6.25.2008

Friday Collective Mixtape #3 - Cover Songs

FCM #3 - COVERS  This week's theme is "Covers," and we've collectively contributed novelty, sincerity, and reinvention. Click here to download the whole FCM #3 - COVERS or hunt and peck below. If you like something or hate something or whatever, please make a comment! Some of these files are m4a format, so you should download them all with the link above or right click and save them to your machine.

Next week's Theme - Childhood Memories! Songs that were important to you when you were a child, or songs that bring that childish day back to you.

"Ever Fallen In Love" Nouvelle Vague - 2006
Christine writes: Originally from the Buzzcocks (pop-punk band from Manchester) circa 1978. Some of you already have this from a previous swap but for those of you who don't it's worth a listen. I like the original but the cover provides a sweeter side to the lyrics as is Nouvelle's style.

"Pure Imagination" Smoking Popes - 1997
Margaret writes: If you've seen "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" you'll probably recognize this tune. I first heard it a few years ago, and I've been obsessed with it ever since. It's got a killer hook (in my opinion) and I love the Kermit The Frog-like quality of the lead singer's voice. Good stuff.

"Brown Eyed Girl" Everclear - 2000
Walt writes: I love covers, pure and simple. But I hate bad covers. What's a bad cover? One where the artist doesn't make the song his own. That's one of the reasons I love Everclear's cover of Van Morrison's "Brown-Eyed Girl." Not only do they put their own spin on the song but they also honor the original in the lyrics. It also doesn't hurt that my blushing bride also has brown eyes.

"Since U Been Gone (Kelly Clarkson)" Ted Leo - 2005
Nick writes: I was going to put on the Sea and Cake's cover of Bowie's "Sound and Vision", but it's a bit too rote and boring. I was going to put on Bran Van 3000's cover of "Cum On Feel the Noize", but a previous CD Thursday had the album that that's from. And so here we are. Have Ted Leo singing a thing.

"Cruisin'" D'Angelo - 1995
Bryan writes: How can you not like this song unless your ears were tainted by Gweneth Paltrow & Huey Lewis. The original by Mr. Robinson is great and definitely has that great old school feel/sound to it but i like the way d'angelo gave it a more contemporary feel without destroying it. Plus since its summer, this is a great road trip/driving song.

"Hazy Shade Of Winter" Bangles - 1987
James writes: The Bangles weren't all that bad. Their first album, "All Over the Place," was a fun, jangly, garage pop record. The releases after that were hit or miss, but those few songs that "hit" still hold up today. One of the Bangles' biggest songs wasn't their own; it was as a Simon and Garfunkel song from two decades prior, "A Hazy Shade of Winter." Bangles wired the song through some amplifiers and presented it with a sense of real guitar menace. "A Hazy Shade of Winter" definitely connected on a grand level, snagging the #2 position on the charts in 1987.

"You're So Vain" Faster Pussycat - 1990
Jane writes: Yes, THAT Faster Pussycat. Carly Simon would be rolling over in her... luxurious Southern California 4-poster bed right now if she only knew. But for some reason, the hair metal take on this works. I almost submitted it for last week's "summer songs" theme because it so reminds me of warm nights long ago.

"Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? (Album Version)" Revolting Cocks - 1993
James writes: Revolting Cocks were the "playful," humorous outlet for the malevolent, addicted-to-many-things-that-should've-killed-him-in-the-90s, Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen. On this cover song, he and Rev Co "straight man" Chris Connelly eviscerate the uncontested nadir of Rod Stewart's 70s output.

"Baby Got Back" Throwdown - 2001
Justin writes: This song was on an album I bought in high school called "Too Legit for the Pit". It's the best Hardcore to Rap translation I've ever heard. Hands down, .....er uh.... Throwdown.

"Paranoid" Type O Negative - 1992
Brian writes: Type O Negative is definitely one of the most original sounding bands I know of. They have been known to include a cover song on almost all their releases, but they always make that cover their own. They've done everything from Beatles and Santana medley's to reworked versions of Cinnamon Girl by Neil Young and Hey Joe by Hendrix. One of my favorites is their cover of Black Sabbath's Paranoid, so here you go.

