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Archive for March, 2010

Wannabes

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010


I know I might be in danger of having my hipster status revoked by saying this but, I only started getting into The Ramones about 2 years ago. I mean, I knew of them since I was like 12 (thanks Axel Geddes wherever you are!), and I dug their look and attitude, but as much as I really really want to like their music, I just wasn’t into them. I think it was the whole 50s schtick that bugged me. Anyway I had a revelation one night a few years back whilst watching Rock ‘n’ Roll High School and finally saw the light (hooray for drugs!) and have been trying to make up for lost Ramones time ever since.
So it’s also been long overdue to feature them here and so here is a small handful of non-punk/metal covers of I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend.
Starting with ladies first we have some sweet wanna be action from Amazonics, Sofia, Saint Etienne as well as the Hawaiian inflected Petty Booka and Coconami.
Bluegrass fans will dig Junkyard Dogs, while Suicide fanatics may dig the one note, lo-fi antics of Ronnie & The Rhythm Boys. As you may know already we at Versions Galore se hablo español (pero muy malo), y tenemos Inocentes con Quero Ser Seu Namorado por tu. And lastly a fairly standard 50s-sounding cut via Pygmy Lush.

Amazonics – I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
Sofia – I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
Saint Etienne – I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend (Live Radio Session)
Petty Booka – I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend
Coconami – I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
Junkyard Dogs – I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
Ronnie & The Rhythm Boys – I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend
Inocentes – Quero Ser Seu Namorado (I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend)
Pygmy Lush – I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend

Enjoy!
LS

Know Your Rights

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010


This one is for my brother, who is squealing like the little teenage girl that he is, because he gets to do some construction work in and around the old Beastie Boys/Grand Royal headquarters in Atwater; it’s a pitch-perfect, early Who-sounding rendition of (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!) by Supergrass side project The Hot Rats. If I had a top ten VG covers of 2010, this one would be a shoe in.
Also threw in the lounge antics of Richard Cheese for good measure.

The Hot Rats – (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)
Richard Cheese – (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)

Enjoy!
LS

PS Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub; got some bonus beats for ya, be sure to check the wall.

Monday Bloody Monday

Monday, March 29th, 2010


Monday is here again. Sigh. Time to get back to work.
Hopefully today’s Monday Monday covers of The Mamas & The Papas should help take a little bit of the edge off . Bosses picks today are a great funky breaks & sitar version from Wallly Richardson and a Coxsone Dodd overseen reggae cut from Soul Brothers.


Enjoy! (…now get the hell back to work!)
LS

PS Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub members; got a bonus track for ya. Be sure to check the wall.

The Berlin Years

Saturday, March 27th, 2010


The first onset of puberty hit me rather awkwardly at age 9. I was out in the backyard sandbox innocently playing with my Star Wars figures, more specifically Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, when ‘it’ struck. They were having some sort of domestic conversation about where the coffee table was going in the newly constructed sand-loft that I built for them, when I was zapped by some sort of cosmic command ray. Out of nowhere I stood up in an almost trance-like state and thought ‘I need to go do, or find, something right now. this second. asap…but I’m not exactly sure what’.
So aimlessly I started wandering around the house in a semi-frantic state, on a mission to find out exactly what this ‘it’ was. I opened and closed kitchen cabinets, hunted behind sofa pillows, flipped madly through TV channels, rifled through my parents garage, then back again to the kitchen to open all the cereal boxes, and in general upending the whole house like a bad cop show in the mad quest to find out, well, whatever it was I ‘needed’ to do.
After about two hours, and no closer to having an answer, the internal frenzy managed to quiet down on it’s own and I went back to doing my usual Saturday afternoon frivolities. The whole episode eliciting nothing more than a quickly forgotten ‘What the hell was THAT all about?’
It wouldn’t strike again until a year later when I was at summer camp. Emanating from the pottery shed, from one of the instructor’s boom boxes was suggestive 80s classic Sex (I’m A…) by Berlin. And boy did the mysterious libidinal latency ray strike back again with a vengeance. As I sat there listening to the lyrics, staring out at all the well intentioned, but hopelessly malformed ashtrays, coffee mugs and vases bound for parental nik-nak shelves, the lascivious synth-pop tune left little room for further speculation. I now knew exactly what ‘it’ was. Goodbye Star Wars, hello hair mousse and the next 6 years of fruitlessly trying to convince cute record store girls with dyed bangs and too many earrings to go out with me.

So firing up that libidinal gamma ray today is Dan the Automator side project Lovage and Peaches, in her own heavy syrup.


Enjoy!
LS

Oh Shari!

