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Archive for October, 2011

Cosmic Love

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Been on a Detroit techno kick as of late and in the process stumbled upon a couple of great Versions-worthy covers. For those slaves to the six string who have a hard time separating the “T” word from images of pacifier chomping K-soaked rave zombies or worse, Lady Gaga, need I school you on the fact that real, pure, Motor City techno is the greatest (but most sorely overlooked) contribution to African-American music since jazz or perhaps Parliament.
Arguably it’s originator  is today’s tribute fodder, ‘Magic’ Juan Atkins (AKA Cybotron), and his pioneering single Cosmic Cars. Released in 1982 it was promptly filed alongside Afrika Bambaataa’s Planet Rock under “Electro” until the late 80s when it would be re-christened a proto-techno classic.
Paying homage today is fellow D-Town-ers The Dirtbombs with a great n’ dingy lo-fi garage rock cover as well as a rare (and somewhat out-of-tune) 80s funk cover by Ken Lewis.

The Dirtbombs – Cosmic Cars
Ken Lewis – Cosmic Cars

Enjoy!
LS

PS Those in Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub; original Cosmic Cars parked on the wall for you …

 

All Talk

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Unlike my post on AC/DC the other day, I got nothing but nice things to say about Van Halen. Despite being a dyed in the wool, cardigan carrying Smiths fan in high school, I always secretly dug VH. The inner hesher inside me always wanted to roll up in the school parking lot with aviator shades in a bitchin’ camero blaring Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love, yelling ‘HEYYYYYY WHO WANTS TOOOO PAAAAAARTAAAY!’  While Diamond Dave may have been the antithesis of Morrissey, these lyrics could just have easily come from This Charming Man himself. Get your best Moz voice on and give it a whirl…
” My friend, ain’t talkin’ ’bout love
My love is rotten to the core
Ain’t talkin’ ’bout love
Just like I told you before, uh before, uh before, before.”
BTW did I mention I’m known for my spot on Morrissey impersonation? On Smiths karaoke night in Little Tokyo, I take that shit every time.
Anyway where was I? Oh yeah Van Halen and Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love. Got 4 covers. Fave by a long shot is a warped lo-fi electronic version from the aptly named Moog Cookbook (with Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo guesting on keyboards). Also digging the jazzy dub take by Germany’s Jazzkantine. Eddie Van Halens of the banjo, Iron Horse turn out a mean Dixie cut and punk legends the Minutemen (Mike Watt FTW!) beat their namesake with a 42 second cover.

The Moog Cookbook – Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love
Jazzkantine – Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love
Iron Horse – Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love
Minutemen – Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love

Enjoy!
LS

Case Of The Mondays

Friday, October 21st, 2011

N°3 in an ongoing, but sadly irregular, series of Blue Monday covers is today’s cache; jazz/lounge renditions of New Order‘s finest. Of which there are two-ish female versions; a lite n’breezy one from Austria’s Pastel Vespa (who also manages to weave in touches of Love Will Tear Us Apart and Bizarre Love Triangle) and un sac de versions from the always welcome Nouvelle Vague.

Pastel Vespa – Blue Monday
Nouvelle Vague – Blue Monday
Nouvelle Vague – Blue Monday (Live Aula Magna 2007)
Nouvelle Vague – Blue Monday (Live Dortmund 2009)
Nouvelle Vague – Blue Monday (Live Stockholm 2008)
Nouvelle Vague – Blue Monday (Live Paris 2007)
Nouvelle Vague – Blue Monday (Live Paris 2006)
Nouvelle Vague – Blue Monday (Live Bordeaux 2010)
Nouvelle Vague – Blue Monday (Live Salt Lake City 2010)

Previous Mondays here & here…

Enjoy!
LS

PS For those wondering about the sporadic-ness of my posts lately, ironically enough you can find me secretly moonlighting here…

 

The ‘Shakes

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Before Santogold, MIA and other art damaged divas there was Kelis and her Milkshake. A Neptunes produced R&B oddity buzzing with great low-end electro bass and the promise of free milk that went on to be a massive rack shaker. La la LA LA LA…still waiting on that great follow-up Kel.
So drinking that Milkshake today are 5 cover contenders. A nice likkle dubby downtempo version from Tiger Hifi (btw loving these guys, expect to see more of them here soon.), an electro/chiptune rendition from Norway’s Tomas Nördstrom and a big folk-indie cut by The Pictures. And good for a laugh are a gone in 50 seconds cabaret/lounge version from the always welcomed Richard Cheese and an over the top Metallica/punk-styled one from Goodnight Nurse.