Honorable mentions that I can send if you are interested:
Dax Riggs acoustic version of Skulls by The Misfits
Ramones cover of I Don't Want to Grow Up by TomWaits (both are awesome)
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds cover of Death is Not the End by Bob Dylan
The Life Aquatic soundtrack (Seu Jorge covering David Bowie)
Faith No More's cover of Easy by Lionel Ritchie

"Hallelujah" David Bazan - 2007
TJ writes: Here is a song that I really love (originally written by Leonard Cohen), done by David Bazan (Pedro the Lion, Headphones). It has it's religious moments here and there :) but I still love it (hopefully it doesn't offend anyone). Check out more of his stuff as well as his other bands if you get the time. I highly recommend him. His voice is one of my favorites.

"Hurt" Johnny Cash - 2003
Chris writes: For me, a good cover song is about taking something familiar and giving it a whole new context or instilling new meaning so that you're hearing that song for the first time, in brand new ways. I love a good cover, and after poring over my collection of great soul covers / cheeky indie covers / updated oldies-but-goodies, I settled on "Hurt," originally written by Trent Reznor and covered here by Johnny Cash. Cash covered this song the year before he died, and it's absolutely haunting and real and honest about life. While Trent's version is a desperate, angsty plea, Cash's version plays as more of a soft surrender to the life he's lead, like he's read the writing on the wall and reflecting on all of life's peaks and valleys. If you haven't seen the video, grab some tissues and click here.

"Atlantic City" Tom Thumb - 2006
Ben writes: Tom Thumb takes the emotion and heart of my favorite Bruce Springsteen song and (because Bruce isn't singing) they put all of it into the music. Their version is true to the essence of the song - but different enough in approach that it works for me.

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6.20.2008

Friday Collective Mixtape #2 - Summer

FCM #2 - SUMMER This week's theme is "Summer," and i think you'll all agree that everyone put their best foot forward. Click here to download the whole FCM #2 - SUMMER or hunt and peck below. Thanks to Walt this week for submitting the cover. If you like something or hate something or whatever, please make a comment! Some of these files are m4a format, so you should download them all with the link above or right click and save them to your machine.

Next week's Theme - Cover Songs!

"Green River" Creedence Clearwater Revival - 1969
Chris writes: If you're anything like me you can't deny the sweltering swamp rock that Creedence Clearwater Revival embodies, and you certainly crank that (bleep) up when you're cruising around town and those trademark guitar strains start picking their way through your car stereo speakers. Can you hear the bullfrog calling you? CRANK THAT (BLEEP) and come on home to Green River.

"When Alice Comes Back To The Farm" The Move - 1970
Jane writes: In high school, just outside of town, there was a small field surrounded on three sides by woods and one side by cornfield. On summer nights we could sneak down, make a small fire, pass around a bottle of cheap whiskey, sweat, laugh, fight, love, and hang out until morning... On the best nights, someone would carefully navigate their car through the trees just so we could pop the trunk open and listen to the cassette deck. And either the adults in town didn't know about this place or collectively agreed not to wreck the mystique of it all. We were appreciative. Looking back now, I realize they'd probably enjoyed the spot when they were younger too. But at the time, it was so rebellious. This was the heaviest of guitars... with violin; rock with shuffle. This was a bunch of Brits in silk shirts in the 60's with an incredible take on blues.

"The Good Life" Weezer - 2000
TJ writes: This just brings be back to high school with my friends, having a gay old summer time!!! Nothing beats that!! Enjoy!!

"Girl" Beck - 2005
Margaret writes: When I was in college I worked at a summer camp in northern California for a month, and they played this song everytime a new group of campers would arrive. Everytime I hear it, I immediately go back there. Plus, it just sounds like summer to me.

"Summertime" DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince - 1991
Bryan writes: Just reminds me of the summer of 91 and being an 11 year old kid. listening to it on my walkman in the parking lot while playing games or family bbqs. fun times.

"Another Summer" 213 - 2004
Ben writes: This song evokes summer weekends like no other i've heard. Barbecue, pool party, kids running around, etc. Snoop's flow is as smooth as ever, and the song mixes up rap, soul, and R&B into something truly magical. Gotta love the smooth Kanye West production too!

"Pit Stop (Take Me Home)" Lovage - 2001
Brian writes: There are A LOT of songs that remind me of summer, but Mike Patton was a topic of discussion today so... Lovage... Pit Stop...