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010


So my buddy Kendra sent me this piece of Youtube amazing-ness the
other day, it’s electro/proto-Detroit techno one hit wonder Sharevari by
A Number Of Names on a dance music television show. Watching the people in it going absolutely apeshit, and it being 1982 kind of begs the question: What if Techno, and not Hip-Hop, had taken off as the mainstream urban music of choice?
The vid also reminded me that I’ve forgotten I’ve been sitting on a great cover of it by sexy Detroit electro-couple Adult. for a while now (well technically it’s billed as a ‘remix’, but with 98% new music, and new vocals by Nicola, it’s pretty much qualifies as a cover).

Adult. – Shari Vari

Enjoy!
LS

(FYI this track, as well as the band name, is spelled any number of ways depending on where it’s printed)

A Ros By Any Other Name

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010


As usual I’m on a crazy time crunch today, so here’s a quickie.
Iceland’s second biggest export, Sigur Ros are under the microscope today, so to speak, with a cover of Hoppipolla by We Are Scientists.

We Are Scientists – Hoppipolla (Live Lounge)

Enjoy!
LS

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Sunday, March 21st, 2010


Ugh…Sunday Morning…and I’m hurting. Despite planning on sticking to 2 beers, zee Germans who I was partying with last night uncorked some kind of strange liquor that tasted like flat Martinelli’s and, well, you know things are going to be ugly the next morning when the last thing you remember, and I couldn’t make this up if I tried, is being chastised by an elderly German hand model for smacking his hand with a giant baguette and yelling “NEIN!” when he went to reach for the potato chips. ‘Zees are mein CAREER!’ he said holding up his traumatized, but still rather silky, paws.
Speaking of Sunday Mornings, and meine Deutsches freundes, we have for you a little Velvet Underground & Nico. Here’s 13 handpicked covers of Sunday Morning. Most tow the original line with a few standouts. Always will have a soft spot for Strawberry Switchblade (as well as a cover by Rose McDowall’s latest incarnation Sorrow). Also digging Westbam‘s almost Wendy Carlos-esque electronic version and the rather dapper Franco-Viet Tai-Luc‘s cafe-acoustic recording.

Strawberry Switchblade – Sunday Morning
Sorrow – Sunday Morning (Live)
Westbam – Sunday Morning
Tai Luc – Sunday Morning
Belle & Sebastian – Sunday Morning (Live)
Bettie Serveert – Sunday Morning (Live)
Chris Coco feat. Nick Cave – Sunday Morning
Elizabeth Cook – Sunday Morning
James – Sunday Morning
Nina Hagen – Sunday Morning
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Sunday Morning
Queers – Sunday Morning
The Changelings – Sunday Morning

Enjoy!
LS

Breakin’ Rad

Saturday, March 20th, 2010


Dear anonymous San Francisco police officer,
Thank you for kicking my head in some years ago, ironically enough, for taking photos of police brutality. Never thought I’d say this but, I owe you one. You provided the perfect excuse yesterday to disqualify me from what could have been a long, dragged out session of jury duty.
This one goes out to you; Breakin’ the Law by Judas Priest.
Not sure what kind of music puts the extra wallop in your nightstick but we have a little bluegrasss (Hayseed Dixie and Junkyard Dogs AKA The Supersuckers), some electro (Giallo), finnish polka/humppa (Eläkeläiset) and psychobilly (The Meteors).

Hayseed Dixie – Breakin’ The Law
Junkyard Dogs – Breakin’ The Law
Giallo – Breakin’ The Law
EläkeläisetHumppalaki (Breakin’ The Law)
The Meteors – Breakin’ The Law

Enjoy (and keep crackin’ those skulls)!
LS

Mad On Acid

Thursday, March 18th, 2010


Oddly flabbergasted to realize that I’ve come this far and haven’t tackled Madonna yet.
Today’s cover however will more than atone. We got a rather cracking old-school, Acid House circa Chicago 1988-sounding version of Music by possible heir to the throne of Leigh Bowery, Hard Ton that will leave you wondering ‘who really covered who here?’.

Hard Ton – Music

Enjoy!
LS

Getting Some.

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010


What Do I Get? Excellent question. I get:
Annoying unfocused clients, jury duty, slow drivers in front of me, unhelpful employees in the garden section of Home Depot, kidney stones, right-wing email rants from the parents, suspect business partners, cheapskates ahead of me in line who haggle for a half hour over 6 cents, hard-drive issues, a dent in the car after loaning it to the GF, a ‘well-done’ burger when I ordered ‘rare’, food poisoning at least 4 times a year, a parking ticket for parking in front of my own house, over 3000 people leaching a single song from my blog without so much as a simple ‘Thanks’, Arrested Development and Deadwood being cancelled, people who talk or text next to me in a theater, having only a 50% ratio of having the correct item sent to me when ordering off of Ebay, meatheads taking up 3 parking spots at the gym, a painful canker sore in my mouth right now, and a dog who won’t fetch (but will gladly fetch used snot rags out of the trash and disseminate the pieces all over the house)

What do you get?
An awesome rockabilly cover of The Buzzcocks by The Polecats.

