Archive for The Carpenters

WTF: Crazy Cover Versions

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , on July 7, 2012 by 30daysout

We all love cover versions of our favorite rock songs, if only for the fresh perspective the covering artist brings to familiar material. Cover versions are particularly entertaining when they come out of left field – like when an artist jumps genres for material. Remember when Pat Boone covered metal songs? Yeah.

One of our favorites is of course the AOR darlings the Carpenters, covering Klaatu’s “Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft.” Klaatu was a Canadian prog-rock outfit, and they are perhaps best remembered for a rumor that went out in the 1970s that Klaatu were actually the Beatles recording under a pseudonym. Take one listen to any Klaatu record and you know that’s not true. Nevertheless, they put out “Calling Occupants” in 1976 and the next year popsters Karen and Richard Carpenter covered the song. They had a modest hit out of it, too.

Sebastian Cabot, thinking about Bob Dylan.

There was a time when TV actors made a few bucks by releasing albums with their cracked covers of Dylan, the Beatles, et. al. William Shatner is perhaps best known for doing that, but we’ve included a lesser known actor today – Sebastian Cabot (a British gent who played butlers and such) – doing a Dylan tune.

Country artists taking rock songs to the barnyard is also a disturbing recurring phenomenon. Here we have the great Willie Nelson doing the Beatles from a 2003 comp. Finnish black metal rockers Children of Bodom have a sense of humor; they do covers all the time, including this one of an Eddie Murphy groaner.

Legitimate rockers like those cover versions too, especially when they can totally make ’em over – hence, Pearl Jam doing the death-rock classic “Last Kiss,” John Cale deconstructing Elvis’ “Heartbreak Hotel” and Eric Burdon going totally over the top on a Stones cover.

Don’t have much else to say here, it’s just an excuse to share some of these out-of-the-blue covers. Hope you like ’em – if you don’t, you always have the originals!

MP3: “Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft” by the Carpenters

MP3: “Like A Rolling Stone” by Sebastian Cabot

MP3: “One After 909” by Willie Nelson

MP3: “Lola” by the Raincoats

MP3: “Sympathy For The Devil” by Louis Prima

MP3: “Good Vibrations” by Floyd Cramer

MP3: “Party All The Time” by Children of Bodom

MP3: “Last Kiss” by Pearl Jam

MP3: “Heartbreak Hotel” by John Cale

MP3: “Creep” by Scala Choir & Kolacny Brothers

MP3: “Paint It Black” by Eric Burdon & the Animals

End of The World, Part 2

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2011 by 30daysout

Everybody’s having a good laugh about the prediction that Saturday will be the End of the World. And yes, we’ve snickered about it right here. But look around – there’ve been tornadoes, tsunamis, wildfires and floods, maybe that’s a sign of the End Times.

All of our heroes – Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, Arnold Schwarzenegger – are crumbling before our very eyes. Justin Timberlake and Lady Gaga are on “Saturday Night Live” this weekend – another sign?

You can’t ignore these signs. You definitely cannot laugh them away. I’m getting a case of beer on Saturday morning, just in case, and hoping I don’t have a hangover the morning after.

More signs of the coming apocalypse

MP3: “Earth Died Screaming” by Tom Waits

MP3: “In The Year 2525” by Zager & Evans

MP3: “Southern Comfort” by Terry Allen

MP3: “Jesus Is Coming Soon” by the Dixie Hummingbirds

MP3: “Are You Afraid To Die” by the Louvin Brothers

MP3: “The End of The World” by the Carpenters

MP3: “Soylent Green” by Carbon Silicon

MP3: “Until The End of the World” (live) by U2

MP3: “My Apocalypse” by Metallica

MP3: “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones

MP3: “The End” by the Doors

MP3: “Party At Ground Zero” by Fishbone

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Singles, Part 2

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , , on August 22, 2010 by 30daysout

More singles from the back of my sister’s closet: they’re almost as good as albums!

