them that THEIR music's too loud.)
Is it just me, or are the beginnings of these songs kinda similar?
One lump or two?
I used to be able to do that Axl Rose shimmy so well...got to work on that again.
Perhaps not surprisingly, both songs are popular at McLovin's and my favorite neighborhood karaoke bar. Tends to be a fairly immature crowd...which just adds to the fun.
Tim Russert, NBC's Washington Bureau Chief and moderator of "Meet the Press", died suddenly today of a heart attack at 58.
At various times in my adult life, I've been a a news junkie. My addiction was never greater than during the 2000 presidential election standoff. I believe that Tim Russert, with his no-tech marker and white board, did more to educate this country on the intricacies of the electoral college than any textbook ever has.
He was always calm and nonpartisan, but he was never afraid to ask the tough questions. Always with such a sweet twinkle in his eyes.
Read more here: https://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25145431/
I love this lolcat for a coupla reasons...
First, this cat looks like cats I had when I was a kiddo.
Second, this reminds me of one of my fellow Senior Eds, who, when she sees something that doesn't look good to her, she says "That looks like ass."
She's off on maternity leave...in her absence, we're having stamps made that say "LOOKS LIKE ASS" so that, upon her return, she can communicate her opinion to her subordinate editors with a minimum of fuss. Working moms don't have time to waste, doncha know.
Another banner day at my newly merged company...an entire DEPARTMENT of people were notified of their 'separation dates' (as in, separation from the company) today, including my beloved friend Jul. Yep, some of those people needed to go, but the group included some of the smartest, most talented people I've ever met, some of whom have been with the company 20 years or more. No kidding, I'd put Jul in the top 10 most valuable people to the company.
Jul's actually got it pretty good...she's going to stay on for a few extra months, but she'll be relocating to our new owners' offices in Dublin. As in Ireland. Still...what a horrible loss of talent for our company. And worse, a loss of some lovely, nice people. Friends. Meanwhile, work in my own department has come almost to a standstill because the two sides of the new company can't figure out how to work together.
I'm beginning to feel more and more like Peter Gibbons...
For those of you who saw the Barbie Flinging video...the story continues. (For those who didn't...sorry, I can't post it here. The Jr. Scouts' REAL names are uttered on the video, and we can't risk Grandma any undue worry about Intertubes stalkers.)
The story will be filled in later, but just know that there's now a t-shirt designed by my most favoritest evarrrrrr design genius (WE MEET AGAIN, MR. ANDERSON...which means, of course, that your alias here will forever be Neo) of Chicago...or suburbs thereof. Right now it's just a quirky design fantasy, but if we actually get the Barbie trebuchet working and anyone wants a real t-shirt, let me know. Stand by, Neo.
Sometimes I listen to the local Jake/Jack/Bob FM station in the mornings. This morning I found myself listening at about 9:30 after a visit to my ultra-cute orthodontist...they were smack in the middle of their '9 at 9' show. This is where they highlight 9 songs from a particular year.
I tuned in just in time to hear this: "This was the number one song on this day in 1978"...(and yeah, it's been on the blog before, but deal with it):
As a parent of a 9.5-year-old, it's a little scary to remember how completely enamored I was of Barry and Andy Gibb in 1978, when I was 12. ( Who woulda thunk it? Turns out the late Maurice was the coolest/hottest Brother Gibb.)
"All this and nothing more...UH HUH!!!"
Heard this song on the radio during the drive to swim class tonight...had to crank it up loud, even though I knew the Junior Scouts weren't familiar with it.
But lo...they did know the song!! They remembered it from the animated movie "Happy Feet." So we were able to groove out together during the journey.
Won't be showing the Junior Scouts this video of Freddie Mercury in his man-tard anytime soon, though.
"Every day...I try and I try and I try...."
Leave it to the Chicago girl to get the answer right away. Yep, Jul...zactly right.
Here's your prize...that exact scene.
And here's my favorite scene...
It's amazing how well this movie's held up over time...most of John Hughes's movies have. I can't wait for a new documentary coming out called "Don't You Forget About Me"...it's all about Hughes and his iconic teen movies of the 80s. And watch for a blog entry soon about my results of the "What John Hughes Character Are You?" personality test.
