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Archive for January, 2010


Saturday, January 30th, 2010

Decided today to feature Killing an Arab, by The Cure, as there has been some recent kerfuffle regarding Albert Camus. For those that don’t know, Killing… isn’t some sort of hillbilly ode to the Iraq War, it’s based on Camus’ existentialist classic L’Étranger (The Stranger) about a man who, for seemingly no political, racial or even personal motivation, kills an Algerian. That aside, looks like Sarkozy is putting one foot in grave, literally speaking, by wanting to transfer Camus’ remains from his hometown near Avignon to Paris. Y’know, for the tourists. Rightly most of France is a wee be ticked.
But I digress. Dressed in black and smoking unfiltered Gitanes today are Hecuba and their atmospheric, somewhat deconstructed version. Riton does what they do best; electro-disco. New Real World act Speed Caravan turn the tables with their Algerian Oud cut. The opening riff of Killing has always seemed tailor-made for surf music and we got two today from Supersónicos and The Surf Motherfuckers. If your mind ever pondered what an existential video game might be like, then do be sure to download the 8-bit madness that is the Do All Stars. And lastly for a good laugh Versions Galore poster child Mambo Kurt ditches his Casio-Lounge schtick for an equally hilarious Casio-Rammstein meets Happy Hardcore schtik and for even more laughs I tacked on death metal/grindcore cover from Akkolyte, which I don’t think funny was really their intention.

Hecuba – Killing An Arab
Riton – Killing An Arab
Speed Caravan – Killing An Arab
Supersónicos – Killing An Arab
The Surf Motherfuckers – Killing An Arab
Do All Stars – Killing An Arab
Mambo Kurt – Killing An Arab
Akkolyte – Killing An Arab

Amusez-vous bien

4/4 Alarm Fire

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

I’ve always kind of secretly dug The Prodigy, despite the critics or the howls of laughter from my friends (some of whome are also music critics. Double whammy,natch.). Sure Keith Flint sings and dances like a tool. And I would love to smack the contacts out Maxim’s head with a 2×4. However brains of that outfit, Liam Howlett, always cuts a mean tune and in my opinion a vastly unrecognized musical genius.
In a nutshell when I’m at the gym, Prodigy is on heavy rotation on the iPod (picture Brad Pitt in Burn After Reading).
And speaking of great 90s outfits, we have a sultry Sneaker Pimps‘ jazzy/downtempo cover of Firestarter. Twisted firestarter.

Sneaker Pimps – Firestarter


Business is Boomin’

Monday, January 25th, 2010

I’ve always been a sucker for a pretty voice and a Roman nose.
So with that here’s Feist and some covers of Mushaboom.
We have two jazz versions from Laila Biali and Amy Cervini Quartet, a couple of good but fairly straightforward live cuts from Bright Eyes and belting out a mean accapella version is Tufts sQ!.

Laila Biali – Mushaboom
Amy Cervini Quartet – Mushaboom
Bright Eyes – Mushaboom (Live)
Bright Eyes – Mushaboom (Black Session)
Tufts sQ! – Mushaboom


Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

I think today’s entry speaks for itself.
The Beatles‘ classic Here Comes the Sun gets a roots and lovers reggae workout courtesy of Peter Tosh, Rupie Edwards and Dawn Penn.
I don’t know about you (or where you live) but ‘Sunny’ ‘Clear Skies’ ‘Warmer’;
Never get tired of hearing those words. So enjoy this real break in the clouds.

Peter Tosh – Here Comes The Sun
Rupie Edwards – Here Comes The Sun
Dawn Penn – Here Comes The Sun


Rain Rain Go Away

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

I think today’s entry speaks for itself.
Ann Peebles‘ classic I Can’t Stand The Rain gets a hardhitting retro-funk workout courtesy of the UK’s Tito Lopez Combo.
I don’t know about you (or where you live) but ‘Cats & Dogs’ ‘Torrential’ ‘Downpour’ ‘Expected Showers’;
If I never hear those words again, it won’t be long enough. So enjoy this little break in the clouds.

Tito Lopez Combo – I Can’t Stand The Rain

Stay dry

Two Timing

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Double whammy for today.
Besides the below posted Go-Betweens covers, I am also guest posting today over at another fine cover version institution Covering The Mouse, where I’m tackling a Martin Denny produced Lady & The Tramp exotica track. Check it out here.

Where The Streets Have No Name

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Australia’s The Go-Betweens, sadly, are one of those bands that tend to slip between the cracks when mentioning great bands of the 80s. With a little over half a dozen albums to their name and lyrics just as poignant and biting as The Smiths (with whome they would sometimes play live with), it’s criminal that they never achieved popular success, despite critics to this day fawning all over them.
Here’s is their ‘biggest’ hit, if you can call being #80 on the UK singles chart that, Streets Of Your Town. Despite how genial and upbeat the music is, it’s actually kind of an odd song when you consider the contrasting lyrics “Don’t the sun look good today but the rain is on its way, watch the butcher shine his knives, and this town is full of battered wives”.
Regardless, here’s self confessed G-Bs fanatics Ivy and UK jangle-poppers The Cherry Orchard.

