Wednesday, 4 February 2015

A Song for Parsnip, episode 1 - Covered

I said some time ago that I'd write start to write about more than just clothes on my blog, but in reality I haven't had time to do much more than wardrobe weekly's and a few posts with new clothes, but I'm obsessed with more than just clothes. Music is an essential part of my life and always has been. I wanted to be a singer when I was younger (not a pop star you understand, but some kind of musician who sang!) and music has always been a passion of mine. Then I fell in love with a proper musician, who (with the exception of 80's pop music) has such an extensive musical knowledge that he has opened me up to more than I ever would have discovered on my own. I have little pockets of time where I get obsessed with certain things - break up songs / happy songs / famous samples / solo piano, that sort of thing. I thought I'd share some of my favourites with you, like mini playlists. My current obsession is cover versions. I gave you guys a taste of that in a post a while back where I shared the ASTR cover of Hold on we're going home, so here are some other covers that I love!

I love Bjork..... I know many people don't get her, but when she's on form she writes music that gives me chills, or to quote her directly "lightning hits my spine" when I listen to her. That's why I don't like many cover versions of her songs - they're often perfect, so you can't better them, or even match them. Having said that, when I heard Robert Glasper's version of Joga live on Giles Petersons radio show I got those same chills, so here it it is.

Anyone who's seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind a) loves it (unless they're a dumb-ass!) b) couldn't believe how amazing Jim Carey was in it c) Loved Becks Version of Everybody's gotta learn sometime from the soundtrack and (if they're of a certain vintage) d) Remembered that Baby D did a rave version of this song that was in no way as emotionally resonant!. It's a perfect song, and a perfect cover - taking a good song and making it way better. 3 cheers for John Brion!

I'm always banging on about Becca Stevens. Don't care. I love her. I didn't think I could love anything as much as I love her version of the Smiths There is a light that never goes out, but then I heard this (at a gig) and I was like DAYUM! Here she is with her arrangement of Frank Oceans Thinkin bout you. It really gives me goosepimples!

I think I might be the only person who liked the Beyonce / Andre 3000 version of Amy Winehouse's Back to black, but you know what? I'm sticking to my guns because I like it as much now as I did when it was first released. The original is so good that they had to drastically change the arrangement or there wouldn't have been any point in doing it! This version is so dark and dirty - I thought it was super sexy from the first hint of throbbing base. I'm right and everyone else is wrong about this one!

Anyone who loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer might remember this song, because it played while Buffy and Angel danced at her prom. It was kind of a big deal, and the Sundays version of the Rolling Stones Wild Horses made it a bit emosh. This is one of my favourite songs to sing along too - but I have to be able to get loud so it's a bit of a secret single behaviour!

I'm a sucker for a bit of Acoustic guitar (I used to play you see, so plucking plucks at my heart strings... titter titter!) so I always like Jose Gonzalez, but then he COVERED A KYLIE SONG! I find this arrangement of Hand on Your Heart soothing and beautiful.

This is a love of old - I adore Marvin Gaye, and I Want You is my hands down favourite song of his. I was quite into Massive attack when their cover version featuring Madonna came out, and I loved it.... slow, sexy, sad and sultry. I made a music video to go with this song for a college project and made my best mate, sister and sisters boyfriend to play out a love triangle for it. Slow-motion kissing and everything! I still love the atmosphere they created with this version.

Good lord it's all getting a bit depressing isn't it?! Let's lift it up a bit with... errrr.... Radiohead?! You may wonder how No Surprises could possibly be turned into an uplifting song, but hey, how about a version with a reggae flavour?! My boyfriend introduced me to Easy star all Stars, and I have to recommend their Radiodread album to y'all! Dub certainly makes OK Computer a bit less soul-suckingly dark!

I feel like Jamie Cullum is not someone that people hold in great esteem, but I think his version of Rhiannas Don't Stop the Music is totally genius. Totally different arrangement with a completely different atmosphere to the original, but really quite beautiful. I heartily dislike many of his covers, but this one I love!

Are you ready to go down the Pomplamoose rabbit hole?! My boyfriend found these guys on you tube years ago and once you've watched one of their videos you just have to watch them all!. He really loves their version of Aerosmiths I don't wanna miss a thing, but I prefer them doing Lady Gaga's Telephone!

Ahhhhh... Nouvelle Vague, the French cheesy bossa-nova cum jazz cover maestros! When I was a younger I took a trip to Paris with a friend, we stayed in Montmartre and went to a little cafe on Rue Caulaincourt (the name of which is  sadly long forgotten) which had paintings by local artists all over the walls. I ate the best duck I've ever had, drank the best Merlot I've ever had and heard some awesome music playing that I swore I recognised. I'm quite old, so these were the days before Shazam and I had to ask the manager what was playing. turned outfit was Nouvelle Vagues version of the old XTC classic Making plans for Nigel. I like many of their cover versions, but as this was my gateway drug to Nouvelle Vague I figured I put this one up!

I can hold a tune, but I'm always in awe of good A Cappella singers, and frankly The Sacramento State singers just took this Ben Folds Five tune to the next level! I think Selfless, Cold and Composed is Ben Folds best song, but I often find myself putting this version on rather than the original nowadays!

This is a new discovery which I have to thank Bonobo for. One Thing by Amerie is a TUNE, but I have become obsessed with this version by Peter and Kerry - I am so digging how London Kerry sounds, and I am so down with them bringing a bit of Nelly Furtado's Say it Right at the end, because I really love that song too!

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