Stuck in a Y-Hole: I Can Understand How Some People Have Died Because They Wouldn’t Get Up From the Internet

It’s no secret how much I adore coversongs. But…

I have to say that I really enjoy the art of the revamped cover song as opposed to the straightlaced “Glee-esque” (Gleesque?) karaoke style cover. Trust me. If I had the ability to play an instrument without having a massive panic attack I would be pounding these out like crazy. Think… Lounge singer. I’ve talked about how I can sing but am intimidated by those that can play an instrument. Except for Rockband. I can kick booty on medium… okay… easy. To be fair, I just got an XBox360 this year and I have had little time with it, as I’m just not that invested.

So I decided to compile a list of my favorite coversongs from YouTube clips. Blame it on the alcohol. You will eventually be right. I maintain I started this post sober.

The Noisettes – When You Were Young (The Killers)

Shingai Shoniwa has such a phenominal voice. Her sweet velvety voice has slight hints of grit. True grit. [Why am I laughing hysterically right now?]

The Lost Fingers – Billie Jean (Michael Jackson)

Hey, have you ever wanted to feel like you were strolling on a Parisian street but were too afraid to embrace another language? THIS IS THE MUSIC FOR YOU! The Lost Fingers have covered a lot of songs from the eighties ranging from Pump Up the Jam to Careless Whisper.

Skindred – Electric Avenue (Eddy Grant)

Admittedly, this is VERY close to Eddy Grant’s version, but it seems a bit harder with the guitar and the industrial scratch samples added in. It makes you want to dance like an idiot then punch someone in the face for laughing at you.

Richard Cheese – Closer (Nine Inch Nails) – NSFW

Not only is this a lounge version of something composed by Trent Reznor, but it also sounds like the intro to Sesame Street. Pretty awesome. Plus, the dude’s stage name is Richard Cheese. Think about it…

Amanda Palmer – I Will Follow You Into the Dark (Death Cab for Cutie)

The song is beautiful, and it is infinitely more beautiful when it feels like there is a massive amount of emotion behind it. Whatever pushed her to perform the song, especially like this, makes me want to ship up to Boston on her next jaunt home and give her a huge friggin hug.

The Baseballs – Hot N Cold (Katy Perry)

The Baseballs are a coverband from Germany that my friend introduced me to. They’re all ridiculously adorable.

Molly Lewis – Toxic (Britney Spears)

Not only is Molly adorable, she is dextrous. MARVEL I SAY! MARVEL!

Son of Dave – Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (Daft Punk)

I will continue telling you how much I love Son of Dave until it is no longer true. I love Son of Dave.

Far – Pony (Ginuwine) NSFW

Obviously this isn’t safe for work, unless you slide up and down poles all day. I’m not judging. You could be a fireman! A SEXY fireman!

Zeromancer – Send Me An Angel (Erasure)

Don’t know who Erasure is? They sang the theme song to Neverending Story (aaaaaaaaah. Had to be done.) You have to admit that playing tribute to one of the lamest bands is pretty damn inspired. Oh wait… You liked Erasure? … … *coughmetoocough*

The Vitamin String Quartet – Supermassive Black Hole (Muse)

Oh Muse… I loved you before Twilight… Now I suffer. I SUFFER! Damn you Stephanie Meyer! Damn you! Meh. They’re still amazing artists and if someone wants to take me to one of their concerts I am available.

Muse – Feeling Good (Nina Simone [actually from the 1965 musical The Roar of the Greasepaint but that’s the closest we’ll get to original singer.])

I really love this song. But it is very close to the original version, so I really shouldn’t put it on here, but this is my list!

Pomplamoose – Single Ladies [Put a Ring On it] (Beyonce)

I like their Gaga cover of Telephone, but I already posted a Gaga cover and this one is just as splendiferous.

Jonathan Coulton – Baby Got Back (Sir Mix Alot)

I’m so happy I decided to add this because I didn’t know there was a recording of Paul and Storm backing up Baby Got Back. So happy.

the Biovon – Money (Pink Floyd)

Oh hey, I’m going to essentially create myself a pipe organ from PVC pipe and I’m going to wail on it with ping pong paddles. You know how to play the saxophone? Sweet. Let’s form a band.

AND IT WORKS!

Hard N Phirm – Rodeohead (Radiohead Mashup)

Not only is it a mashup of many Radiohead songs, but it’s been mashed up with FIREFLY! You love a bluegrass cover of Radiohead songs. It’s like Amanda Palmer’s cover album on uke, except it was done first and it’s completely different. Okay… so it’s nothing alike. Except they are both completely awesome.

What’s that you say? Need more bluegrass covers? Well HERE YOU GO INTERNET! Okay, it’s probably just for me, but whatever. Quit hating.

