Cover Songs!

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I have always had a special place in my heart for cover songs.  A lot of the time, I just do not have the energy to listen to music I do not already know, but at the same time I get sick of listening to the music I already know – a terrible conundrum, I say, and one with a single, brilliant, perfect solution.

I also have always wanted to be in a band, but find myself incapable of writing music.  Again – a problem with an elegant solution: cover band!  I have been in at least three imaginary cover bands – Cosmo Brown (with Allison), The Beach Tuesdays (with Julie, first album to be entitled Beauty and the Beach) and most recently Bowties Are Cool, with my sister Tessa.  Bowties Are Cool is a folky-duo that sings cover songs, some of which are Doctor Who themed.  This band shall actually come to fruition, unlike the others I was in, and our first big song will be Bad Wolf Rising.  Coming soon…Bowties Are Cool…watch for it.

So, to wrap up covers week, I have decided to share a selection of my favorite covers with you.  Certainly it will not be a comprehensive, official top ten list or anything, because that is too hard.  I tell you what, the invention of Youtube has really enriched my cover-song-lovin’ life, even if it makes narrowing things down harder.

10 Covers I Like: A (completely random and not comprehensive) List

1.  Everytime – original by Britney Spears, covered by Glen Hansard

CONFESSION: Everytime is my favorite Britney Spears song.  Most of the Britney songs I enjoy, I enjoy in a nostalgic way or in a “I like to dance to that” way, but Everytime I simply love, though sort of guiltily and in secret.  That tinkling music-box opening – SO GOOD!  I used to watch the video (Stephen A-Dorff-able, I say!) all the time and, well, I would get overly emotionally invested in it every time I did. Ah-ha-ha.

Now that Glen Hansard – indie darling, folk singing sensation – has covered it, I feel that I am free to love it openly, without the feelings of shame.

2. Daydream Believer – original by The Monkees, cover by Mary Beth Mazariaz

Honestly, this cover is a pretty lame though it was one of the early inspirations for my ever-growing “slow chick covers” playlist.  The thing is, it is so Dawson’s Creek.  Used several times throughout the show to score the love triangle among Dawson, Joey and Pacey, this song always reminds me (even though I think it is actually Dawson and Joey’s song) of Joey and Pacey.  And I’ll go ahead and say it: Joey and Pacey = The Greatest Love Story of Our Time.

3. California Dreaming – original by the Mamas and the Papas, cover by Wheezy Waiter

Musical-merit-ness-wise, this cover is nothing special – it is just a guy on an acoustic guitar singing in harmony with himself in his living room.  It is the pure comic brilliance of his three extra clone personas, and the breakfast-themed song pun  (of which Wheezy Waiter made several, including an excellent version of Radiohead’s Creep entitled Crepe) that make it worth watching (the first 57 seconds of it, at least).  And watch I do, over and over and over again.

4.  Rubber Ducky – original by Ernie, cover by Seesocovers (I do not actually know his name)

I find this charming.  It is a bit out of tune at times and it is a little strange that his eyes are so pinched shut – don’t care, though, makes me happy happy happy.


5.  Baby – originals by Justin Bieber and The Supremes, cover by Julia Nunes

Speaking of ukulele covers, Julia Nunes is adorable and does lots of good covers (plus original music too, which I am less interested in although it is also good).  In this video, she mashes up two of my favorite songs.  Maybe not ALL TIME favorite songs, but like, top 1000 for sure.  I haven’t got “Bieber Fever” exactly, but my temperature spikes a little when I hear Baby, and I have always had a thing for The Supremes.

6.  With a Little Help From My Friends – original by The Beatles, cover by Joe Cocker

I think if we’re talking official-like, this is the single greatest cover of all time.  It takes the original song and just beats the crap out of it.  Plus it was the theme song for The Wonder Years, which means I will forever associate it with Kevin Arnold aka Fred Savage aka the first celebrity crush I EVER HAD.


7. Here Comes My Baby – original by Cat Stevens, cover by Sons of Admirals

Sons of Admirals features Alex Day and Charlie McDonell, my two favorite British Vloggers.  I have already mentioned Charlie in this blog, since I am going to marry him after all (the legacy of celebrity crushes started by Fred Savage two decades ago continues); Alex Day is the skinny one who takes lead vocals at the start.  I also enjoy their band mates, and everything about this video, which is mostly just silly and fun.

