Lounge Against the Machine, folks
January 12, 2003 6:20 PM   Subscribe

I present to you, Richard Cheese. Perhaps the world's greatest twisted musical genius. Take 1 part Weird Al, add some Frank Sinatra, top with a talented musical ensemble, and bake on low — current recipe makes two albums. Seriously now, anyone with a love of music should really check out Mr. Cheese. His cover songs are solid gold. Notable mentions: "Chop Suey!" (System of a Down), "Crazy" (Britney Spears), and "I Used To Love Her" (Guns 'N Roses). And remember, folks, keep on lounging against the machine.
posted by Dark Messiah (38 comments total)
maybe the worst site i've ever seen, time capsule style, but the music is top shelf. bravo.
posted by cachilders at 6:36 PM on January 12, 2003

Richard's pretty cool, but for the full on rock/lounge collision you gotta check out Arcesia. Johnny Arcessi was a big band crooner from Rhode Island who apparently went to LA to be a star but took a whole lotta acid instead and came up with some this Mel Torme-sings-Captain Beefheart jaw dropper. Audio here.
posted by jonmc at 6:36 PM on January 12, 2003

Crazy. On Thrusday my boss dropped off a Richard Cheese disc at my desk-- he claimed I'd love it. I haven't listened to it yet, but i saw the disc included covers of "Rape Me" "Closer" and "What's My Age Again." Perhaps I'll have to give it a listen.
posted by jodic at 6:47 PM on January 12, 2003

This guy drives me insane. I don't know why. He just does.
posted by Fabulon7 at 6:51 PM on January 12, 2003

Now performing with Richard Hertz and Amanda Huginkiss?
posted by PrinceValium at 6:53 PM on January 12, 2003

Don't forget Dixie Normous.
posted by Dark Messiah at 6:56 PM on January 12, 2003

Mike Hunt? Has anybody seen Mike Hunt?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:58 PM on January 12, 2003

Dick Cheese? Ewwww...
posted by bwg at 6:58 PM on January 12, 2003

You gotta be down with the Dickness!
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:01 PM on January 12, 2003

Reminds me a lot of Prozac for Lovers It's a lot mellower, but it's another collection of wacky lounge versions of songs that just shouldn't be.
posted by jburka at 7:02 PM on January 12, 2003

I hate to rain on this love parade, but this is pretty much a one-note parody, as far as I'm concerned. Lounge versions of rock/rap hits. Period. OK, as far as it goes.
posted by kozad at 7:04 PM on January 12, 2003

Really? So much for my moment of clarity...
posted by Cyrano at 7:06 PM on January 12, 2003

I hate to rain on this love parade, but this is pretty much a one-note parody, as far as I'm concerned

Could you point out the section of the MeFi guidelines that require your stamp of approval? Let us have some fun, sheesh.
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:13 PM on January 12, 2003

(What Dark Messiah just said? That's what I was going for up there although with a touch of sarcasm...)

Now can we please continue discussing funky cover bands whilst interspersing the thread with posts about names that sound dirty?

Paging Mr. Hugh G. Rection...Paging Mr. Rection...
posted by Cyrano at 7:21 PM on January 12, 2003

can you say 'joe piscopo'?
posted by quonsar at 7:25 PM on January 12, 2003

I said "dirty," not "evil."
posted by Cyrano at 7:28 PM on January 12, 2003

Anil Lovin?

Another great cover band, Ten Masked Men.
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:48 PM on January 12, 2003

*shrug* I still bow down before the powes of Wierd Al...I have his box set and all. When I hear comedic parodies, I like to have the original rythem(minus one for cheesee - Al does a much better job) and, um, be funny (minus one cheese)...and if none of those, a musicaly high quality cover...chalk another one off the board. Wow, I sure am negative tonight!
posted by jmd82 at 8:31 PM on January 12, 2003

This discussion wouldn't be complete without a mention of Bud E. Luv. Saw him live here in SF. He is awesome.
posted by greasepig at 8:58 PM on January 12, 2003

The "Baby Got Back" sample is definitely the best.
posted by arielmeadow at 9:41 PM on January 12, 2003

Richard Cheese is pretty cool, though I agree (with nobody, since I'm the first to say it) that he gets a little old after awhile. Like, for instance, I'd say "c'mere guys, listen to this lounge cover of Guerilla Radio, it's awesome!" but I would never keep it in my playlist.

I do recommend his version of Rockefeller Skank though. Brilliant.
posted by Hildago at 9:51 PM on January 12, 2003

When I lived in San Diego, I always enjoyed the musical stylings of Jose Sinatra and the Troy Dante Inferno. A couple of tunes here, although they're better live, especially after a few beers.
posted by snez at 9:58 PM on January 12, 2003

Nobody's mentioned The Recliners yet, so I will.

Though none of the lounge acts are really up to the standard of Hayseed Dixie or Dread Zeppelin IMHO.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:37 PM on January 12, 2003

the Mike Flowers Pops did a spot-on cover of the Oasis song Wonderwall.
One of my friends actually believed that it came first, in the 60s.