Hayseed Dixie – Roses (Outkast)

I believe that their first cover was “Shook Me All Night Long”, hence the humorous name (Hayseed Dixie… AC/DC… Say it out loud. It’s okay.)

Crap… I can find a bunch of bluegrass covers. This search just made my week. I can’t top it. I cannot top all of this. THIS IS AMAZING!

Cornbread Red – Boulevard of Broken Dreams (Green Day)

I didn’t think this song could make me cry harder. Never underestimate the power of a fiddle.

Thank whatever diety is sitting somewhere other than here that just locked me out of YouTube. I would’ve been stuck in a Y-Hole with no chance of escape.

Boredom and Music Rant

Today is a sad day. I finally caught up with all of the podcasts that I regularly listen to. I am not inspired to return to a podcast that I occasionally listen to, mainly because the majority of the discussion is about tossing salad and smoking bowls.

It’s not that I get creeped out about that type of conversation. If you were privvy to the discussion I was unintentionally involved in during my latest brunch (regarding extreme fetishism), you’d know that it takes a lot to skeeve me out. But I think talking incessantly about eating a brown eye is boring.

As I was saying before the tangent, I didn’t really have a podcast that I was looking forward to so I decided to add to my blip.fm playlist. After about an hour I was extremely bored with doing that so I switched to my Gogol Bordello channel on Pandora.

I get very caught up in music like theirs and think it has something to do with the beauty in the offbeats, the intricacy of the instrumentals all getting featured at one point or another. It made me wish that I could play an instrument.

Last year, I bought myself a ukulele to teach myself how to play and have found that while I can strum a few chords, I’m not very talented when it comes to playing music. I can sing, but a part of me feels like I’m cheating when I play Rockband or Guitar Hero. Because I don’t think that singing takes a lot of my effort. It’s never something I had to struggle in learning.

Learning to translate what’s going on in my head to what is happening with my fingers can be extremely difficult when it comes to playing an instrument. Writing isn’t that difficult for me. I think it’s easier for me to verbalize emotion than express it through something that produces sound.

Here’s a list of instruments I tried for an extended period of time and ultimately failed at.
Flute – I played flute in grade school, but most of the time when I was playing it, I was singing the note through the breath I was using to feed the instrument. I think it would have been more effective if I had just shoved two kazoos up my nose. Not the classiest child in elementary school, but it would’ve made me happier. Eventually, my parents sold my flute to a neighbor. I remember throwing a temper tantrum because in my mind, I just needed to try it again to be a prodigy.
Piano – When my grandmother died, her piano was carted to our house. I tried to pay attention during my piano classes, but I was more interested in the piano teacher playing a song that I could sing to. Eventually, my mom Craigslisted the piano and I felt sad that I couldn’t do my grandmother justice and make keeping the piano worthwhile. I don’t know why I would’ve wanted to inherit it. It didn’t hold a tune as well as it did when it was down in Devon. Perhaps it was the Enfield air and the residual tinge of explosives from Powder Hollow.
Guitar – When I was getting ready to go to college, I had the idea that I would be lonely so I would play guitar and become this amazing acoustic performer that would travel around the world wowing everyone and bringing the world into a state of harmony a la Wyld Stallions. Instead, when I went to college I found weed and World of Warcraft took up the majority of my time. My guitar gently wept all right. As he gathered a film of dust from not being picked up and exercised. If my guitar had been a person, it would have been the lady from the Nip/Tuck episode that became fused to her couch.

I’m not going to add ukulele to the list quite yet because I do play every now and again. I just find that I get so frustrated because singing comes so easily to me, my brain thinks that all music should come easily.

Computer update:

I write this during a break at work and will be emailing it to my email on my phone so I can post this to my WordPress app that ties me into my site, albeit in the least capacity possible. I miss having a functioning computer like my adorable desktop. I’m currently trying to work my funds around so that I can just breakdown and buy a laptop with similar functions to my old desktop. I need something that I can edit videos, upload unto my iPhone and iPod, hook up to my scanner… I miss technology.

The most I have right now in the way of electronics is my phone and my mini hp laptop that keeps telling me that I have very little disc space available. once I plugged in my flipcam and the little laptop that couldn’t lost it’s fucking mind. But, it streams Pandora so I’m not draining the battery in my phone.

I haven’t been writing in this absence. I’ve actually been evaluating what needs to go away in my life. I’m selling my Nook and I will eventually be selling my mini hp when I get an actual laptop.

I miss the friends that I converse with mostly online. I spent about four hours on my mother’s computer on Sunday busting my ass to get some work done but didn’t really have a chance to socialize.

