covers – doing the done, different [part 2]

If you love covers as much as I do, you can download a few tracks off my earlier post here.

I especially love it when someone takes a popular tune that I’ve grown deaf to (due to too much airplay) and turns it around to be something deeper, richer and well, worth taking a second listen to. So here’s the second instalment to my list of covers.

Pieces Of Me – Almost Better

Argh. I dislike Ashlee Simpson and will therefore do anything to avoid hearing her music. When Almost Better produced this cover, I was suddenly worried for myself. Oh god. Does this mean that I can actually identify with that girl’s music? Nah. I attribute the quiet goodness of this song to the 4-piece pop/punk band from Central NY.

Who Wants To Live Forever – Breaking Benjamin

You cannot fault Queen. They are one of the ultimate music-makers and I loved their music even more after watching We Will Rock You, the musical. Here, Breaking Benjamin, an American alternative metal band does such a darn good job on this track I almost weep. Altogether now… ‘Who wants to live forever…’

Wonderwall – Ryan Adams

This rates as one of the best covers done so far. Besides the pop culture story behind it (it was featured in an episode of O.C. which I have never watched) the song is taken away from the psuedo-swagger of Oasis and made very bittersweet. Who else better to do a song sad than an alt-country rock musician? Thank you Ryan Adams.

Smells Like Teen Spirit – Tori Amos

Nirvana! Tori Amos! Eerie… and deliciously so. If you haven’t yet had a chance to listen to Tori Amos (how could you?!) but you love something that makes your spine chill in the night, you should try to get your hands on her other cover of Eminem’s ’97 Bonnie & Clyde off the album Strange Little Girls. Neil Gaiman actually wrote stories to accompany each song on that album which is found in his compilation of shorts titled Smoke & Mirrors. But that’s for another day. Today, it’s ‘a mullato! An Albino! A mosquito! My libido!

And finally…

Teardrop – Elbow

The original by Massive Attack was sung by Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins. It was beautiful to begin with and really, it’s hard to compete with dreamy vocals like hers, especially since when she sings it, you really don’t know what she’s saying. Elbow‘s rendition of the same actually takes away the groovy mire set by Massive Attack and makes it into a song. For once, the lyrics stand out and guess what? The lyrics rock.

Love, love is a verb. Love is a doing word
Fearless on my breath, gentle impulsion
Shakes me makes me lighter
Fearless on my breath
Teardrop on the fire
Fearless on my breath…

Ah. Realisation dawns. It was a love song.

oasis live – a review

Liam Gallagher is crap.

He stands there (in his ‘I’m-taking-a-piss-posture), hands in pocket, balancing his tambourine and singing as one would if friends made you karaoke on a drunken night dare. There was no artistry. But I shan’t base my review of Oasis‘ concert tonight on him because then it would’ve been a failure. He was flat on most of his high notes! Although I have to add that he was performing slightly better (20% more enthusiasm and energy) than a year ago and actually attempted to build a little rapport with the crowd. The only interesting bit to me was when a girl was hauled out by his aides for a quiet after-concert quickie during the encore.

Noel, on the other hand, was thoroughly enjoyable. His singing has improved and it made the music that tad bit more melodic, instead of harsh. Like all concerts, his rendition of Don’t Look Back In Anger was excellent and contained a little more heart than the rest of tonight’s music-playing.

The other saving grace was their new drummer, Chris Sharrock; man was he entertaining to watch! He was in Robbie Williams’ band for 8 years and having watched Robbie Williams before, I must add that they were brilliant. There’s a great difference between writing great music and being consummate performers.

Another complaint was that the music was l.o.u.d.

The thing about loud music is that oftentimes, details are lost if the engineers don’t do a good job defining the sounds. Take for example the quiet tinkling from temporary keyboardist/synth Jay Darlington (who looks amazingly like Gandalf!) and the guitar leads by Gem Archer. I only managed to catch their instrumentation when I shut my ears. The Husband actually took wads of tissue (un-cool dude!) to stuff his ears with.

Now I’ve been to loud concerts. I watched Mono and they were mad, tight and good. But sitting (yes, I actually remained seated) in the huge 8,000-seater concert venue, I looked like a grumpy old woman with my fingers in my ears. And I enjoyed most of tonight that way.

In a nutshell, I was glad that the good seats came free, courtesy of the Husband’s friends.