Tiger HiFi – Milkshake
Tomas Nördstrom – Milkshake
The Pictures – Milkshake
Richard Cheese – Milkshake
Goodnight Nurse – Milkshake

Enjoy!
LS

PS For my more electronica-addled members Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub, got a couple of bootleg remixes on the wall for y’all…

 

Angus Beef

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

I know, I know they are one of those bands that everyone like totally loves but I gotta confess, I never really liked AC/DC. In fact I can’t stand them. It’s got nothing to do with their musicianship or anything like that, for me it’s much more visceral. Whenever I hear, say, You Shook Me All Night Long, it’s like I have an allergic reaction. I picture sweaty, smelly Angus Young under those 8,000 megawatt stage lights and immediately my skin starts to itch and it feels like the temperature starts to go up; but not in any kind of sexy way but in more of a someone left the heater on in the conference room and I’m wearing a one size too small wool suit-kind of way. Then, like a demented parent in some bad 80s metal video, I manically set out to destroy whatever listening device it’s playing on until it is silenced.
Arggh, that made my skin crawl just typing it. Anyway something that will make most AC/DC fans wince but should make my more disco-minded followers (and me) happy; a rare, 1983 electro/freestyle cover of You Shook Me All Night Long by Slingshot. BTW fans of Kraftwerk will immediately spot the Tour De France riff running liberally throughout.

Slingshot – You Shook Me All Night Long (Vocal Extended)
Slingshot – You Shook Me All Night Long (Radio Mix)

Enjoy!
LS

Back To School

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Today’s cover is the bittersweet, indie-disco fused Boy From School by Hot Chip.
Dispensing with the electronics however are four indie covers; 3 acoustic renditions by Grizzly Bear, British India and Portastatic and 1 slightly more rocking number from Maritime (which oddly enough ends in an acoustic fashion).

Grizzly Bear – And I Was A Boy From School
British India – And I Was A Boy From School
Portastatic – And I Was A Boy From School
Maritime – And I Was A Boy From School

Enjoy!
LS

PS Lucky pupils of Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub, original on the wall for you…

Sun Worshippers

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

Everybody loves the sunshine. Especially when it’s Roy Ayers‘ rare groove classic Everybody Loves The Sunshine. A falling piano line into a soulful stroll through a mid-1970s Central Park. Where the warm sun hits your dashiki and ‘the bees and things and flowers’ means that that a jazz-funk age of Aquarius never ended. Those in the know include folks like Gilles Peterson who perennially drops it in to his sets as well as Sunshine samples galore cropping up in scores of Hip Hop and R&B tracks (Common, Mos Def, Brand Nubian and Blige; all love them some Sunshine too).
Who else loves Sunshine? A nickel bag of  handpicked artists today. All more or less tow the same warm and laidback soulful/downtempo style (with the exception of the last two, D*Note and B.U.Z.Z., which are more jazzy drum & bass)

Seu Jorge & Almaz – Everybody Loves The Sunshine
D’Angelo – Everybody Loves The Sunshine
Main Street People – Everybody Loves The Sunshine
DJ Cam Quartet – Everybody Loves The Sunshine
Soul Village – Everybody Loves The Sunshine
Ramp – Everybody Loves The Sunshine
Heidi Leonore – Everybody Loves The Sunshine
The Soul Society feat. Roy Ayers – Everybody Loves The Sunshine
Struttin Unlimited – Everybody Loves The Sunshine
Quiet Boys – Everybody Loves The Sunshine
Incognito – Everybody Loves The Sunshine
Destruments – Everybody Loves The Sunshine
D*Note Feat. Beth Hirsch – Everybody Loves The Sunshine
B.U.Z.Z. Feat. Roy Ayers – Everybody Loves The Sunshine

Enjoy (the Sunshine)
LS

PS Those in Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub still lacking in Vitamin D, got the original and a couple of remixes/re-edits on the wall for you…