Ivy – Streets Of Your Town
The Cherry Orchard – Streets Of Your Town


Serge Protector

Monday, January 18th, 2010

I’m not sure how many people out there are aware of the fact that consummate Franco bad-ass Serge Gainsbourg cut a brilliant reggae/dub album with Sly & Robbie (as well as the I-Threes) called Aux Armes et cetera. Oh to be a fly on the foam wall of that recording session.
Here’s some fun trivial tidbits:

From Wikipedia

“In Jamaica in 1978 he recorded “Aux Armes et cetera”, a reggae version of the French national anthem “La Marseillaise”, with Robbie Shakespeare, Sly Dunbar, and Rita Marley. This song earned him death threats from right-wing veterans of the Algerian War of Independence who were opposed to certain lyrics. Bob Marley was furious when he discovered Gainsbourg made his wife Rita Marley sing erotic lyrics.”

From Serge Gainsbourg: A Fistful of Gitanes

“When we arrived,” said Lerichomme, “the engineer wasn’t there and we couldn’t really communicate because Jamaicans speak a special kind of English we found difficult to understand, and for a while Robbie didn’t know which one of us was the singer and kept talking to me – because Gainsbourg was older than me and he was wearing a suit.” Not that they gave the impression of caring either way. “It was quite tense, no one smiling – it was a case of take the money and run. Gainsbourg, to try to ease the atmosphere, tried to talk to them and said, ‘Do you know any French music?’ and they started to take the piss out of us, ‘French music? We’re Jamaican.’

“Gainsbourg and I looked at each other, crestfallen. This wasn’t good. Then Sly said, ‘We know just one piece of French music, a song called Je T’Aime . . . Moi Non Plus, which has a girl groaning in it.’ And Gainsbourg said in English, ‘It’s me’. That changed the whole mood. We recorded very, very fast, and when it was done they didn’t want to leave. They hung around the studio to hear the playbacks, smoking their enormous spliffs, saying, ‘Great! Brilliant!’ “
And with that we’ve got a rather lofty english version of Lola R. For Ever (Lola Rastaquouere) by Marianne Faithfull & Sly and Robbie.

Marianne Faithfull & Sly and Robbie – Lola R. for ever (Lola Rastaquouere)


PS Happy Martin Luther King Jr day!

That’s Not Our Policy

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Looking back to when I was in high school, I realize I was a just a little obsessed with Depeche Mode. My room was a veritable Smithsonian of DM merchandise. Posters, t shirts, badges, concert booklets, CDs and records scattered high and wide, I’m not sure my parents knew if they had a son or a 12 year old daughter. To add piss to the fire I also bore a striking resemblance to lead singer Dave Gahan (now I just look like Phil Collins after a bad night out), and dressing the part quickly resulted in me getting pegged ‘That Depeche Mode Guy‘, which of course worked out great when trying to pick up girls who wore black nail polish and fancied themselves one of the missing Bronté sisters. Sometime in the early 90s, however, embarrassment had start to creep in and I decided to shed my skin of any synthpop ephemera. Down came the posters, off came the steel toe creepers, records got hauled to the used record store, and mousse would now sit neglected on the bathroom shelf.
It wouldn’t be until the closing of the decade that I would get back into them, newly reevaluated as grand architects of electronica and, well ,some just some damn great Pop. While I’m sure I will still sleep tight knowing that the posters and the seldom washed leather trousers that complimented them have long since disintegrated, I still kick myself today for selling the vinyl (up to Violator I had everything in every conceivable format). The ones I miss most are the marble ones that came from Germany, even seeing that little sticker in Hessen gobbly-gook that says ‘Platte in Mehrfarbigem Vinyl’ still gets me a little teary eyed today.
If it hasn’t been made clear yet Depeche Mode is the special today, featuring the cream of some inspired covers of Policy of Truth. First off, tip of the cap to AVP AKA The Academical Village People for sending me their brilliant acapella version. U-Bahn Kontrollöre also make for a hilarious vocals-only act as well (BTW Kraftwerk fans be sure to stick around for the bridge). Nico Infante taps that coveted 3 month – 6 year old demographic with his infantile sleepy-time music box cover. Brixtonboogie and Pat Macdonald bust out the steel guitars for their bluesy takes. Sylvain Chauveau & Ensemble Nocturne unplugs the keyboards for his piano rendition. Ak47 goes downtempo while the St. Petersburg Ska-Jazz Review gets uptempo with a ska version. And lastly we got Danish darlings Diefenbach with some indie-pop niceness.