8.  Dulce Carolina (Sweet Caroline) – original by Neil Diamond, cover by Julio Iglesias

I find this cover truly reinvigorates a song that I used to like, but that I have really soured on due to its overplayedness here in the New England region.  I genuinely do not understand what this song has to do with the Red Sox, and it annoys me.  I do, however, love the way this cover is all in Spanish except for the words “Sweet Caroline.”


9.  Paparazzi – original by Lady Gaga, cover by Greyson Chance

SO GOOD.  The best part of this video is the faces of the girls in the background (I particularly like the wavy-haired blonde in the black tank top) as they develop a huge crush on Greyson “Beiber-hair” Chance. Even Ellen Degeneres agrees with me – this kid is awesome!!

10.  Fairytale of New York – original by the Pogues, cover by Brett Domino (and Alexa Goddard, who we don’t care about)

Honestly, if you get nothing else out of this post, covers week, this entire blog, I hope that you at least will visit Brett Domino’s Youtube Channel.  He does my favorite covers on Youtube (and I also enjoy his original songs, such as “What Would You Do [If a Shark Started Eating You]”.  I know the song I included here is completely off season and you probably feel guilty listening to it now when it is not Christmas-time, but I searched my heart and decided I had to include it because it is my favorite cover of a song EVER EVER EVER.

There you have it!  Tomorrow will begin Dalek Week in celebration of the return of Doctor Who!!!  I am also taking suggestions for themes, as I have nothing lined up after Dalek Week!

P.S.:

dreamy dreamy dreamy

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Have a Good Hurricane!

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Head for COVER, there’s a hurricane coming!  Irene, I hear she’s called, and apparently she is going to be a big deal.

My reaction to hurricanes (and indeed all extreme weather hullabaloos) is one of alternating skepticism and anxiety.

Psshhhh…hurricane-shmurricane, it will probably blow over…but FEMA says I should have a flashlight and I don’t have one, what if I need it…but I won’t…but maybe I’ll check my proper hurricane evacuation route, just to be safe…but I don’t have an evacuation route because I live on the top of a huge effing inland hill and am unlikely to have any severe complications due to hurricanes, of course…

Despite my sometimes-misgivings,  Tessa and I decided to join the preparation party and get ourselves some “supplies”.  Of course, Target was out of flashlights (we contemplated glow sticks, but landed on “we have enough candles to be going on with”).  Plus, after taking stock of our kitchen, we felt we were already well on our way to disaster survival:

We have peanut butter (that’s just a thing we always have), we have bread (another thing we always have), we have milk (weirdly enough, another thing – you guessed it – we always have).  We have a number (I counted 6) of boxes of slightly stale cereal,  each containing dregs totaling 1/2 to 1 bowl’s worth of cereal, most of which is whole grainy enough to contain several grams of protein per serving.  There are also two boxes (not sleeves, but boxes) of Saltine’s and a three-quarters full package of stale Wasa Rye Crispbreads.  Between that stuff and our one can of chickpeas, I’d say we’re not going to starve.

Not to mention that we’ll have spend the first few hours of no power eating our way through all the delicious leftovers, condiments and olives in our fridge.

I’m starting to view this whole event as convenient motivation for clearing out all the old food from our kitchen!

Still, we went to Target and wandered the food aisles without any semblance of plan, coming away with trail mix (that we’ve already begun eating), Ritz cracker sandwiches, apple sauce and a ten pack of Ramen, the last of which will do nothing to help us in the event of a power loss but was simply too delicious to resist (expensive though…)

So, yeah.  We are probably severely under-prepared in the event that Irene turns out to be a heinous witch of a storm. We do not even have anything to PUT D BATTERIES INTO!   But hopefully it will just be a lovely day full of heavy rain and raging winds that the random bottles we have filled with filtered water and loaded into our fridge will more than see us through.

Also, an afterthought: I hope this hurricane comes singing Flashdance [What a Feeling].

this is IRENE cara, for those of you not getting my afterthought

All alone I have cried silent tears full of pride..in a world made of steel, made of stone.

 

Cylons! [Spoiler FREE!]

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Today’s Covers-themed post may be a stretch – it really pushes the bounds of credibility insofar as it relates to our week’s theme of Covers.  I just do not care, because I have to talk about it:

Frakkin’ Battlestar Galactica, man.  How good is that show?

