All posts tagged: Jack Feerick

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The Greatest Cover Songs of All Time: Honorable Mentions

Last week, we published a compilation of the 100 greatest cover songs of all time, as voted by the Popdose staff.  Of course, our way of tabulating the results (you can see the original spreadsheet here, if you’re really, really, really curious) meant that plenty of worthy songs were going to be left off the final list.  So we decided to include a few more songs that some of the staff felt deserved an “honorable mention.”  Each of the songs below is special to at least one of us, and even though none of these had broad enough appeal to make our Top 100 list, we thought they were good enough to at least get a tip of the cap. Opelousas (Sweet Relief) – Maria McKee. Originally performed by Victoria Williams. Taken by itself, Maria McKee’s cover of Victoria Williams “Opelousas” isn’t all that remarkable of a song. It’s a nice update to the low-key original, with a much bigger sound and scope, but what makes this cover great, and the reason why I included …

Trailer Talk: Did Brett Ratner Do the Impossible with “Tower Heist”?

Jeff Giles: So…is Brett Ratner going to make Eddie Murphy funny again? Let us discuss. David Medsker: I saw this in front of Cowboys and Aliens (which is all sorts of boring), and I have to admit I’m looking forward to this one, Ratner be damned. Jack Feerick: I’m afraid that nothing short of a working time machine, the blood of a hundred virgins, and a Harry Potter-style mass amnesia spell will be anough to make Eddie Murphy funny again. Jeff: I would have said the same thing yesterday, but I caught myself laughing at this trailer more than once. I mean, it sucks that Eddie has to play another freshly sprung ex-con to make it happen, but hey… Jack: Oh, I think the trailer is amusing. But Murphy is the least amusing thing about it. He’s phoning it in, again, right down to his little trademark chuckle. Gabourey Sidibey is wiping the floor with him.

The Friday Mixtape: Popdose Staff Edition

To paraphrase an old adage: those who can, do, and those who can’t, write. For the last couple of years now, you’ve been good enough to come to our site every Friday and download all the really cool tracks that we’ve selected for the week’s Mixtape. This week we thought we’d change things up a bit. The fact is, a number of Popdose writers are musicians themselves; they can not only write — they can do, too. So we put out a call for songs from our writers, and got a a nice response, and a whole lot of great tunes. The talent level was a surprise even to us.

The Friday Mixtape: 8/28/09

I know what you were expecting. “See You In September” or “Summer Nights” from Grease or, in a sarcastic vein, “School’s Out” — but we don’t need no steenkin’ kitsch. Your Popdose Pals have something else planned entirely. September is more than just the unofficial end of summer; it’s also back-to-school time, and with the migratory return to dorms and classrooms comes the return to computers for the sake of homework. Did you know that new semesters are traditionally a heavy time for music downloading, probably because of all that new time at the PC or Mac? Neither did I, because I just made it up right here, but it kind of makes sense (even though it’s utter B.S. on my part.) The thought of increased downloading certainly wouldn’t cheer the beleaguered record labels, which through expansive & expensive special editions, Wal-Mart and Best Buy exclusives and the like are desperately trying to maintain market share. The Internet is evil, I tells ya. Not really. To prove my point, I asked the staff to contribute …

The Friday Mixtape: 5/01/09

Jeff Buckley – Kashmir from Live at l’Olympia (2001) The Tea Party – Save Me from Splendor Solis (1994) Orchestre National de Jazz – Black Dog from Close to Heaven: A Led Zeppelin Tribute (2006) Oh Well – Fleetwood Mac from The Vintage Years Live (2002) Stormy High – Black Mountain from In The Future (2008) Life Begins Again – Afro Celt Sound System featuring Robert Plant from Volume 3: Further In Time Blackwaterside – Bert Jansch from Jack Orion (1966) Get It On – Kingdom Come from Kingdom Come (1988) Since I’ve Been Loving You– Lez Zeppelin from Lez Zeppelin (2007) Barabajagal (Love Is Hot) – Donovan from Barabajagal (1969) The Battle of Evermore – The Lovemongers from Singles OST (1992) Shapes of Things – The Yardbirds from Greatest Hits Volume 1: 1964-1966 Rock ‘n’ Roll – Mos Def from Black On Both Sides (2002) Cult of Personality – Living Coloür from Vivid (1988) Whole Lotta Love – The Wonder Band from Stairway To Love (1979, out of print) Pretty Penny – Stone Temple …

