Tag Archives: Poll

Dog Songs – Vote for Your Favorite!

3 Jun

Tully

 

This is Tully. Say hi to the Music Court community, Tully. As I type this, Tully is nestled into a ball with his head on a soft, green pillow. He is adorable. The picture is worth more than my words.

As you might have deciphered from the opening to this post, I adopted a dog! Thus, I have been solely in a dog mood over the past few days. Musicians are often in dog moods. Whether it are songs about dogs or song titles/ideas that use “dog” in popular sayings or with different connotations, dogs often find their way into popular songs of all genres. Off the top of your head I’m sure you are already thinking of 1-2 songs you know that have the word dog in the title.

In line with my puppy mood, I bring you the first Music Court poll in months. There are a plethora of dog songs in the vast musical catalogue of life; what song is the best? First, let’s fetch some songs.

 

1. “Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley

This is the version most are familiar with, and it is hard to argue that it is not the best recording of this Lieber and Stoller classic. Originally recorded in 1952 by “Big Mama” Thornton, “Hound Dog” has transcended decades and has garnered a long list of cover versions (included Elvis’ 1956 cover) and popular media references. Contrary to the lyrics though, I will certainly feed Tully!

 

2. (How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window by Patti Page

I had to. Tell me you don’t think of this song when you walk by the window of a pet store! Written by Bob Merrill (also wrote “Mambo Italiano”), the song was most famously recorded by Patti Page, and I first heard it through Kidsongs (my pre-kinder source for all music).

 

3. “I Love My Dog” by Cat Stevens

Because the song includes lyrics like the following:

“I love my dog
As much as I love you
But you may fade
My dog will always come through”  (Note: I love Tully and my fiancé very much)

4. “I Wanna Be Your Dog” by The Stooges

Oh, Iggy and your Stooges. Recorded in 1969, “I Wanna Be Your Dog” is a quintessential example of the budding hard rock/punk movement that would sweep the music world for the next two decades (and beyond that if you count the 90s, 00s, and 10s). The song was produced by John Cale of Velvet Underground fame. The Velvet Underground is often cited as the grandfather of punk. No coincidence there folks.

 

5. “Black Dog” by Led Zeppelin 

Classic Zeppelin riff over lyrics inspired by a sexually promiscuous retriever that would amble around the recording studio. It also has the mark of a Zeppelin song that was not stolen. Haha. I kid. I kid. It’s a killer riff.

 

6. “Dog Days are Over” by Florence and the Machine 

Florence Welch, otherwise known as the goddess (according to my sister), took a commanding hold of the Indie/Art/Pop genre with the release of her first two albums (Lungs and Ceremonials). “Dog Days are Over” is featured on Lungs, which is a tremendous first release.

 

7. “Martha My Dear” by The Beatles

Wild Card! This jaunty Beatles tune was written by Paul McCartney and most likely inspired by his sheepdog (named Martha), although it was probably about an old love interest. It, like all Beatles songs, is excellent.

 

 

There you have it. What is the best bark – I mean, song! Vote below.

What’s Your Favorite Autumn Song?

2 Oct

Fall

Fall is a divisive season. Summer is almost universally loved because it provides warmth and winter is shunned (besides from the Holidays) because a trip outside requires a few layers of clothing and also usually features the  freezing welcome to a icy vehicle. Spring is a season of rebirth. Fall, though, is technically a morbid season; everything is dying or burrowing in preparation for the winter. Now, of course, my small summary is only applicable for places where seasons are evident – which, in my case, is New York.

Charles Dickens wrote in his poem “George Edmunds’ Song”:

“Autumn leaves, autumn leaves, lie strewn around me here!
Autumn leaves, autumn leaves, how sad, how cold, how drear” 

Clearly he enjoyed the season, right? But before the trees lay bare and the weather chills, Fall features variegated foliage and pleasant weather. There is apple picking, football, and festivals. While Fall is synonymous with melancholy – at least according to Dickens – I view it through rose-colored glasses. The season may not represent rebirth, but it is not all about death. Such a depressing view is insidious and it permeates through people. Fall deserves a better rap! Plus, at least in New York, while summer has passed it has not completely relinquished its grasp on the weather. It will be 83 degrees today!

