Thursday, February 24, 2011

Covers and Remixes

First off, sorry for being such an erratic blogger. Stuff happens. Some call it life. Also, it's not always easy to come up with a theme for the post, so if you ever have any suggestions, there's this nifty little comment button at the bottom of the page you can use. I'd really appreciate it.

Most of the time when I hear a remix or a cover of a song I really like I hate it. Like, change-the-channel hate it since I can't stand people ruining my favourite songs. However, there are exceptions. So today you'll be getting some good and some bad music. Today we all suffer.

First off, covers. Covers I think is mostly better than remixes, since remixes can go wrong on so many levels. However, if the vocals aren't up to par, or they destroy the feel of the song it really makes it sound shitty in my ears. Sometimes I hate it simply because a girl is doing the vocals originally done by a guy. Yes, sometimes that's all it takes. Now don't get me wrong, I don't hate all covers, not at all. But these past twenty or so years people have been trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to cover great pop/rock songs in the genre of techno. In my opinion, that just doesn't work most of the time. You loose too much of what was great about the song in the process.

For example, DJ Ötzi has a cover of both Hey Baby (you know, from the Dirty Dancing movie) and Summer of '69. Now, while they're both fun and summer-y, I just don't like them. Frankly, they annoy me since they're too far from the original. I know a lot of people love those songs, but I just can't get myself to like them. Believe me, I've tried. I was tortured all through junior high with those songs popping up everywhere. Cascada also has some truly dreadful covers, like Truly Madly Deeply, but when she does her own stuff she truly shines. We all remember Evacuate the Dance Floor as one of the best dance tunes in 2009, and personally I think it was one of the best songs of the year. Her covers however, are way under par. Sometimes though, all the pieces just fit. The feel, the singer, the beat, everything. One of those songs for me is this:

Yes, I still think the original by Don Henley is the better version, but this has it's own quality about it. It's summer-y, fun, has really good vocals, and the techno beats don't overpower the song. One of the few covers where I don't even mind that there's a woman singing a guy's song.

Next topic: remixes. Now, there's a lot of really good remixes out there, but to me it seems that for every good one there's at least ten terrible ones right around the corner. I (for the most part) prefer mash-ups to pure remixes, since it brings an entirely new element to the songs, and can give you a totally different vibe than the originals did. One of the mash-up gods of later years is DJ Earworm. In case you missed his gigantic mash-up of 2009's 25 best songs, here's a little taste for ya:

DJ Earworm created a classic with that mash-up, and while I think it's one of the greatest mash-ups I've ever heard, he doesn't really bring any new elements into the mix, something of his own. The ingenuity of DJ Earworm's mixes is that he doesn't have to. He's just that good. Luckily there are plenty of people bringing their own flavour to the music though, like these guys:

To be honest with you, it's hard to pinpoint exactly what makes a good remix. I gotta tell you though, most remixes that you find on singles these days - I think they're crap. I mean, who said that speeding up a song and adding some techno beats to it qualifies as a good remix? It's just not that easy to do it right apparently. Someone that's pulled it off really well though, is this guy:

These guys have managed something almost no one ever does. They managed to remix a song to sound even better than the original. This song has more life than the original, and is also more popular (at least where I live). It makes me wanna dance, which I think is almost a requirement of a good dance mix.

To sum up: For a cover or a remix to be any good, it has to give you something more than the original did. It should have all the good elements of the original, and those parts added should not overpower the song completely.

And, as a special treat, a really weird mash-up:

Friday, February 11, 2011

Is this really as good as I remember?

Sometimes I like listening to the music of my youth. Not that that's too far off, but still, it's nice and different from music being produced today. The other day I came across a song I haven't heard in ages and I found myself thinking what in the world possessed people to make such a bad song?

The song I'm talking about here is 'You Suck' by the Murmurs. For a little trip down memory lane, take look at the video below:

Now, since I have quite a few memories tied to this song (not that I can remember said memories, but I sense they were positive ones), I just can't get over the fact that this song is way out of tune! I mean, come on! What was the record company thinking about when they released this? Back then it wasn't easy getting your record out there. Nowadays anyone can hire a studio and producers to make the worst record ever for not too much money, but back then these things cost a fortune! Well, maybe not the making of the record, but peer 2 peer sharing, torrents, Napster, Limewire - those things were unheard of! So how in the world did a song that's sung mostly off key make it big?

Sure, they're cute and all that, but the lyrics don't make sense to me, the harmonies don't harmonize and the worst part is - I STILL EFFING LIKE THE SONG!!!