"Everyone's A V.I.P To Someone" The Go! Team - 2005
Nick writes: I first came upon the Go! Team's debut album "Thunder, Lightning, Strike" in August 2004, and it quickly became my favorite album of the year (sorry, Arcade Fire). This is the last track on it. I have lots of memories of driving around North Carolina in 95 degree weather with the windows down, listening to this album the whole way through again and again. As for this song, you pretty much can't beat the part when the drums come in, halfway through.

"4th of July" X - 1980
James writes: Nothing says "summer" like the Fourth of July. Growing up in the Windy City, I've always thought of Independence Day as a time when sweaty fat people in neon tank tops stood elbow-to-elbow after paying far too much for chicken-on-a-stick at the Taste of Chicago. The fact that the holiday actually commemorates America's birthday? Well, that's the proverbial gravy on the chicken-on-a-stick.

X always appealed to me with the way they hung on images of American squalor. Consider the following line when you fire up your Weber Grill meat orgy on the Fourth:

"On the stairs I smoke a / cigarette alone / Mexican kids are shootin' / fireworks below / Hey baby, it's the Fourth of July"

Happy Birthday, America!

"This Is the Sea" The Waterboys - 2004
Sean writes: (nothing?)

"Crack The Liar's Smile" Drain STH - 1997
AJ writes: Drain STH is an all girl metal band from Sweden. They don't scream, they sing. Bad ass chicks, and actually attractive. It reminds me of summer because they were on Ozzfest the year I went to 3 different Ozzfests. The singer married Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath after the tour.

"Open All Night" The Urge - 1995
Christine writes: Summertime in STL in high school meant that we would head down to Mississippi Nights for the $1.05 Urge Shows. I don’t think we listened to anything but ska and punk back then so it was really lucky that we had one of the best ska bands around in our city. This is just a silly song from a really talented band.

"Battlescars" Ozma - 2001
Justin writes: This song for me paints pictures of my end days of high school joy riding around the suburbs with my friends on an endless search for something, anything interesting to occupy our time. On our search we crank up the stereo sing our hearts out (to this song) then we arrive at IHOP and spend 4 hours there talking about our dreams. Oh youth!

"Summer Wind" Frank Sinatra - 1966
Walt writes: There are so many good summer songs out there, it's hard to choose. Certainly there are those that are titular in nature but there are also those that tied to summer, at least for me. John Cougar's Jack & Diane, Bobby Bloom's Montego Bay and, heck, even John Williams theme from Jaws evoke summer. That said, I'm going with Summer Wind by The Chairman of the Board.

Several summers ago I was was walking south on Wabash after crossing the river and a band, fronted by a guy who did a more than passable Ol' Blue Eyes, was playing this song. It reminded how much I liked it and how much time had past since I last listened to it. The funny thing is, I rarely listen to it in the summertime. It's more of a winter song for me, as I anticipate the sun and warmth returning to my life.

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6.12.2008

Friday Collective Mixtape #1

Here it is, Friday Collective Mixtape One. Thanks to everyone who participated. Click here to download the whole FCM ONE or hunt and peck below. Thanks to Masha for the photo on the cover. If you like something or hate something or whatever, please make a comment! Some of these files are m4a format, so you should download them all with the link above or right click and save them to your machine. Next week's theme - "Summer Songs."

"Birdhouse In Your Soul" They Might Be Giants - 1990
AJ writes: I chose this one, because it reminds me of my college radio days. We would play it on friday afternoons, and do a little "sing along" with the listening audience. We would turn the mic on and any one who was at the station would come in and sing the line "Who watches over you" along with the song.

"Nothing But Flowers" Talking Heads - 1988
Ben writes: I never heard, or at least didn't notice this song until the summer of 1997. I used to walk/bike around campus and imagine this takeover happening around me - delightful imagery and a really fun groove that's fit for any activity (save mourning).

"Love Plus One" Haircut 100 - 1982
Walt writes: Even though the cover of Haircut 100's debut album screams autumn, their U.S. hit "Love Plus One" simply says summer to me. No matter the season -- all I need to do is pop on LPO and it's the best summer day -- taking a nap with the windows open and a cool summer's breeze blowing through the room and the mid-afternoon dreams flying fast and furious.

"Today" Smashing Pumpkins - 1993
Masha writes: An upbeat, instrumentally beautiful song, seething with angsty lyrics. my memories of it link to seventh and eighth grade summers where it is a soundtrack to being out whole days on bike with my then posse of friends. it resonated with the exhiliration of having such freedom and the sense of adventure possible everywhere.