How Bad Can It Be?: “Across the Universe”

Hey, you! You dig the Beatles, right? ‘course you do! That’s because you belong to some subset of the umbrella group Human Being With A Soul. So, enjoying the music of the Fab Four as you do, you rushed right out to theaters to catch director Julie Taymor’s gonzo Beatles fantasia Across the Universe, right? ‘course you didn’t! That’s because you also belong to some subset of the umbrella classification The Movie-Going Public; and nobody from that demographic appears to have bought a ticket. Well, not exactly nobody. The movie, which cost $45 million to make, did a worldwide gross of $25 million, playing on les than a thousand US screens at the height of its release. So, at a guess, it managed to scare up an audience of terrifying Beatles lifestylers, the friends and families of its cast and crew, and possibly Ringo (although he’s been pretty busy of late, apparently). Peter Frampton was allegedly ejected from a matinee engagement for shouting at the screen: “Ha! It’s not so easy, is it?” You see, …

Popdose Flashback: “Lyle Lovett and His Large Band”

By 1989, Lyle Lovett had already been kicking around for a couple of years. He cut a unique figure from the start, a Texan Eraserhead with a knife-slash mouth, and there was a buzz about his songwriting chops based on tunes like “God Will” and “Pontiac” — perfectly-crafted little gems, both gorgeous and unflinching. But there was, in his earlier records, a sense that Lyle was still a work in progress. His persona shifted variously to the traditionalist and ironist camps. With Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, from its ruthlessly literal title on down, he gets definitive by getting ambiguous. It’s a neat trick. “Here I Am” (download) stakes out Lovett’s unique territory. A stomping, shouting blues vamp is continually interrupted by a series of surreal, goofy asides. It’s pure vaudeville, of course — extending from a tradition that traces back to “The Arkansas Traveler” and the minstrel show — but rendered with such deadpan earnestness that it creates its own interzone of doubt and indeterminacy: Is he serious? Is he kidding? Maybe both, …

How Bad Can It Be?: Britney Spears, “Circus”

What’s weird about the discourse surrounding popular culture is how quickly it becomes self-reflexive. That is, it becomes possible to engage in the discussion as an end in itself, without any reference to the work. I’ve read thousands of words about both Bitches Brew and Metal Machine Music, for instance — absorbing and synthesizing the competing points of view — and yet I’ve never heard a note of either record.  (We can help you with the latter, Jack, whenever you’re ready — Ed.) That’s because I’m a big ol’ music nerd, of course. But the same thing happens, on an even bigger scale, with huge overground pop success; you can’t avoid the press, but you can avoid the product — usually without even trying. I’ve probably read tens of thousands of words about Britney Spears, and I’ve never intentionally listened to a Britney Spears song. Oh, I’ve been near a radio when her hits were playing, I’m sure, and I once sat through the video for “Toxic.” But simply by being an American media consumer, …

The Popdose Guide to the Pogues

In The Pogues’ breakthrough 1988 single “Fairytale of New York” (download), songwriter Shane MacGowan and guest vocalist Kirsty MacColl portray a codependent couple. He’s an aging alcoholic, gone beyond repentance, no longer even able to summon up an insincere promise to change. Her devotion to him has destroyed her patience, ruined her health; his devotion to the bottle has left him full of resentment and self-pity. But they’ll get back together, as they always do, and the dance of love and hate will go on. They’ll remember the good times, before it all went south, and cling to each other in mutual self-delusion. MacGowan’s genius is in showing us how willing these people are to let themselves be deluded. It’s a brilliant, harrowing bit of songwriting. And, whether MacGowan intended it so or not, it’s a brutally honest summation of the group dynamic of the Pogues. Origins What you think you know about The Pogues is mostly right. Irish by ethnicity if not by birth, the name from the Gaelic pogue mahone (“kiss my ass”). …

Mix Six: “The (Last) Last Airbender”