I MISS NERDS IN BABELAND! I don’t really have anything to contribute as I haven’t been able to keep abreast in technology or anything else. I’ve been in a state of unintentional isolation.

Any suggestions on a laptop that is less expensive but still gives me the bonuses that I used to get from my desktop (editing, dvd burner, etc)?

Charlie McDonnell Talks of Magic Mars Bars

This is the hypnotic Charlie in a Bathrobe bit. Wanna know which one of his videos it's from? Go watch them all before you ask me.

On Wednesday Charlie McDonnell, admittedly my favorite youtube video-blogger (yes I find him adorable), waxed philosophic on file sharing and the benefits/detriments of illegal sharing. Check out his site to see the video, but wait a second!

I’m curious as to your opinions on the matter. Leave a comment with your opinion then head over to the site and watch Charlie’s.

Also, Charlie has just released his very first album! Yay Charlie! Be sure to follow the links on his page, have a listen and then buy it if you like it!

Music of the Moment: Son of Dave

Recently, a friend had posted a few videos of this amazing artist on his facebook page. The videos blew my mind. In fact, here’s one. Start it up and either keep reading or groove out then continue.

Oh, and before I forget. Thank you Andrew. I LOVED watching the videos you had posted. You are pretty much my music soulmate.

Amazing, right? He reminds me a little of Tom Waits, without the throat issues. Yes, the video is a cover of the song by Dizee Rascak and Armand Van Heldon, but it shows you pretty much how this man works. A mixture of blues, hip-hop, alternative, and beatbox is what you have to look forward to when you treat yourself to the musical stylings of Son of Dave.

Son of Dave is the monikor that Benjamin Darvill assigned to his whirlwind performance art. A truly one man band, Son of Dave brings back the fun. In an era of autotune and remixes, these albums summon something that has been lacking in a lot of mainstream music… talent.

What makes this so impressive is that there is very little in the way of instrumental requirements. All Son of Dave needs is a harmonica, a looping machine, and a sturdy pair of boots. He creates his beats using whatever is around him and often times he switches from singing to harmonica to beatbox with little effort. I am positive that it is not as seamless and easy as he makes it look.

Benjamin Darvill is an artist. Whether it is in the crafting of his songs or the energy in his published writing for Stool Pigeon magazine, I am fucking hooked.

When I hear something impressive that shakes me to my core, I try to find out more about it. Apparently, Benjamin was a part of the Crash Test Dummies, but in 2000 he began to pursue his journey as Son of Dave.

Check him out at http://sonofdave.com
Buy his stuff on his site or at http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/son-of-dave/id17225007

Here is one of his songs to close out this post, because it floors me every time I watch it.


Son of Dave – Old Times Were Good Times

… Hooked.

Review: The Very Last Songs I Will Ever Record (Part 1)

Anyone that knows me knows that I have a major lady boner for all things comedy. Laughing about life is a fun and easy way to deal with what comes at you. I surround myself with funny people and when I’m alone, I fill my earholes with sweet sweet comedy recordings. When I was in highschool, most teens were hellbent on going to a rock concert or tour. I was the girl that had to find the closest comedy venue to laugh my face off.

For those of you that follow me regularly on Twitter, you know that I have a major nerd crush on the Nerdist, aka Chris Hardwick aka “Hard” of the geek rock comedy duo Hard’N’Phirm.

This review is going to focus on the Yin to Hardwick’s Yang, the Duke to his Nukem, the jelly to his peanut butter, the guitar to his melodica, the duck to his goose – “Phirm” aka Mike Phirman.

On May 17th, Phirm  released his debut solo album “The Very Last Songs I Will Ever Record (Part 1)”.

If the title hasn’t made you laugh yet… I can wait… … There we go.

On the album, Mike wrote and played all of the instruments on all but two of the tracks. Those two are musicless and are there to teach you valuable phrases in Spanish. Beginners Spanish (Sec. 13) is especially necessary when preparing for the inevitable future.

The lyrics in all of his songs are intense and thought provoking. Take a look at one of the complex songs that he must have spent years writing.

Brings a tear to your eye, right?

In the age of music at the click of a button, it is rare for me to say that I will intentionally sit through an entire album. I will listen to this 13-track hug from Mike and wish I could hug it back.

Do yourself a favor, go to Mike Phirman’s website and download the album. There is no minimum payment required, but it goes straight to Phirm’s pocket and not to a record company. So toss some monies his way!

Oh! Did I mention there is a very familiar voice that is easy to recognize? Here’s a hint: He wears Hawaiian shirts, though I don’t think he’s ever performed in Hawaii.

Follow Mike Phirman on Twitter. He is made of funny.