Guess that's what you get for growing up in the 90s.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


It's come to my attention that one of the greatest guitarists in the world has died, well before his time.

Gary Moore first got recognition as the guitarist in Skid Row, and later in Thin Lizzy, alongside Phil Lynott (another musician who died too soon). During his career he's worked with some of the greatest musicians in the history of rock and blues, including Albert King, George Harrison, Albert Collins and Ozzy Osbourne. He's also done some outstanding solo work, the most famous album arguably being 'Still Got The Blues', where he returned to the blues after a series or rock albums.

Four days ago he was found dead in his hotel room while on vacation in Spain.

Rest in peace, Gary.

Get out of that funky mood!

So I didn't have the best of days. One of those blues-y days again. We all have them every now and then. But what do you do to get out of that funk? For me music works, at least in most days. Sometimes I just need some sad song to cry it all out, and sometimes I need some upbeat fun to get me in a good mood. Today was one of the latter days. So I put on one of the most upbeat, jazzy songs I know of. Basement Jaxx's Do Your Thing.

Who can resist the beats of this song? Makes you wanna sing and dance, even if you can do neither. Also, the lyrics are oddly fitting. 'I don't need no TV, I don't need news / All I need is a bumpin' beat to bump away my blues'. It's one of those songs where the beat has you hooked from beginning to end.

So what's your 'chase-away-the-blues' song?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I just had sex.

So I was surfing for some music on Spotify the other day and came across this song by The Lonely Island. No wonder they're lonely with a song like this. Anyway, here's a video of the song.

To be honest with you, the song is hilarious. I mean, listen to the lyrics! Some examples:

'I just had sex / and it felt so good / a women let me put my penis inside of her'
'When I had the sex / man, my penis felt good / and I called my parents right after I was done'
'She could be my wife / That good? / The best thirty seconds of my life'

The song strikes me as a nerd's anthem really, or rather what society perceives as a nerd's dream. So basically it makes fun of the unpopular kid, but they do it oh so well. It's a funny song, but is it actually any good? Truthfully, I don't think I'd like it as much as I do without the video. My first reaction when I heard it was 'What the hell is this? Are they fucking serious?' Actually I didn't know what to think about it, but I gotta say it's actually kinda catchy.  Don't think it's the song I'll be singing/humming in a public place though. Or I might just to annoy people.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Really annoying or really good dance tune?

I seriously can't decide. So let's discuss.

You know that song that's been getting stuck in your head these past few months? The Barbra Streisand song by Duck Sauce? I seriously can't figure out if I like the song or if I think it's just annoying. I mean, in small doses it's okay, I guess, but if it's in the wrong setting it really really bugs you! Say you're in your favourite club with all your gay mates and the DJ puts the song on. That's like the most perfect setting ever. I mean, gay guys AND Barbra Streisand? Priceless. I even think it's appropriate in the car while I'm driving from patient to patient, since I only hear like two or three minutes of it then anyway.

Those are settings I think the song works in, and it can actually make you want to pump up the volume a bit. However when you're at home, relaxing after a long day at work/school/whatever, it's not always so good. I mean, you can of course enjoy the song in your home but let's be honest, it won't really be your favourite at-home song to play, unless you're getting ready for a party and you're putting your face on and dancing and singing at the same time, a little private pre-party on your own.

And of course the song has this nagging ability to get stuck, playing over and over in your head even if you don't want it to. I think that's what I hate the most about the song. The only way to get it out again is either listen to some other music or infect someone else. Except infecting someone else might not even work. It's like a zombie that way. The disease that keeps on giving!

All in all though, I think I might have a love/hate relationship with this song. Sometimes I really love it, and it's great for clubbing and/or bobbing your head if you don't feel like dancing. Then again, sometimes it's so annoying you wanna rip your brains out just so you'll never hear it again!

Might be a better idea to rip your ears out honestly.

So... first posts.

You know, I never really thought I'd start a blog. I'm not even sure this one will be updating regularly, but hey, why not give it a shot anyway, right?

So this blog will be about music and shit. Yes, I cuss. If you don't like it, go some other place and read some other blog. Anyway, music. What kind of music you ask? Well, any kind I bloody well listen to at the time, which might be just about anything. Seriously. I listen to everything from jazz to classical to R&B and dance. The important thing here is that I will most likely enjoy the music I post on here, even if you don't. Frankly, I just want to share my really awesome taste in music :)

Alright, I think that's enough for today.