Sep 142010

Taio Cruz just won’t go away. First we heard “Dynamite” sung by sassy schoolteachers. Then the song returned in our Songs of Summer 2010 post in an electro-pop guise. Now cover song addicts McFly bring their punk-pop twist to BBC’s Live Lounge. It may be the best of the three, but it’s hard to say. For such a godawful song, “Dynamite” has inspired some good covers.

The intro recalls Alphaville’s “Forever Young.” I assumed this was a coincidence, until I remembered where I’d first heard that song: as the centerpiece to the Napoleon Dynamite soundtrack. They’re clever, those McFly boys. Continue reading »

Sep 062010

The twenty-first century has devalued the “song of the summer” concept something fierce. With listeners increasingly fractured into obscure niches, no song unites the culture the way the Beach Boys or Four Seasons did back in the day. Even if you hated those songs, they were a part of your summer experience. After all, loathing counts as an experience.

Speaking of loathing…“California Gurls.” If there was a song that dominated summer 2010, that was it. It’s a simple formula. Katy Perry + singing about chicks = summer smash. That wasn’t the only summer ‘010 hit though. There were the indie summer jams, of which we’ve got a couple, as well as the hits blaring from car radios. Even if you consider yourself above the Top 40, odds are you’ve heard these one way or another: over the supermarket PA, at a minor-league ball game, or from the crappy iPod speakers serenading the couple next to you at the beach. So while these may or may not have defined your personal summer, they come to as close to universal as it gets these days. You can run, you can hide, but you can’t escape these songs.*

*Summer Song ’02 reference. Continue reading »

Aug 192010

When we last checked in with the loveable eccentrics at Our Hit Parade, they were mashing together Pocahontas and Ke$ha and going hair-metal on Rihanna. Well they’re back with more crazy theatrics from their monthly performance of New York artists covering top-ten hits. The pop love is flowing and the results are stranger (and funnier) than ever.

First: Bradford Scobie and his sister sing Taio Cruz’s hit “Dynamite” as sassy schoolteachers. Oh no you didn’t dance, dance, dance, dance!
Then: Jeffrey & Cole Casserole web star Cole Escola goes all Little Orphan Annie on K’naan’s World Cup hit “Wavin’ Flag.” It’s the hard-knock life for Somalian refugees.
Third: Trapper Felides, who we last saw singing Katy Perry’s “California Gurls,” return as a pirate gang reminiscing with 3Oh!3’s “My First Kiss.” The original features Ke$ha, for anyone whose first kiss gave them herpes.
Next: Don’t worry K.P. fans – “California Gurls” returns from southern rockers .357 Lover. Less cotton candy, more rye whiskey.
Finally: Jenn Harris dresses up as a giant bat for Miley Cyrus’ “Can’t Be Tamed.” Still less creepy than the jailbait original! Continue reading »

Jul 232010

The parody is the cover’s evil twin. While a good cover keeps the lyrics and changes the music, a parody does the exact opposite. As such, much of what “Weird Al” Yankovic does falls outside this blog’s purview (though covers of Weird Al songs are always popular). His polkas, however, fall strictly in the cover camp. On every album he creates a medley of popular hits set to polka tunes. The lyrics stay intact, the music goes oompah-oompah. Sounds like a cover to me!

He has been opening the shows on his latest tour with a brand-new polka featuring Justin Bieber, Ke$ha, Kid Cudi and more. It will presumably appear on his next album as a track titled “Polkaface.” The bummer flipside is that any song included in a polka is now off the table for parody, but you can count on another Lady Gaga song getting the Al treatment. Continue reading »