I didn't have the heart to tell him otherwise.
posted by Newbornstranger at 10:52 PM on January 12, 2003

The Australian Frank Bennett did a cover of alt-rock songs in lounge style 6 or 7 years ago. He released Radiohead's "Creep" as a single, and I think charted fairly well.

And TOTALLY out of left-field, Moog Cookbook reimagines contemporary songs as performed on, well, Moogs.
posted by John Shaft at 12:11 AM on January 13, 2003

During dinner at my wedding, I had to go to a couple of tables and identify the music to guests when the DJ put on "Black Hole Sun" as performed by Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme (which I asked for).

It was a good time. The wedding party entered the reception to The Cult. But I digress.
posted by britain at 6:51 AM on January 13, 2003

Heh....that's pretty good, britain. At my wedding in October, I had folk musicians playing "Here Comes Your Man" by the Pixies as my wife and I walked down the aisle.
posted by 40 Watt at 7:46 AM on January 13, 2003

My fav is Prozak for Lovers. The elevator lounge cover of "Don't Fear the Reaper" alone is worth the price of admission.
posted by me3dia at 8:48 AM on January 13, 2003

Hmm, I'm not too impressed. He's got nothing on Weird Al, and Tenacious D already did the best cover ever of Chop Suey.
posted by Orange Goblin at 9:28 AM on January 13, 2003

What's wrong with one-note parodies? One note's more than most "original" acts have these days, in case you hadn't noticed.

That said, this doesn't approach the sheer cover-hell high-concept majesty of The Swinging Erudites, or (still my personal favorite) the great Dread Zeppelin.
posted by chicobangs at 10:44 AM on January 13, 2003

For bluegrass covers of AC/DC, Hayseed Dixie is the leader. I actually caught these guys at the Bottom Line last year, and it was rather good.
posted by andrewraff at 11:24 AM on January 13, 2003

It may not be lounge (hell, I've no idea what to file this under), but if you enjoy the other artists listed here then you might like to check out the Balanescu Quartet, a string quartet who play covers of Kraftwerk songs.

And they played with John Lurie.
posted by ciderwoman at 11:39 AM on January 13, 2003

although the whole 'look at me, aren't i arch?' cabaret-parody-thing leaves me utterly, utterly cold, you should be aware that uwe schmidt, aka Señor Coconut y su Conjunto (amongst many other aliases) is currently rippin' up the dancefloors by playing cha cha cha versions of kraftwerk hits, but for an added twist (geddit?) it's entirely programmed. crazy, huh?

also, please please please check out the KING - a Belfast milkman singing contemporary rock songs as elvis would, were he still alive today. come as you are actually got in the charts and stuff here in the uk.

AND while i'm here, i got sent a german bontempi version of guns'n'roses' paradise city a while ago as part of the midsummer's burn cd exchange. it's PATHETIC.
posted by nylon at 1:09 PM on January 13, 2003

This has made my day. I have long insisted that lounge covers of popular songs = musical & comedic genius, only to be occasionally snickered at. No-one laughed at my jazz arrangement of "Come As You Are" (for saxophone - two alto, one tenor and one bari) in music class, though. Perhaps because they knew I was onto something.

I'm going on a mad Kazaa spree right now, but at some stage I'll probably pick up "Tuxicity", and also Pat Boone's "In A Metal Mood". Mike Flower Pops and Frank Bennett have already been cited but I love them, too.

I unashamedly love cheese, which probably explains why I'm utterly tickled by this.
posted by sammy at 4:58 PM on January 13, 2003

i have to throw my hat in with andrewraff regarding Hayseed Dixie, i just discovered them a couple of weeks ago and, as someone who was never really a big fan of bluegrass, i was blown away at how much i enjoyed their stuff.

Highly recommended.
posted by quin at 5:03 PM on January 13, 2003

Hmm, I put a couple of semi-tongue-in-cheek cover versions* on my last mefi swap cd. However, Mr Cheese crosses the instant novelty line, and while I possess a copy of Lounge Against the Machine, it's only been aired a couple of times. Good for a cheap laugh though.

* James Brown's Superbad covered by Lassigue Bendthaus aka Uwe Shmidt aka the aforementioned Señor Coconut, and Copacabana covered by International DJ Gigilo, HELL. Both of which I'd play out.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 5:15 PM on January 13, 2003

Heh. One of my roommates sings random things lounge style from time to time... this is some hysterical stuff but I'm not sure I'd actually go so far as to buy a CD. Unlike Weird Al, who you can also listen to without cringing usually ;)
posted by Foosnark at 8:31 AM on January 15, 2003

I have been a big Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine fan since I first heard them on a (now cancelled) talk show here in the NYC Market. It alwasy amazes me how someone can take tunes like Close (NIN) and make it into something right out of a 70's vegas act.

posted by stew560 at 5:20 AM on January 16, 2003

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