[So good, is how good]

Now for those of you unfamiliar with the premise, it is this (the parts in parentheses I have added, the rest is taken from the intro to the show):

The Cylons were created by man (they are robots, like). They evolved (understatement).  They rebelled (16 years ago, but now they’re back).  They look and feel human. Some are programmed to think they are human (tragic!).  There are many copies (of each model of Cylon, of which there are 12).  They have a plan (and I still do not know what that plan is!!!).

Cylons, see, look like people.  They have – wait for it – covers they must maintain.  They come with back stories and false identities, like spies.  Like robot spies, which is extra-amazing-awesome as far as I am concerned.  The whole series is a masterpiece of edge-of-your seat storytelling, in part because it is well-plotted and action-packed and filled with awesome, complex characters.  But also, it is because you just do not know who is a Cylon and who is not, but you know there are at least enough more to equal 12!  I mean, we all THINK we know who is not a Cylon – “Commander Adama could NEVER be a Cylon blah blah blah” – but really, you JUST DO NOT KNOW.

Lately in my life, I have become a person who falls asleep during movies and television.  Good movies, bad movies, movies I have never seen before, movies that I have watched a million times: doesn’t matter, if I try to watch just about anything I am asleep within minutes.  BSG, on the other hand, sees me watching like this, oftentimes at late-night 3 a.m.-type hours. This is a staged photograph, sure, but I am not joking- this is what I really look like while I am watching the show.

No....no...no way...

Then this is what I generally look like after the revelation of certain characters as Cylons, most particularly the fourth and the sixth persons to be revealed as Cylons (not to be confused with “Number Six” who is the sixth model of Cylon, but who was the first person revealed to be a Cylon in the chronology of the show).

NO WAY! NO WAY!

Apart from looking crazy, all this Battlestar Galactica has me acting a little mental as well.  For one, I have been watching the show at an unsustainable pace.  I am six days into my obsession and I am almost done with season 2.  If I continue at the current pace, I will finish the entire series in something like twelve days, which is a short amount of time in which to finish four seasons of an hour-long show.

Also, I started talking to the show, which has been on occasion overheard by my sister.  Like when I shouted, “Oh my god, why don’t you be douches about it?” when some characters were not being very nice to a character I like, and she replied, “What was that?” and I said, “Uhh…I’m talking to the show,” and she said, “Yeah.  I could tell.”.   The good news is no one overheard me cat-calling one of the characters the see-you-next-Tuesday word during a recent episode – it was not my finest moment, not by a long shot.

And also, I started writing down the word Cylon when I find myself in a position to doodle.  My sister (who has had to bear witness to all of this craziness, plus dodge spoilers from me because I just want to TALK ABOUT IT, and endure my ceaseless recommendation that she just start watching) found a sketchpad of mine onto which I had written CYLON in block bubble letters, as well as choice phrases like, “jam the system” – I think it disturbed her a little.

maybe I'M a cylon!

Anyway, in addition to all the suspense and action and awesomeness, there are a number of handsome fellas on the show, which always helps to hold the interest.  My favorite, at least looks-wise but also I like him, is Helo.  I have already posted this on facebook, but it is important enough that it bears repeating here because WOW is he attractive:

helllllloooooo

Okay, this has been sufficiently long, especially given its very tenuous tie to this week’s theme.  Anyway, if I am going to finish the entire series in record time, I have to get going; I haven’t even watched ANY episodes yet today.

Covers Week 2: Judgement Day

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Today we are going to take some time to judge a few books by their covers.

We’re going to use books I haven’t read so that my judgments can be  unbiased.  I am, however, going to choose those books from among those young adult books recommended to me by Amazon based on my browsing history, which means that I will have a pretty good idea what they are like and my judgments may also therefore be completely biased.

Entwined by Heather Dixon

Entwined cover, you’re pretty.  Very pretty.  I assume that because you are pretty, your book will be very good.  This is always the case in life, is it not?  I find myself intrigued by the vines in particular – will all this entwinement in the story be metaphorical (which seems likely) or literal (as implied by the presence of significant vine growth around the border)?  I cannot wait to find out.

Goliath by Scott Westerfeld

So I see gears and goggles, Goliath cover.  Also some kind of flying animal ship and a crown.  You wouldn’t happen to be a steampunk, would you?  (Also, don’t try to deny it because I know you are because I read the first two books in your series.)

