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 +1Posted on Nov 26th, 2014 | re: 20 Covers Of Radiohead's "Creep," Rated (46 comments)

The Pearl Jam one isn’t Pearl Jam, but that is Vedder. In 2000, Sean “Birdman” Gould invited Vedder to show up to his studio in Miami, and, for some reason, he did. They recorded a bunch of random covers, including “Creep”. They’re referred to as The Birdman Sessions.

Copies of the session were given out to the participants, with the rule that they not share them with anyone. Of course, that didn’t last. Starting after the first leak, and for a long time, PJ took legal action against websites sharing the songs. Vedder really really didn’t want those songs out there.

 +2Posted on Sep 18th, 2014 | re: R.E.M.'s 10 Best Cover Songs (37 comments)

And just as a live wildcard, their cover of Lou Gramm’s “Midnight Blue”:

 +1Posted on Sep 18th, 2014 | re: R.E.M.'s 10 Best Cover Songs (37 comments)

They have so many great covers.

One of my absolute favorites is “Arms of Love” (Robyn Hitchcock):

 0Posted on Dec 16th, 2013 | re: Nirvana Unplugged Premiered 20 Years Ago Today (11 comments)

Btw – not to be my usual pedantic self, but “Something in the Way” isn’t the really the right reference here. That song wasn’t included in the original MTV broadcast, and wasn’t heard by the public until after Kurt died. (It was one of the “unreleased” songs on the CD when it came out in November of 1994.) And the complete set (the one included here) didn’t get a full video release until 2007 – though there was a relatively crappy VHS bootleg of it that started circulating around 1995. (Trade “Something” for “All Apologies” in the article and the spirit would be pretty much exactly right.)

 +1Posted on Dec 16th, 2013 | re: Nirvana Unplugged Premiered 20 Years Ago Today (11 comments)

Nevermind had a huge impact on me. But when In Utero came out, I didn’t understand it. I loved how melodic Nevermind was – In Utero felt like the giant middle finger that it more or less was intended to be.

My Nirvana love had definitely subsided a good bit by December, but I decided to watch Unplugged anyway, just out of the curiosity of what the band might do. (The popular question at the time: “Can you imagine ‘Teen Spirit’ unplugged?”) The idea of them doing anything acoustically seemed impossible.

I remember being completely floored by it. The covers definitely made it – they made Unplugged its own thing rather than the musical retread that some of the other Unpluggeds seemed to be. But the big thing for me – it made me appreciate the In Utero songs for the first time, and gave me an “in” to finally decipher that album.

I copied Unplugged to a cassette, and spent the next several weeks listening to it repeatedly. I shifted to In Utero in March. I always felt a little bit sad that it took me that long to really get Nirvana.

 +4Posted on Nov 27th, 2013 | re: Toy Company Removes "Girls" Ad, Writes Open Letter To Beastie Boys (9 comments)

This entire situation feels completely calculated, and this letter seems grossly insincere.

Forgive the sports metaphor, but what GoldieBlox has done here is the equivalent of the douchebags who commit an intentional foul, then immediately afterward acknowledge the foul and apologize. The apology is totally insincere, since they still got what they wanted in committing the foul. If they were truly exhibiting good sportsmanship, they wouldn’t have made the foul in the first place.

“We would like to respect his wishes and yours.” Really? Did you bother to find out what they were first?

For his entire career, Weird Al Yankovic has made a point to get the artists’ permission first before releasing a parody – DESPITE THE FACT THAT HE DOESN’T NEED TO. It’s a courtesy. If an artist says “no”, he abandons the song.

GoldieBlox could certainly have done the same. (Of course, the answer would have been “no”.)

Instead, they released something knowing there were legal questions, took legal action, screamed “Help, Help, I’m being repressed!”, and now want us to believe they didn’t mean any harm and are acting in good faith. It’s a cynical attempt to profit off of the Streisand Effect, and it’s about to work.

I want the Beasties to continue whatever legal action they had in mind (if they’ve ever intended to), if only to dissuade other companies from pulling this shit. Of course, if that happens, the next step in the GoldieBlox playbook is: “Oh, look at the big artists bullying the little company, after we apologized and everything.”

Instead, I already see Debbie high-fiving Team GoldieBlox at the end of a successful campaign.

 +2Posted on Oct 28th, 2013 | re: No Alternative Turns 20 (40 comments)

This legend gets repeated so often, so I’ll say it again: “SAPPY” WASN’T MISIDENTIFIED. FANS DIDN’T ‘MISTAKENLY’ CALL IT THAT.

The band had already given up on the song “Verse Chorus Verse”, so Kurt reused the title for “Sappy” when it was released on No Alternative. They specifically called it “Verse Chorus Verse” in at least one interview/press release for the album.

It was only long after the fact (once “Verse Chorus Verse” from an L.A. soundcheck and the older unreleased versions of “Sappy” showed up on bootlegs) that people ‘corrected’ the song titles. But, at the time of No Alternative’s release, this was the only known version of either song – it was “Sappy”, but it was called “Verse Chorus Verse”.

Honestly, I think it may actually be mentioned in the liner of With the Lights Out. (I don’t have it in front of me, but I vaguely recall a note under “Sappy” that says “Originally released as ‘Verse Chorus Verse’.)

 +1Posted on Oct 16th, 2013 | re: Nirvana, Replacements Nominated For Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame (14 comments)

I don’t think Kiss makes it this year. They’ve been eligible for a while. A lot of the Hall voters hate them passionately, mainly for the crass over-marketing. (I read a story some years ago that claimed that some Hall voters were concerned that Simmons would basically make the the entire ceremony about him/them, thereby disrupting it for the other inductees.)

I think Kiss gets in eventually. But I think it’ll be either after a) a bunch of the current voters die off or b) Gene Simmons is dead.

 +2Posted on Aug 16th, 2013 | re: Foo Fighters Albums From Worst To Best (43 comments)

Solid list. I held TCATS as the best Foo record for many years, but I don’t feel like it’s aged as well. I think I now may favor TNLTL.

A couple of minor observations:

1) A lot of One by One’s failure as an album has to do with the production. Grohl wanted it to echo his experience in recording Songs for the Deaf. And that’s the problem: it sounds like a QOTSA record, not a Foo Fighters record.

2) “Foo Fighters also began performing ‘Marigold’, a Nirvana song Grohl had sung, but that had never been officially released until years after Cobain’s death.”

Not exactly true – “Marigold” was officially released in 1993 on Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box” single. In fairness, that single wasn’t officially released in the US – but many record stores carried it at the time. (Best Buy even carried the Nirvana singles box set in later years.) The other semantic is that “Color Pictures of a Marigold” appeared on the Simple Machines cassette (Late! Pocketwatch) that was issued in 1992.

Weirdly, “Marigold” got quite a bit of radio airplay in the late Spring of 1996 on alternative radio – once stations had burned through the obvious Foo singles.

 +5Posted on Jul 17th, 2013 | re: The Weeknd Denies Sampling Portishead (81 comments)

Comparing this to mashups is absolutely ludicrous.

The Grey Album was done as an art piece. Nobody made any money off of it. Same for 99% of the mashups in existence. (Note that all of Girl Talk’s albums are free downloads.) Mashups that have been sold (legally) for profit had the permission of the sampled artists.

If Abel put this music out as “art” as a free download, you might have a reasonable argument. But Abel’s putting this out FOR PROFIT. Artists have a right to say how their work is used if it’s being used for commercial purposes. When Geoff said NO, that should have been the end of it – Abel should either have ditched the track or reworked it completely. (I doubt Geoff would have given two shits if this song had shown up in its current form on a random mixtape.)