“Happy people don’t need you to say you understand. As an artist I don’t have much to say to happy people. And that works out great because they’re busy being content. For the rest of us, coming to terms with rejection, failure, death, and the fragility of love is very important. Some people are self-conscious about these things and maybe they don’t want to talk about them, but sometimes it just feels good to know you’re not alone. Books and music do this better than possibly anything else."Author Joe Bonomo explores the sadness, yearning, and warmth of the music of Greg Cartwright. [more inside]
For Friday the 13th of January, WFMU DJ Kurt Gottschalk played about 20 different versions of Thelonious Monk's Friday the 13th, including quite a few sent in by his listeners. Here's the playlist and 3 hour mp3 stream (below the blinky picture of Monk), including listeners' comments. Good luck!
An unexpected musical treat. While on a search for an interesting modern cover of the Steve Miller Band song "Abracadabra", I stumbled onto Jeff McNeal's cover, which completely confused me, as I assumed it was lip-syncing. It's not: Jeff is a professional voiceover artist, and announcer in the Los Angeles area, and he's been recording hundreds of musical impressions of a wide range of songs and artists: Credence Clearwater/John Fogerty * Cream * Steppenwolf / John Kay * The Doors/Jim Morrison * The Knack/Doug Fieger * Rolling Stones/Mick Jagger * Burt Bacharach covering Dusty Springfield * Dire Straits * Van Morrison * Tom Jones * The Travelling Wilburys * The Beach Boys * Harry Nilsson * The Police * Led Zeppelin/Robert Plant ... and on and on. There are 375+ videos, so if he doesn't nail one voice to your liking, keep going. Some are eerie, while some are a guy who does dozens of impressions doing reasonably well. He has a dedicated site to this ability, SingingImpressionist.com. I miss you, Danny Gans.
♫ "The first and only freely-available, industrial-scale dataset for research on popular music and audio analysis" ♬
"The Million Song Dataset is a freely-available collection of audio features and metadata for a million contemporary popular music tracks." It's about 288 GB but you can download a smaller subset of 10,000 songs selected at random to get a taste. Curious what you'll get? Check out this example track description. [more inside]
A Song of Ice and Fire [SLYT] Game of Thrones Violin Cover. An acoustic and electric violin cover of the main theme song from Game of Thrones. Arranged and performed by Jason Yang. Original song and soundtrack by Ramin Djawadi.
Which do you prefer, the cover or the original?
Covering The Mouse. An MP3 blog dedicated to cover versions of Disney songs. My favorite so far is Gene Simmons' cover of "When You Wish Upon A Star."
When Pigs Fly: Jackie Chan and Ani DiFranco? The Fixx covering Nancy Sinatra? Devo sings "Ohio"? You won't believe your ears. The "back" button is directly below the album cover.
When Bad Singers Happen To Good Songs: The Songicides! In today's Spectator Markus Berkmann amusingly raises the deadly spectre of the worst covers ever recorded. We're talking assassins here. I nominate Phil Collins's massacre of Holland/Dozier/Holland's "You Can't Hurry Love", as originally sung by Diana Ross and the Supremes; U2's goring of Cole Porter's "Night and Day", best sung by Sinatra or Ella and, worst of all, though he's my favourite artist, Leonard Cohen's mangling of Irving Berlin's classic "Always". What's the worst cover version you'd like to report to Musical Homicide?