Sara Stoudt

Sara is a statistician, but during her free time she is crafting the perfect playlist for any occasion. Her dad trained her well in the art of music appreciation (for which her live music trivia team is thankful for), and she is definitely judging you by your karaoke song choice. Follow her on Twitter or check out her website.

Oct 112019
 

Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!

saturday night fever covers

Saturday Night Fever was released in 1977, joining the ranks of great movies that feature dance as a plot line such as the ballerina fairytale The Red Shoes, or the string of Fred Astaire movies with Ginger Rogers (Top Hat, Swing Time, Shall We Dance, and more) and without (Easter Parade, with a post-Oz Judy Garland). This genre also has plenty of popular descendants like Dirty Dancing, Footloose, Save the Last Dance, and Step Up. SNF is both a worthy successor to the older films and a proud forebear of those that followed in its dance steps.

Starring John Travolta before he had really made his mark (post-Kotter, pre-Grease), the story is as old as time: boy wants to escape his mundane job and dramatic family life through dance and pursue the woman of his dreams, who of course is bad for him, along the way. Plus, there is an obligatory Brooklyn v. Staten Island rivalry thrown in for good measure.

The Bee Gees had fallen into a funk, and not the good kind, in the early 1970s. With help from disco and falsetto, the band had found a new groove. Being a major part of the SNF soundtrack – they composed and/or performed eight of its 17 songs – helped breathe new life into their career. The soundtrack contributed three of their six consecutive number-one singles to the Bee Gees streak, at the time tying the Beatles’ record for the most in the United States.

The soundtrack helped the Bee Gees win five Grammys, and the Bee Gees were able to keep up the momentum from this success until the end of the disco era. By the end of the ’70s, disco fever had burned itself out.

Although some of the themes and dialogue from the movie don’t hold up, the songs remain essential for those times when you want to put on your boogie shoes.
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Oct 042019
 

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

friends theme song covers

The television show Friends debuted on September 22, 1994. Twenty-five years later, the memorable theme song with its iconic four claps is still an adulting anthem. Could the song be any more catchy?

Friends enjoyed ten seasons of popularity and collected over 60 Emmy nominations throughout the course of its run. Netflix viewers are currently wailing and gnashing teeth, as the show is slated to leave the platform in 2020, bringing to an end its five-year reign as one of Netflix’s most streamed shows. Whether you relate more to Chandler, Joey, Monica, Phoebe, Rachel, or (heaven forbid) Ross, we can all unite in appreciation of the life lessons and hearty laughs that the show has brought us.

The Rembrandts, made up of Danny Wilde and Phil Solem, formed in 1989. Prior to teaming up as The Rembrandts, Wilde had worked on solo albums, and the two of them had collaborated in another group, Great Buildings. Their new band released two albums and had minor success before “I’ll Be There For You” kicked off their third, and Friends brought them into the spotlight. The song started as a minute-long theme, but the duo later re-recorded and expanded it into a full length song.

From mellow to punk, these five covers are here for you “when it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year.”
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Oct 012019
 

Some covers are more equal than others. Good, Better, Best looks at three covers and decides who takes home the gold, the silver, and the bronze.

covers of funkytown

Lipps Inc. may be considered a one-hit wonder, but this big hit is pretty epic. It was even enough to get the band inducted into the (Minnesota) Music Hall of Fame. I just rewatched the original music video, and it is a lot to take in (a deep dive into the weird history of the video can be found here for the curious). The two dancers’ outfits would make great (albeit obscure) Halloween costumes, though.

The band’s musicians rotated frequently, but Cynthia Johnson’s vocals provided consistency. In 1976, before joining the band, she was crowned Miss Black Minnesota USA. After Lipps Inc. dismantled, she went on to a solo career, including being part of the award-winning gospel group Sounds of Blackness. She is also an accomplished saxophonist and host of a 2013 documentary of American cities called, what else, “Funkytown.” Johnson herself is clearly not a one-hit wonder.

Now let’s see how others reinterpret this dance party classic.

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Sep 262019
 

Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!

abbey road covers
September 26th marks the 50th anniversary of Abbey Road in the UK (October 1 marks the date in the US). A “super deluxe edition” of the album will be released on September 27th of this year.

Along with this hit record, 1969 brought us:

  • Richard Nixon in the White House
  • Harold Wilson at 10 Downing Street
  • US continued involvement in the Vietnam War
  • a US moon landing
  • Scooby-Doo, Sesame Street, and The Brady Bunch
  • Chappaquiddick, Altamont, and Woodstock

That’s a lot of cultural touchstones from one year that still retain all their power. But if the spirit of ’69 could be summed up in one image, it may well be the one of four gentlemen in their late twenties crossing a street in St. John’s Wood.

An album born in tension, the fractured approach of the dual-sided album foreshadowed the dissolution of the band. Ironically, this division serves as a platform to remind us that love of the Beatles transcends our differences.

We celebrate the 50th anniversary of Abbey Road by digging into the deepest of cover cuts: those done by earnest amateurs. We know you must have your favorite professional covers, but we want to give new voices a chance to express their Beatles appreciation.

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Sep 062019
 
Revolution Girl Style Now

This post brings our week of riot grrrl to a close. Although not everyone featured in these posts may even explicitly identify with the riot grrrl movement, and certainly not everyone who does identify with the movement could be featured, I hope that these posts have given a brief overview of the era and given enough additional references to allow interested readers to further explore on their own.

Although I missed the original riot grrrl movement, I felt it was important to learn its lessons myself through the writing of these posts and embark on my own year of the riot grrrl. Maybe, dear reader, you will feel called to do the same. The riot grrrl movement remains relevant today, not just politically, but musically. The often brutally honest lyrics and the powerful instrumentals have inspired another wave of musicians. It’s no wonder that riot grrrl anthems have been revitalized through covers. Did I miss a cover of a riot grrrl song that really speaks to you? Share in a comment!

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Sep 052019
 
Bratmobile

Alas. Even in a week of riot grrrl posts, we cannot feature every band associated with the riot grrrl era. However, in this post we get to hear a new group of riot grrrls put a fresh take on songs ranging from traditional punk and rock genres to more surprising choices. I’ll give you a hint: you should know better than to cheat a friend.

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