The Polecats – What Do I Get?

Enjoy!
LS

200th Post! The Obscure! And Big Daddies Kane!

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010


Today is officially my 200th post, plus or minus some DMCA takedowns and some non-music announcements oh and that year long hiatus I took.
So I thought I’d celebrate by ushering in what I hope to be semi regular feature, The Obscure, featuring covered acts that good chance you’ve either never heard of or at best seen slumming it in the 25 cent bin. Kicking this off we have the multifaceted, late 80s – early 90s UK act, A.R. Kane ( ‘A’lex Ayuli and ‘R’udy Tambala) . I’m going to cop-out at this point and give you this tidy bit from Wikipedia.

Critic Jason Ankeny describes A.R. Kane as “arguably the most criminally under-recognized band of their era,” suggesting that the duo’s innovate music was a seminal influence on later developments such as dream pop, trip hop, acid house, and post-rock. Their lyrics which frequently dealt with such topics as water/oceans, love, colours, childhood, and dreams were often surrealist. Their music was usually danceable, due in part to its strong dub influence, and ethereal.

This eclecticism however would come at a price and matching every gem was turbulence. This abstract approach would confine them to obscurity, as well as cluttering the cut-out bins with some questionable 12″ experiments. Also typical of their cosmic irony ‘criminally under-recognized‘ at one point in their careers would usurped by almost laughable over-exposure when in 1987 they were invited by 4AD to team up with a couple of burgeoning house DJs and 80s producer Jon Fryer to form M/A/R/R/S (standing in as the ‘A’ and the ‘R’ of that equation). Between in-fighting with the other collaborators and numerous lawsuits of over sampling issues ‘Pump Up The Volume’ would bring them more headache than herald (though not without escaping witha rather luminescent b-side Anitinia). Also as turbulent as their music was their inability to find a proper home; releasing albums through Rough Trade, then to 4AD (arguably reaching their pinnacle with ‘Lolita’, featuring Robin Guthrie in the producer’s throne) then back to Rough Trade then to One Little Indian (home of the Sugarcubes) to finally finding purchase at Luaka Bop under the wing of David Byrne. But by then it was too late and that candle that burned so bright kindled just as quick and shortly thereafter they would call it a day. While in retrospect not having a clearly defined sound, nor a consistent ground to launch it from, kept them from ever achieving any lasting fame, their influence on the shoegazer movement, mathrock/post rock, contemporary electronic music and even modern day acts who revel in the undefinable, such as Apollo Heights and TV on the Radio, cannot be understated. As seminal UK music critic, and dyed in the flannel A.R. Kane champion, Simon Reynolds once said “There’s two impulses in rock today. One is to make systems; the other is to dissolve them. One is to bolster the self and its mastery over the world; the other is to dissipate [A.R. Kane] blur the borders between the self and the world.”

I’ve been a huge booster of neo-indie-folk darlings Vetiver, so imagine the squeals of delight when I found out that they were no strangers to the pull of A.R. Kane. So here they are today covering Miles Apart from Kane’s sophmore full length ‘i’.

VetiverMiles Apart

Enjoy!
LS

PS Note: Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub members be sure to check in for a post of the original and further A.R. Kane recommendations.

Drug Addicts

Friday, March 12th, 2010


For me the definitive cover of Love is the Drug, by Roxy Music, will always be via my first exposure, Grace Jones. A gawky pre-teen music sponge, I would stay up till all hours every weekend, high on Honey nut Cheerios and glued to the pre-MTV amazingness that was Night Flight and Night Tracks (anyone? anyone?). On heavy rotation for both in what seemed like an eternity was 80s graphics wizard Jean-Paul Goude’s directed Grace Jones video of LitD; an explosion of multi colored torn paper and stop motion effects. Little did I realize the sweet, sweet damage that video, both visually and audibly, was doing to my brain every Friday night. Neither did my parents, who would often find me passed out on the couch, lit only by TV snow with drool on my face and cereal spoon still in hand.
Contending Ms. Jones’ cover title today we have for you Supergrass alter-ego The Hot Rats, my guilty pleasure Kylie Minogue, Australia’s answer to Feist Micky Green, the Casio/rockabilly-esque Frenzy, a dark bass inflected electroclash cut from Pol Rax feat. Julee and 90s grunge fox Melissa Auf Der Maur in a rather Delphic mood.