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

Hey, Inheritance cover.  I don’t take kindly to your kind around here.  And by “your kind” I mean books that stink.  How’d you end up in books that I might want to buy?  I know you’re a young adult book and I know you are about dragons and those are two things I enjoy.  Also the dragon illustration on your cover is pretty charming and that is a nice shade of green you are made of and I even like that typeface that Inheritance is written in.  But still – I can see the words “Christopher Paolini” splashed across the bottom of you, leaving me in little doubt that you are not a good book.

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Prince cover, I can tell that you are about an Asianish man who is likely made of clockwork.  Perhaps he’s also a prince?  A dragon prince, probably, judging from his glowing staff.  Then again, your predecessor Clockwork Angel also featured a young man on the cover who I had once assumed to be made of clockwork, and he was not.  I find that you are sending me mixed messages, Clockwork Variety of Characters series and I don’t much appreciate it.

Meanwhile, I have to get busy making some bear ears and watching Battlestar Galactica.  Did you know that you can follow me on Twitter now?  It’s @fauxspectacles.  So far I don’t really Tweet much, I mostly follow.  But I think I probably have lots of interesting and important things to say that you might want to hear.

All Snugglylike

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Covers Week begins with a duel homage/rant about sleeping conditions vis-a-vis the weather; more particularly, I am referring to how much I love to sleep under the covers and how angry it makes me when I cannot.

Starting with the rant, to get the unpleasantness out of the way:

I hate that it is still sometimes too hot in my bedroom for me to sleep under my covers these days.  I mean, I get it weather – it’s August and you’re still hot.  But even though the temperature has been down into the 60s or at least low 70s at night these days, my room is optimized to be as uncomfortably warm as possible whenever it is hot during the day.  It gets several hours of direct sun, has no cross ventilation, and my one window is recessed in a tiny alcove that prevents any air from reaching any part of my body beyond my feet when I am in bed.  Once the room gets warm, it stays warm.  It can take days to truly recover from a single hot day, so that even if the temperature dips at night, my room often remains…just a little too warm.  Not necessarily hot, not usually unbearable.  Just a little too warm.

Too warm for covers, at least.  Why you gotta be like that, night weather?  I do not appreciate it.

Which brings me to my homage to a chilly night:

Genuinely chilly nights, I love you.  When the temperature falls in the mid 60s for several nights in a row, you enable me to crawl into bed and pull up my sheet and my comforter and sometimes even my extra throw blanket all at the same time.  You allow me to snuggle up with my blankie, which is not my blankie from childhood or anything, but a blanket I acquired as an adult and have started referring to as my blankie because every night that is not a sticky, hot, summer night I cuddle with it like I am a small child.  Chilly nights, you make it so I can close my door when I am sleeping and wear pants instead of no pants but also cover myself up if I should chose to wear no pants anyway…all of which makes a truly significant difference when my sister-roommate has people over and I have already gone to bed.  They do not need to witness my pantsless sleeping; covers are important.

my snuggly blankie, also good for tickling*

Seriously – genuinely chilly sleeping weather makes me so happy I consistently oversleep on brisk mornings because I am just so cozy and content to stay under the covers in my bed.  I’ll snooze for ages on a chilly morning and not even feel bad about it (whereas on a regular morning I’ll snooze for ages but feel guilty and groggy). And these days, when we have a chilly night followed by a chilly morning, I get excited beyond belief for the fall, which you may have heard is coming up soon.

Tonight looks to be chilly, and like I will be able to get under the covers.  For that, Weather, I salute you.

Stay tuned this week for more on (a variety of different kinds of) Covers!!

*As a child, my blankie was a crocheted number that had holes through which I could interlace my fingers.  I would do this and then move my fingers from hole to hole, which I referred to as “tickling my blankie.”  The phrase sounds…well…I don’t want to talk about it, but the tactile sensation of “tickling” any crocheted material is phenomenal and I still do it any time I come across an appropriate article, be it blanket or sweater.  I suggest you give it a try, as it’s very soothing, tickling crochet.   My adult blankie is especially good for it even though the weave is too small to fit my fingers through, because it is made of a material that always feels cool to the touch, which is awesome.  Also, am I weird?  Does anyone else ever fondle crocheted items purely for the sensation it produces in your fingers?