Fall is a time for music at the Music Court. Well, every season is a time for music – it is a music blog. So … to celebrate the season, I’m asking you to tell me your favorite autumn song. Your favorite not on the list? Don’t be shy! Lambast my stupid selections in the comments and provide your favorite song. Voting closes on Wednesday. Have fun!

*Note: “September” by Earth Wind and Fire does talk about the 21st night of September. Close enough to Fall!

Need a quick song refresher. Listen to each song below:

Rotten Covers – What is the Worst Song Cover of All Time?

24 Jul

Let’s start this post off on a positive note. There are a lot of good cover songs out there. The formula for creating a good cover song is simple. Take the original song, transform it minimally, and voila, recycled music. If you look at some of the greatest covers ever, you come up with a list of artists who covered other artists within the realm of a similar genre. There are certainly exceptions to the rule, but with said exceptions the cover artist is usually quite talented (i.e. Johnny Cash covering NIN’s “Hurt”) and the song itself can be stripped to its bare bones and sound good (i.e. Johnny Cash covering NIN’s “Hurt”). Or, on the other hand, a song already bare, with let’s say solo acoustic backing, can be spruced up a bit and made into a fuller, more extraordinary piece (i.e. “All Along the Watchtower” by Jimi Hendrix, from Bob Dylan).

With covers, though, one thing generally remains essential. The performer covering the song is not only talented, but also a multi-faceted artist. One-trick ponies perform miserable covers. So, when, for example, a screechy rock band covers a folk artist (see below) or a voluptuous country star covers a rock band (Dolly Parton doing “Stairway to Heaven”), things can go bad. And like spoiled milk, when a cover goes bad, it’s really bad.

And, despite the fact that most bands have been guilty of it (see song two sentences ago), we are not talking about musicians who steal music and rearrange it because of creative laziness, musical greed, or unconscious “My Sweet Lord” moments (sorry George). That’s not a cover. That’s theft.

With this all in mind, I am going to provide you with five examples of vomit-inducing music covers, and I want you to tell me what is the worst cover of all time. Are there other awful covers? Yes. Many. Including some truly miserable Miley Cyrus “inspiration” covers that includes one of “Smells like Teen Spirit” which is mind-blowingly terrible, but I am going to let that sit there and age a bit before we conclude whether that was just a bad joke. If you like a cover song on this list, I apologize for verbally defecating on a song you enjoy. This is clearly just my (and many other’s) opinion. But I urge you, tell me why the cover is good. Seriously, because I think it is awful and destroys the original. A full list of the songs with some unflattering descriptions is below the poll jump. Read and vote! What’s the worst?

Britney Spears (The Rolling Stones) – “Satisfaction”

You know, for the first 30 seconds of the song it isn’t that bad. Remember, we are talking historically bad here so not that bad is still awful. There just isn’t much there. In a way, it seems like she is going to turn the song into one of her modern-day libidinous sex-slave pieces that paint her out like she is a voracious nymphomaniac. And then the song passes the 30 second mark and, well, listen. Why? Britney? Why? Did Mick Jagger insult you? The cover eliminates Keith Richards’ uber-famous riff and turns the famous rock song into a pop debacle that is not even good for Britney Spears standards. Have you stopped listening yet? The song somehow is more than four minutes long. I’ll never know how it ends.

Madonna (Don McLean) – “American Pie”

Madonna and Don McLean go together like Cheerios and jalapeno peppers – they don’t – yet the pop diva with the hilariously fake British accent decided to take on this American classic. By take on, I mean burn. In a similar manner to Spears’ awful cover of “Satisfaction,” Madonna’s “American Pie” starts off decently, with only a slight echo effect on her voice. And then, what the hell is that synth. Look, I totally understand changing up a song, and you don’t have to sit down with only an acoustic guitar and bang out the entire hit, but a synth only makes a song that deserves so much more sound like an 80’s sunshine track mixed with creepy Eiffel 65-like echoes and monotone Madonna plugging away at only one damn verse and the beginning and ending. I guess we should be thanking the Kabbalah that she didn’t record anymore of this washed-down piece of a junk cover.