First up, an all-but forgotten band from the late 1960s-early 1970s era: Seatrain.  Formed from the ashes of the ill-fated Blues Project by two of that band’s former members, bassist Andy Kulberg and drummer Roy Blumenfeld, Seatrain hit its stride with a self-titled album in 1970.  By this second album, there had already been a shift in the lineup – it now included folkie guitarist/singer Peter Rowan.  Anyway, the big hit single was “13 Questions,” which just missed making into the U.S. Top 40.  I remember FM radio used to play Seatrain’s wild version of “Orange Blossom Special,” from the same LP – the band finally broke up in 1973 after its third album.

MP3: “13 Questions” by Seatrain

The band McGuinness Flint was a British counterpart to Seatrain; it was also made up of former members of hit-making bands.  Tom McGuiness played with Manfred Mann, and Hughie Flint played with John Mayall, and their namesake band included songwriters Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle.  And they had a minor U.S. hit with “When I’m Dead And Gone” (although it was big in the U.K.) but subsequent efforts stiffed.  Gallagher & Lyle quit to record as a duo  – in addition to writing “When I’m Dead And Gone,” they later wrote hits for Art Garfunkel, Don Williams and others.

MP3: “When I’m Dead And Gone” by McGuinness Flint

Here’s another band with a similar trajectory: King Harvest, which had its beginnings when four Americans joined forces in Paris, where they happened to be living at the time.  At one point the band had three keyboard players, including Sherman Kelly, who wrote the song “Dancing In The Moonlight.”  It was released as a single in Paris and it failed – but in 1973, the group re-formed in the United States and signed to a new record label.  The label re-released “Dancing” and it became a hit, climbing into the Top 20.  The group could never match this success and after disbanding some of King Harvest’s members including keyboardist Ron Altbach, sax player Rod Novak and guitarist Ed Tuleja toured with the Beach Boys and Mike Love’s Celebration.

MP3: “Dancing In The Moonlight” by King Harvest

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30 Days Out Exclusive Interview: Juliana Hatfield

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2009 by 30daysout

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If you have read this blog for any amount of time, you know I have not hidden my affection for talented singer, songwriter and guitarist, Juliana Hatfield. Her album, Become What You Are, remains one of my favorites and, in my opinion, was one of the best albums of the 90s. She recently took part in the Bruce Springsteen’s “Hangin’ Out On E Street” project with an excellent cover of “Cover Me” and she also just put out a new CD, How To Walk Away. Juliana was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for us about the past, the present and the state of the music industry.

30DAYSOUT: Tell me about how you first got interested in music and who were some of your earliest musical influences..

JH: I took piano lessons from my Mom, in our house, when I was a child. Both of my parents played piano and that was the first music I heard. Live piano music was always in the air. Later I was heavily influenced by 1970’s AM top 40 American radio: the Eagles, ELO, Steely Dan, the Carpenters, Olivia Newton-John, America, Bread, etc.

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Review: “It’s Not Me, It’s You,” Lily Allen

Posted in Review with tags , , , on February 16, 2009 by 30daysout

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There are a number of things you can decipher from listening to British poptart Lily Allen’s sophomore album, It’s Not Me, It’s You…1) she’s horny, 2) she hates everyone, 3) she’s extremely talented and witty and 4) she’s put out a great CD with catchy melodies and biting lyrics.

Allen can’t figure out why people have sexual hangups on “Everyone’s At It,” she finds the perfect guy who “never makes her scream” in the sack on the country-esque “Not Fair,” she talks about how society tells women if they’re not married by age 30 their life is over in “22,” and she graphically drops a dude then uses him when she needs to get laid on the appropriately titled “Never Gonna Happen.” While all those are great, the best track is simply titled “F**k You.”  It starts off with an innocent piano part reminiscent of The Carpenters smash “Close to You” then proceeds to utter the kissoff chorus over a melody you might hear in a children’s song.  Classic.

I thought Lily Allen was just another annoying British singer who liked to cause trouble to get attention (see Pete Doherty).  However, after listening to It’s Not Me, It’s You I have changed my mind.  She’s a talented singer songwriter and this is an excellent disc, especially if you like to hear a female sing the word f**k.

MP3: “F**k You”

Lily Allen official website

Stream entire album for free at Spinner.com