Click the link below for a special birthday greeting. (Sorry, I just couldn't get this to embed in the blog, for some reason. If you have trouble opening it, go over to Tebe's and insist that they let you watch it there. The Birthday Girl should always get her way on her special day.)
Bumby seems to lose interest in the middle, but it's really that Mr. McMallersons jumped up on the couch and distracted her. You can see the teeniest bit of his black tail flash across the screen. Bumby definitely gets her zeal back by the end.
Happy Birthday, Grandma! Wish we could be there to help you celebrate in person.
We love you--cha cha cha!!
Tebe, of course. He was the first to write in and answer my challenge posed in the entry "Good Times" below. And he even managed to throw in a nod to his beloved Nickelback, too!
Here's your prize, Tebe.
Thanks to GG for finding that old gem. It's even more cheesetastic than I remembered!
I hate to admit it, but my college roommate Lisa and I, while out and about in her car, would often yell this to male joggers we passed or frat boys standing out in front of their frat houses:
A special prize to the first member of Scout Nation who can name the product this phrase was originally used to sell...
Every year on this date (6/2), I send birthday wishes to an old friend. If I can find him.
Rick was my first boyfriend in college. We met in band. He played trumpet, I played flute. (God, how my past is littered with brass players....) When we first talked, he walked me partway to my dorm. When we parted, he took my hand and kissed it. I was so embarrassed. Who kisses a girl's hand in this day and age, I thought? Meanwhile, I think I was standing there in bermuda shorts, knee socks, and penny loafers.
That kiss stayed with me. Soon, we were spending all our time together. Rick was so exotic....he was from Chicago, of all places!!! He listened to Laurie Anderson, the Violent Femmes, A-ha. He patiently put up with my Bruce Springsteen poster. He railed against Amy Grant, saying she would go to hell for making money off of singing about God. When we went to restaurants, he would ask "What kind of pop do you have?" And I would have to translate to the uncomprehending waitron: "He means, 'What kind of coke do you have?' " Exotic, I tell you...at least to this West Texas girl.
But Rick had a fatal flaw...fatal to me, at least. He was GOOD TO ME. I mistakenly thought that that meant all 'adult' men would be so good to me. So I let him go. But not easily. Especially not easily for him. It was a disaster.
He stayed at our college one more year, where we crossed paths a few times. And then he was gone. For many years I wasn't sure where.
And then came...the intertubes.
I found him a few years ago...teaching college Spanish in Hawaii. (wtf? Last I'd known of him he was a music major, and his language background was in French.) I emailed him at his teaching address, and we reconnected, sort of.
I still think of him on this day every year, and email him. Though God only knows if it reaches him...see, he doesn't just teach Spanish, he teaches 'total-immersion' Spanish. As in taking a bunch of college students to Spanish-speaking countries for a thorough education. As if living in Hawaii isn't adventurous enough...
Last I heard from him, a couple of years ago, he was in Patagonia. Who knows where he is now...but it's somewhere where they speak Spanish, I'm sure, and where he's treating everyone with the respect and kindness that are inherent in his everyday demeanor.
I stole this pic from his Flickr site...it's from Venezuela, ca 2006.
Yes, I know, ladies of the Scout Nation...I'm a complete idiot.
Happy Birthday, Rick Wreck, wherever you are in the Spanish-speaking world. I still miss you and think of you often.
Here's a song from the old days...
"The beautiful ones, you always seem to lose...."
Howard the hole-digging bunneh showed up on the increasingly-famous Cute Overload web site today. Which, btw, is just about my most favorite web site of all times. It's not so much the cute pics as the hilarious captions that Meg, the blogger, writes to accompany them.
BUT...I called the Indiana Jones similarity first. Ha!
You can visit Cute Overload through the link at left. But consider this your Official Warning--Teh Cute is very addictive. If you log on to it during the workday I can guarantee you won't be getting much else done that day...especially if it's your first time to the CO.
Me? I can quit anytime. Srsly.