Limp Bizkit (The Who) – “Behind Blue Eyes”

This one is more difficult to hate on at first, because Limp Bizkit doesn’t ruin it until later. The song is one of the Who’s most raw works, and the initial shock that Limp Bizkit, who, if you remember correctly, told us to shove a cookie up our collective yeah, would actually cover a serious song is odd enough. But initially the song is quite stripped down and actually halfway okay. It’s not a great cover. The vocals are nothing special. Vocal effects make it sound better, but, hey, everyone does that now’a’days. And then 2:30 comes along and you just shake your head at what the hell the band was thinking when they decided to put a robotic voice over an eerie whistle. They actually destroyed their already pretty bad cover.

Guns N’ Roses (Bob Dylan) – “Knockin on Heaven’s Door”

Guns N’ Roses’ cover of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin on Heaven’s Door” comes to us with more than eight million views on YouTube and more than 30,000 likes. Statistics like that make me question my faith in our population of music listeners. I’ve talked about why Guns N’ Roses’ cover of Dylan is overproduced garbage in the past. Allow me to copy and paste my thoughts on this from an article I wrote that you can view here.

“In 1987, the prototypical hair metal band decided they would start using it in their live sets. The song was then poisoned by the melodramatic, hyperbolic fingers of Axl Rose and a song loved for its downtrodden seriousness became the toy of unnecessary and cocky bedizenment. Guns & Roses destroyed a perfectly good song. Rose’s horrendous voice is so drawn out and fake it kills the song’s wonderment. “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” is somber. Guns & Roses’ version is an arena rock hugger-mugger that is vomit inducing.”

Shakira (AC/DC) – “Back in Black”

Shakira’s “Back in Black” is one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. There, I said it. She gyrates her way to an over-indulgent, incomprehensible, sheep-like, faux-jazz to power rock anthemic version of AC/DC’s hit. Now, don’t get me wrong, AC/DC was every bit difficult to understand, but their rock saturated original is purposeful. Shakira sounds like she just took seven shots and got up on a stand-up table at a bar/grill to sing and dance without music while her poor friends stare on in pain. Well, there goes Shakira again – someone should probably tell her to stop stepping on the nachos. And every time she sings black she sounds like a lamb out to slaughter. Stop it. Stop putting on the fake quiver in your voice. Your vibrato sounds like a farm animal. If she is back in black, I want to be as far away from her as humanly possible.

Have any other horrible covers in mind? Let us know about them in the comment section!

Woke Up This Morning Feeling…Not So Fine

10 Aug
Replace “not so fine” with “fine” and you have a Carole King/Gerry Goffin composition made known by Herman’s Hermits. Keep the “not so fine” and you have me on this Tuesday morning: tired, achy and indisposed.
And, it just sucks. Excuse my down attitude, but, I hate being under the weather. I want to be above the weather at all times. So, today, I am taking the day off from the internship and staying in my house. But, that does not mean that I can’t complain to my faithful internet public. Yes, you get my full suffering wrath. I haven’t felt poorly in a while. Now that I do feel sick, though, I am showing a distinct bias towards songs about being…well…sick. And, whenever there are multiple songs about a specific subject do you know what that smells like? Fresh baked cookies? No. A brand-spankin’ new poll. Oh Yeah! Perhaps Cross Canadian Ragweed says it best in their song “Sick and Tired.” The line, “Sick and tired of being sick and tired” just explains it all doesn’t it.  So, in this poll I am looking for the best lyric that mentions the word sick in relation to now feeling 100 %.  Below I am going to give you some song lyrics that stand out to me and I am looking forward to your opinion. Like usual there may be other lines that you like better and I am looking forward to what you all think is that classic “sick” line.
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