Greetings from the bottom of my glass of bourbon! Okay, my vacation wasn’t a complete alcoholiday, but I have to admit to a few hazy nights in Hawai’i. So, to help me out of my time zone/hangover stupor, our good friend Jack Feerick is going to continue mixing some tunage for you this week. So here we go with an Avatar– inspired mix to celebrate the return of this imaginative series. –Ted DOWNLOAD THE FULL MIX HERE One of my favorite animated shows of recent years is wrapping up its run this month — to surprisingly little fanfare. Avatar: The Last Airbender –known overseas as Avatar: the Legend of Aang — is miles removed from the anarchic humor of its Nickelodeon channel mates, Spongebob Squarepants or The Fairly OddParents. I’ll let the trailer below make the case: Avatar is an ambitious exercise in long-form storytelling and character development, an action-fantasy epic on a massive canvas, unfolding over three meticulously-planned seasons. With a broad cast of characters and cultures, the series is by turns funny, rousing, …

Mix Six: “Dog Days of Summer”

Hey, Mix Six fans! I’m on a much needed vacation this week, so Jack Feerick is going to be in charge of the mixing duties for a couple of weeks. This mix is a tail tale of the complex nature of love and loss — with a very cute creature in the center of the narrative. So, click the link to the tunes, read on, and I’ll meet you back here in a couple of weeks. Take it away, Jack! –Ted DOWNLOAD THE FULL MIX HERE …or, “I Got 99 Problems But a Bitch Ain’t One.” This is the bitch in question: The name they gave her at the shelter was Katya. When we adopted her in May, they told us she was about two years old.

Mix Six: “White Hot Days”

Once again kids, yours truly is handing over the mixing duties to Jack Feerick — who brought us a mix that “gave the drummer some.” This week’s mix celebrates a season that, at least for me in the Bay Area, lasts from May to October. I’m talking about summer, and all the good (and not-so-good) things that go with it. See ya next week! –Ted (AKA Py Korry) DOWNLOAD THE FULL MIX HERE There’s a website I like, called One-Minute Vacation. The content is simple enough—an ever-growing collection of digital field recordings donated by the site users themselves—but even more than the clips themselves I love the idea; that sound alone, even out of context, can transport us, can take our heads somewhere else in space and time. It’s not just ambient sound that does this. We’ve all got our personal pantheon of “summer songs,” and it’s about this time that the blogs and the corporate sites start running polls about our favorites. (Not so long ago, it would have been the radio stations doing …

Mix Six: “Drums Take the Melody”

Hiya kids! This week I have a guest DJ mixin’ it up for you. Jack Feerick wrote a great Popdose Guide to Traffic and, unsatisfied with lack of music love drummers usually get, has put together an eclectic Mix Six featuring some very imaginative rhythms. Before we get started, an obligatory drummer joke: A man walks into a shop and says to the shop assistant: “Excuse me, I’d like to buy a guitar pick, and some strings.” The shop assistant looks uncomprehendingly at his customer, and says “Pardon?” “I’d like a guitar pick please, and some strings.” The shop assistant thinks on this for a while, and then turns to his customer and says “You’re a drummer, aren’t you?” “Yeah! How did you know, man?” “This is a fish and chip shop.” And now, on with the show! Take it away, Jack. –Py Korry DOWNLOAD THE FULL MIX HERE I’ve played with a lot of drummers, and they’ve all had a drum key — but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one actually using it. …

The Popdose Guide to Traffic

This story I’m telling, it starts in the middle. But this is a story that loops and circles in on itself, like a cloverleaf roadway; you’ve got to start where you are, and go forward to the beginning. Imagine you’re Steve Winwood. As the Sixties turn into the Seventies, you’ve already made your bones with the Spencer Davis Group, formed Traffic and broken it up (twice), and headlined the supergroups Blind Faith and Ginger Baker’s Air Force. Now you’re in the studio, laying down tracks for what is supposed to be your first solo album. And you are twenty-two years old. Faced with a head-on plunge into rock superstardom and its pressures, and with the druggy chaos of Blind Faith still a fresh memory, perhaps it’s not surprising that you shy away. You retreat back to old collaborations, and even older musics — absorbing the sounds of English folksong and ’50s cool jazz. Moving forward, you loop back to where you started; Steve Winwood’s solo career goes on hold, and Traffic is reborn once more. …