Apache and The Bronx

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Big guitar instrumental Apache is another of our cover features whose lives have had two acts. First in 1960 as the Jerry Lordan penned number one hit for The Shadows. Though long considered a surf instrumental standard (alongside other classics like Wipe Out, Walk Don’t Run, and Telstar), Lordon and the Shadow’s lofty idea of Apache was envisioned more along lines of Morricone and other grand western soundtracks. However it’s lazy slide and southwestern flair became an immediate hit with coastal California guitar acts (ironic considering both Lordan and the Shadows were from the UK).
Years later new life was breathed into Apache via the Incredible Bongo Band. Released in 1973 IBB’s offbeat Hammond and conga driven funk version wasn’t initially a big hit. However later in the decade nascent hip hop DJs like Kool Herc and Afrika Bambatta picked up on it’s rather lengthy percussive ‘break’ section and bits of this particular Apache soon found it’s way onto scores of hip hop tracks. Even today it shows no signs of fatigue; with elements still cropping up in rap from Missy Elliot and The Roots to electronic acts like Future Sound of London and Mr. Oizo.
So today we cover many bases. Working in a reverse fashion I’m leading with a section based around the Incredible Bongo Band cut. Just as incredible is Afra & The Incredible Beatbox Band‘s human beat-box tribute; A cover from France’s Le Par Bongo Rockers, Grand Central’s Fingathing and a very rare version by The Jimi Entley Sound (AKA Geoff Barrow from Portishead). The next two hip hop cuts are probably pushing it in regards to being actual covers, but as the judge says ‘I’m going to allow it’; The Sugarhill Gang‘s Apache (Jump On it) which I believe is the first recorded instance of using IBB’s sample and Breakdancin’ (Electric Boogie), a classic electro cut by West Street Mob. Rounding off is A Bit Patchy; a house/electro cut from the loud and phenomenal (or is that just phenomenally loud) Switch.
Next is the off-beat covers. A sublime classic reggae cut by Byron Lee & The Dragonaires as well as a new school ska version by The Skadows. There were not one but TWO(!) wild Moog cuts courtesy of Rod Hunter and Hot Butter. A swinging Mancini-esque rendition by Si Zentner an an oddball mandolin-gypsy sounding one from Poly. There were also two proper disco cuts from the cosmic Les Rockets and the Euro-cheesey Seebach Band. And lastly not content to leave a fine instrumental well enough alone are two vocal versions; an easy listening ballad from Sonny James and a funny little Spanish-language one by Wilson Miranda.
As for the rest, well, a plethora of fine, personally handpicked, surf and ‘big guitar’ covers.

Incredible Bongo Band – Apache
Afra & The Incredible Beatbox Band – Apache
Le Par Bongo Rockers – Apache
Fingathing – Apache
The Jimi Entley Sound – Apache
Sugarhill Gang – Apache (Jump On It)
West Street Mob – Breakdancin’ (Electric Boogie)
Switch – A Bit Patchy

Byron Lee & The Dragonaires – Apache
The Skadows – Apache
Rod Hunter – Apache
Hot Butter – Apache
Si Zentner – Apache
Poly – Apache
Les Rockets – Apache
The Seebach Band – Apache
Sonny James – Apache
Wilson Miranda – Apache

Aki Aleong & The Nobles – Apache
Al Caiola – Apache
Aqua Velvets – Apache
Astro Zombies – Apache
Bert Weedon – Apache
Boss Combo – Apache
Davie Allan & The Arrows – Apache ’65
Duane Eddy – Apache
Fantastic Dee-Jays – Apache
Goran – Apache
Jimmy Thackery – Apache
Jon & The Nightriders – Apache
Jorgen Ingmann and His Guitar – Apache
Killer Bananazz – Apache
Link Wray – Apache
Los Pekenikes – Apache
Los Shains – Apache
Luizinho e seus Dinamites – Apache
Mermen – Apache (Live 2004)
Newtones – Apache
Os Incognitos – Apache
Ricky King – Apache
Romeo Void – Apache
Satan’s Cheerleaders – Apache ’95
Susan & The Surftones – Apache
Takeshi Terauchi – Apache
The Apaches – Apache
The Bells – Apache
The Bitch Boys – Apache
The Blue Hawaiians – Apache
The Breakaways – Apache
The Challengers – Apache
The Cousins – Apache
The Jet Blacks – Apache

The Jet Blacks – Apache (Twist version)
The Jokers – Apache
The Jordans – Apache
The Phantoms – Apache
The Spiedels – Apache
The Surfaris – Apache
The Swagmen – Apache
The Ventures – Apache
The Ventures – Apache (Ventures Play Telstar version)

Enjoy!
LS

PS Those in Thee Versions Galore Facebook Fanclub not suffering terminal Apache burnout at this point can head over to the wall where the original versions await…