The Academical Village People – Policy Of Truth
U-Bahn Kontrollore – Policy of Truth (VG Edit)
Brixtonboogie – Policy Of Truth
Pat Macdonald – Policy Of Truth
Nico Infante – Policy Of Truth
Sylvain Chauveau & Ensemble Nocturne – Policy Of Truth
Ak47 Ft Angie Soft – Policy Of Truth
St. Petersburg Ska-Jazz Review – Policy Of Truth
Diefenbach – Policy Of Truth


Yabby You AKA Vivian Jackson (1946 -2010)

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

I just found out that seminal reggae icon, musician, producer and all around dub specialist Vivian ‘Yabby You’ Jackson (see above pic) passed away this Tuesday.
Digging through the Stotch archives comes up with a big fat zero of Yabby covers, and inversely I managed to find only a grand total of one song that he covered. So for what it’s worth here’s Yabby You covering Stranger in Love, originally by John Holt. Far be it from me to make this a standalone entry I’ve also included versions from reggae heavyweights Johnny Clarke, Ruddy Thomas, Leroy Smart, The Meditations and Horace Andy

Rest in Peace Viv

Being Curt

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Curtis Mayfield goes roots-wise today with some reggae and rocksteady covers of Move On Up, courtesy of The Dynamics, Greyhound and Dr. Ring-Ding & The Senior Allstars.

The Dynamics – Move On Up
Greyhound – Move On Up
Dr. Ring-Ding & The Senior Allstars – Move On Up


Wedding Wows

Monday, January 11th, 2010

With a trademark snarl reminiscent of Elvis and attitude to match it’s easy to see how there’d be many a good Rockabilly/Psychobilly/Swing versions of White Wedding by Billy Idol.
So getting hitched today are The New Morty Show, Tin Roof Cats and Union Avenue.

The New Morty Show – White Wedding
Tin Roof Cats – White Wedding
Union Avenue – White Wedding


Killing It.

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

Unfortunately I have issues with Rage Against The Machine, and more specific Killing In The Name Of.
I used to live in a gated bungalow-type complex next to a 2 bedroom apartment that contained at least 30 meth heads (or as we lovingly used to call them The Crackheads). The view outside my window was like a deleted scene from Shaun of the Dead as tweaker zombies, eyes wide and fiending, would meander aimlessly around the complex, muttering to no one in particular or squeezing through the surrounding fences trying to get in as the were always forgetting their keys. They were also perpetually going through the outside trashcans searching for broken vacuums and computer pieces to take back to their lair.
Their only hobby, if you could call it that, would manifest itself at around 3am (only on the weekdays of course) when they would blast Killing In The Name Of, singing alongside as well as ineptly playing the bass. And every time I would have to get up, throw some sweats on and go to their door, where I could see through their Spongebob beachtowel ‘curtain’ that they were doing that horrible Zach De La Rocha sneaker pumping stance. I’d bang on the door BAM!BAM!BAM!BAM! ‘SHUT THAT SHIT THE FUCK OFF YOU FUCKING IMBECILES, SOME OF US ARE ACTUALLY EMPLOYED!’ The music would grind to a halt, replaced with the sounds of ‘oh shit oh shit oh shit it’s the cops’ whereupon the meth heads would scatter like roaches after the kitchen light had been turned on.
Sigh. Until the cops did eventually come for them one day, it was three months of pure suck.
What doesn’t suck however is today’s lineup of cover goodies, which completely redeem any of the above associations I have. First up is a homegrown funkified cut from the The Apples. FM Belfast make a mean slowed down electro version. La Maison Tellier and Dsico that no talent hack go country and the always welcomed Mambo Kurt kills it in the name of bad lounge singers everywhere.


Pick a Sinner

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Just blew back into town so I’ll keep today’s short and simple.
It’s a Sin by the Pet Shop Boys gets an incredible lounge/elevator makeover courtesy of Canuck crooner Paul Anka.

Paul Anka – It’s a Sin


Sympathy for the Revel

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

Happy 2010 peoples!
I hope your NYE was as belligerent as mine, which from what I remember, involved logs, grog, juggling, possible adultery, bad Brut, mannequin porn, Nitzer Ebb look-a-likes, fireworks, recreational use of low grade painkillers and one very angry taco stand lady (who refused to take poorly made counterfeit $100 bills as payment).
Besides a hangover of biblical proportions, I’m ringing in the New Year with some Massive Attack.
Unfinished Sympathy gets the classical treament twice over from the likes of Maxence Cyrin and The Tallywood String Quartet as well as one of those ‘how the frick did that happen?’ versions from
acid queen Tina Turner.

Maxence Cyrin – Unfinished Sympathy
The Tallywood String Quartet – Unfinished Sympathy
Tina Turner – Unfinished Sympathy


PS Out-of-town again for a few days, see you when I get back.