"My Girlfriend's Boyfriend" Her Space Holiday - 2003
TJ writes: Used to walk to class at Iowa State listening to this song. Brings me back.

"Quarantined" Atlas Sound - 2007
Allison writes: This is a nice little song by Atlas Sound (the solo project of Deerhunter's lead singer) full of shimmering hope, confectionary wistfulness, and the desire to break free from something, anything. It's on one of my fave atmospheric/post-rock labels, Kranky (purveyors of fine music best enjoyed in a dark room, staring at the ceiling, thoughts drifting).

"Baby Black And Blue" The Lizzies - 2005
Jane writes: This song about a "troubled" lass was the result of quite a bit of detective work into the true identities of one of my favorite bands: The Lee Harvey Oswald Band (who never toured, were rarely photographed, and make absolute use of pseudonyms). After following hints and forum suggestions to several dead ends, I figured out who three of the gentlemen were including the unmistakable voice of the singer, Savic Enn who, as it turns out, is somewhat of a recluse who works at a recycling plant in the south. But he is now involved in a side project called The Lizzies with members of Nashville Pussy, and upon finding their myspace page, I was rewarded with a two sample song treasure. My excitement does not diminish the awesomeness of this tune... and if nobody else, Jen Ludwick will appreciate this.

"Pete Standing Alone" Boards Of Canada - 1998
Nick writes: This is from Boards of Canada's third (and breakthrough) album, called "Music Has the Right to Children". Despite its having been out for three years by then, I first discovered it two weeks into my college career, which was probably the best possible time for me to find this band. They followed me through the most formative time of my life, significantly influenced my DJing, and - between this and Kid A, which I bought at the same time! - soundtracked a significant amount of my existence since. Pete Standing Alone isn't the most famous track on MHTRTC by far, and it's far more spare than many of Boards of Canada's tracks, but it's my favorite and the London Philharmonic performed an arrangement of it in 2003, so clearly that gives me license to foist it on all of you.

"Dead Girl" Acid Bath - 1996
Brian writes: Dead girl is one of the first songs I heard from Acid Bath (who was fronted by Dax Riggs). Dax has gone onto front the bands Agents of Oblivion, Deaboy and the Elephantmen, and currently his self-titled solo project. All of these bands are amazing to me, and almost all the songs from all of these bands are special to me. Dead Girl was the first though, so here are 2 versions (v1 = original by Acid Bath...v2 = Agents of Oblivion version - linked below).

"Passenger Seat" Ben Gibbard - 2006
Chris writes: This song is a many things to me, but here are just a few: It's a live recording from a session that Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie, one of my all-time faves) did down the street at CRC Studios for a tiny handful of (mostly undeserving) Q101 listeners a couple of years back, and Matt Brelje and I were lucky enough to be in attendance (you can hear me "WHOO" faintly amid claps at the end of the song). This is probably my favorite track off of Transatlanticism and it's one of those songs that gets in your bones - it at one time captured a lot of heartbreak for me, but has now come full circle and captures the great things about life and love, as any good sentimental song should.

"JCB" Nizlopi - 2005
Justin writes: "JCB" is a song recorded by the U.K. duo Nizlopi. I fell upon this song through an animated video that was released for the single placed upon the intrawebs. The animated music video is simply sweet and was very appropriately drawn as a sketch in notebook. It's a beautiful song that reminds me of my childhood and takes me through a slew of memories of hanging out with my Dad (although he did not drive a Digger). I highly recommend that you check out the video as well. I hope it moves you like it did me.

"Red Meets Blue" Matt Wertz - 2004
Margaret writes: Before Justin and I were dating (romantic relationships weren't even on his radar - I had already decided that I was going to marry him), we were listening to music together and this song came on, and he told me he really liked it. I listened to it over and over for the next few weeks, hoping and praying that someday he would feel about me the way the artist felt about the woman he wrote about... needless to say things worked out, and this song is a constant reminder of how it all began.

"100 Years" Blues Traveler - 1990
Christine writes: Heard this back in gradeschool I think. Great voice and amazing ability to walk you through a story.

"Scatterlings of Africa" Juluka - 1982
Sean writes: (nothing?)

"Dead Girl" Agents of Oblivion - 2000
See Brian's "Dead Girl" notes above

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