27 May 2009

Is there a "shitty covers" channel on Sirius?

I swear to God, I had no clue there were so many horrible covers of songs out there on the airwaves. And I probably wouldn't be aware of these god-awful covers if I didn't hear them at the gym.

How I manage to hear all of these is beyond me; it's not like I'm even off my iPod for that long when I'm in the building. However, in the time it takes me to enter the locker room and change into my gym shoes, I hear at least one shitty cover a week. Today, it was some crap emo band covering "Boys of Summer." I've heard that one before. There are more, but for some reason I cannot think of a single one at the moment. (Oh, Google, how I love you so. The shitty cover is by the Ataris.)

In fact, I've had the idea for this blog post several times over the course of several months now. But by the time I listen to my gym playlist on my iPod for an hour and a half or listen to yoga music for an hour, I manage to put the horribleness out of my mind. Today, though, I started composing this post in my head while I was on the elliptical machine and it stuck.

Look, shitty bands doing shitty covers (I'm looking at your desecration of "Sweet Child O' Mine," Sheryl Crow), if you're not going to make the song different yet totally fucking awesome or make it a fucking spot-on copy (The New Pornographers doing ELO's "Don't Bring Me Down" at Rock the Garden last year is a perfect example of this), don't bother. You bring nothing to the table. In fact, you're taking stuff off the table and making me want to punch you in the junk.

The really odd thing is that I often hear good songs on the gym sound system. Songs that I like or even songs that are on my very own gym playlist. I heard Nikka Costa when I went in last night. Tonight, it was Hot Chip while I was changing my shoes to head home. Of course, the Hot Chip was followed by an emo/screamo steaming pile of excrement.

It's confusing. Almost as confusing as toilet radio at work, where I hear really bizarre covers. Like some French band covering U2, or Fine Young Cannibals doing "Suspicious Minds," (AWESOME) or the newest one, some lady who sounds Annie Lennoxesque doing a version of Ash's "Shining Light." Unless, of course, the Ash version is the cover, but I doubt that. OH MY GOD, IT IS ANNIE LENNOX. And she is covering Ash.


OldGuy said...

don't know if these would qualify to you as a good ones, but both are way better than the originals (at least to me :) )



Emily said...

I remember when I was a freshman in college all the guys on my floor being really into downloading "punk covers" on Napster. Not only were they TERRIBLE, but I'm pretty sure that by definition, they were not "punk." They were just louder, twice as fast, and sung in a nasally voice.

Jess said...

That first link doesn't work, OldGuy. As for the second, I'm going to have to disagree that it is better than the original. Then again, I had that Wham! album.

I actually blogged about some of my favorite covers a while ago. A very egregious omission was Placebo's cover of T. Rex's "20th Century Boy," which is most excellent.

OldGuy said...

hmm.. goofy youtube.. didn't paste right.


(can you tell I lean towards the hard stuff :) )

Jess said...

Okay, that one's pretty good.

I thought of another great one on my way home from the Twins game: The Raconteurs' cover of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy."

And Emily, I know it doesn't exactly apply to the hell you undoubtedly went through, but that makes me think of something the World's Worst Wing Woman always says that never fails to crack me up -- "Sing better, not harder."