Friday, November 10, 2006

The Under the Covers Mixtape...and Sean Lennon

So I was watching the season premiere of The O.C. (I stopped watching after season one, but what with Marissa's death last season and Ryan taking a turn as a crazy revenge fueled Fight Club-esque cage fighter, I couldn't help myself but watch at how this show had jumped the shark long ago. I was pleasantly surprised when it wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be, mostly because of the inclusion of Placebo's stunning cover of Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill. All of this prompted me to review my immense collection of music in search for other covers that either hold up to the original or surpass it (or at least ones that you're not so familiar with), so here it is, the cover song mixtape.

1. Gypsy Kings - Hotel California - I absolutely hate the original version of this song, and I hate Spanish (it's currently killing my GPA), but this cover is undeniably awesome, and it was used rather effectively in one of my favorite movies, The Big Lebowski. (Original Artist - The Eagles)
2. The Kooks - Crazy - I know that we're all sick and tired of this song. It's been overplayed now for the better part of a year, but The Kooks are able to turn this blend their quirky sense of musical playfulness into this song and make it fun in a whole new acoustic way. (Original Artist - Gnarls Barkley)
3. Jose Gonzalez - Love Will Tear Us Apart - he is the Swedish super cover song champion, and this is one of my personal favorite songs of all time. (Original Artist - Joy Division)
4. Damien Rice - Seven Nation Army - this song is so simple, even I can play it. In all seriousness, Lisa Hannigan's voice is captivating as always, and the string arrangement adds a nice touch. (Original Artist - The White Stripes)
5. The Sex Pistols - I Did It My Way - this ode to death is just so completely ridiculous and over the top, I couldn't help myself. Whether you think they're butchering a classic or creating something entirely their own, it's a good one. (Original Artist - Frank Sinatra)
6. Johnny Cash - Personal Jesus - taking the slick, dark, goth synths of the original and replacing them with a twangy guitar and Cash's weathered voice works surprisingly well in this cover. (Original Artist - Depeche Mode)
7. Placebo - Running Up That Hill - utterly haunting. I cannot descibe to you the sheer brilliance that this song displays. In my opinion, much, much better than the original, totally jaw dropping. (Original Artist - Kate Bush)
8. Nirvana - Where Did You Sleep Last Night? - Kurt Cobain's voice is the highlight of this track, it cracks with the ache of the realization that we would all dread, and it resonates for a long time after hearing it. (Original Artist - Leadbelly)
Honorable Mentions:
Snow Patrol - Crazy In Love (Original Artist - Beyonce)
David Gray - Smile Like You Mean It (Original Artist - The Killers)
Damien Rice - Creep (Original Artist - Radiohead)

...and finally, to top it off, Sean Lennon.

So Sean Lennon finally released a new album, Friendly Fire, and it's pretty good. I have to give Sean some credit. Since he inherited his fathers fortune he doesn't really have to do much of anything, and because of that he isn't worried about success, so it allows him to craft pretty catchy pop songs. And the songs are good, even though Sean doesn't have the vocal range of his father, the songs are fun and the lyrics are heartfelt and memorable. And included with the album is a DVD that features interconnecting short films that correspond to all the songs that feature a bunch of Hollywood types from Lindsey Lohan and Bijou Phillips, and they're pretty cool. Anyway, heres some mp3s and some YouTube links for the films.

Sean Lennon - Dead Meat (highly recommended)
Sean Lennon - Wait For Me
Sean Lennon - Friendly Fire
Sean Lennon - Spectacle

Friendly Fire Trailer
Short Film #1: Dead Meat

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