Enjoy!
LS

PS For the Versions Galore Facebook set I’ll be posting some bonus goodies later on today.
For those who aren’t , I will track each and every one of you down,
haunt your dreams and steal food from your fridge until you join.

Cruise Control

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010


David Lynch/Angelo Badalamenti proto-chanteuse Julee Cruise, and her ominous Mysteries of Love, gets out-torched today by the dark cabaret that is Antony & the Johnsons.

Antony & the Johnsons – Mysteries of Love

Enjoy!
LS

Take a Stand

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010


I had dinner with Malcolm McClaren once, a few years back via a friend of some friends. Fascinating to say the least. He imparted all kinds of crazy gossip about Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, where he had been invited to basically slum around the set. But what really struck me was simultaneously how old he looked versus how young and on fire his brain still was. Number one, by his dress sense, he saw the whole neo-preppy, docksiders & cardigans, Sartorialist-thing coming a mile away. And two, he talked my ear off about the changing face of digital media and the revolution, and future of, the mp3. Now mind you I’ve been at this since they were called ‘MP2s’ and I still was blown away by his insights and theories.
While his past is littered with all kinds of scurrilous music deals (I highly recommend The Wicked Ways of Malcolm McLaren for some interesting accounts), what I saw was nothing less than a musical innovation icon and well, a sweet old man. The one who gave us Punk (and it’s fashion), brought World Music and Hip Hop to wider acclaim, invented Vogue-ing and left an idelible mark still seen in everything Vivienne Westwood. Still alive, still very much kicking.

So today we got McClaren protege Adam and the Ants (for whome he also pioneered the punk/swabuckler look) on the Versions block today with Stand & Deliver by Leicestershire indie darlings Young Knives.

Young Knives – Stand And Deliver (XFM Session)

Enjoy!
LS

It’s Like a Jungle…

Monday, March 8th, 2010


Work’s got me on a short tether again, but I managed to squeak this one out quick-like for y’all;
Kool & The Gang go dancehall with this great reggae version of
Jungle Boogie by Beenie Man (with Sly & Robbie).

Beenie Man (with Sly & Robbie) – Jungle Boogie

Enjoy!
LS

Starr-Struck

Friday, March 5th, 2010


The cute factor around here has been running on overdrive lately and today’s post might make it finally blow a gasket. Have a look here at the UK’s Veronica Falls,
just look at them. Don’t you just want to have this quartet over for tea on Sunday in the garden, then draw sketches of them in your Rodia while entertaining them with quotes from a battered copy of The Preppy Handbook? More twee than their wispy looks and their sugar-frosted cardigans is their cover of Starry Eyes by Roky Erickson, guaranteed to elicit sighs of happy all-around.


Veronica Falls – Starry Eyes

Enjoy!
LS

PS At the risk of sounding like a skipping CD,
be sure to join the Versions Facebook page for more goodies…
Go. Do it. Schnell. Macht Schnell.

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010


How about some back to back Bernard & Co.?
Here are some VG vetted covers of Transmission by Joy Division.
It’s a three-way tie for my personal fave this time round. The electro-sensitive Hot Chip could just about wipe snot on my hood of my car at this point and I’d still call them ‘brilliant’. Low proves that Transmission sounds just as good on heavy medication and scoring an ’11’ on the creative covers scale we have self-explanatorly named Jah Division.
For the rest we have an electro rendition from Anorak, break-core from Datach’i and lastly some band named New Order. Whoever they are they seem to know their way around this track quite well.

Hot Chip – Transmission
Low – Transmission
Jah Division – Transmission Dub
Anorak – Transmission
Datach’i – Transmission
New Order – Transmission (Live in Hultsfred Festival ’02)
New Order – Transmission (Finsbury Park 9th June 02)

Enjoy!
LS

PS Bonus cover here. Join up you ungrateful effing bastards 😉

What Would Gordon Gekko Do?

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010


Everything’s Gone Red Gold and Green

Monday, March 1st, 2010


Decided to tackle an odd little curio today, a New Order reggae track. Much like Depeche Mode, acts that New Order have actually chose to cover are both infrequent and obscure. Here is their version of dub pioneer and part time dentist Keith Hudson‘s Turn The Heater On that they recorded for John Peel way back in ’82. While they keep the reggae/dub feel more or less intact, just adding a bit more of a steppers kick to it, lyrically and vocally this could easily pass for a haunting track of their own.

New Order – Turn The Heater On

Enjoy!
LS

PS As you can see by the new little gee-gaw on the right I’ve decided to peer behind the door marked 21st Century and start a Facebook page. While I’ve only just got it up and running I’m hoping to feature some bonus pleasures and wayward distractions not featured here.