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 …
Look, Ma! We can count to a hundred!
Robin Monica Alexander and Kelly Stitzel conclude their look at Madonna’s career by discussing the odds and ends of her discography and their favorite Madonna videos.
Join Robin Monica Alexander and Kelly Stitzel as they continue their look at Her Madgesty’s illustrious career.
In celebration of Madonna’s 53rd birthday, Robin Monica Alexander and Kelly Stitzel take a look back at her incredible — and controversial — career.
No one could top the Clash, so Mick Jones didn’t try…instead, he forged his own path with the brainy dance music of Big Audio Dynamite. Robin Monica Alexander looks back at “The Globe.”
Bigmouth strikes again: Robin Monica meets you at the cemetry gates to observe the 25th anniversary of the seminal British album.
Robin Monica Alexander takes a momentary break from pigging out at the Shake Shack to explain, in the latest “Random Play,” why you should pig out there, too.
The millennium has come and gone, but “Angels in America” is eternal. Robin Monica Alexander retraces its twenty-year history in a new “Random Play.”
Like Reva Shayne coming back from the dead, Kelly Stitzel and Robin Monica Alexander aren’t quite done with their tribute to the once-great, now-canceled soap.
Springfield’s lighthouse no longer shines, but memories of Guiding Light, the longest-running soap opera in history, still burn brightly for Kelly Stitzel and Robin Monica Alexander.
In the latest Random Play, Robin Monica Alexander explains how hip-hop group Yo Majesty is as American as apple f***in’ pie.
Robin Monica Alexander drinks Stoli and devotes the last Random Play of 2010 to her favorite variety of booze.
Robin Monica Alexander loves Shakespeare, but she hates racism more. In the latest Random Play, she asks why we keep making excuses for “The Merchant of Venice.”
Pork, pickles, barbecue sauce and a bun: it’s the McRib! And it’s back! Robin Monica Alexander analyzes its mysterious appeal in the latest Random Play.
Random Play remembers Greg Giraldo, a Harvard Law School grad who put his education to use telling jokes about Viagra, drug addiction, washed-up celebs and fat kids. The world won’t be the same without him.
Robin Monica Alexander and Kelly Stitzel revisit I’m Breathless, Madonna’s 1990 soundtrack tie-in to Warren Beatty’s comic-strip blockbuster Dick Tracy.
Twinkie dipped in chocolate, or dessert of the gods? In her latest Random Play, Robin Monica Alexander sings the praises of the Chocodile.
Twenty years ago, Harry Connick shared his recipe for love — and led a new generation of pop crooners to rediscover some time-tested platinum ingredients.
In which Robin Monica Alexander, who ingested many illegal substances during her childhood, suffers an LSD flashback to the ill-fated Happy Days spinoff.
Writing a song is easy. You just bang out a chain of chords, always driving to the chorus as fast and as often as possible. Then you throw on some lyrics; nothing fancy, nothing fluffy. “Oh girl, you are my world, take my heart, but don’t tear it apart,” that sort of thing. Writing a good song, now that is something else. With that as the intention, you’re presupposing you’ll create something people will want to hear, not once, but often. It is, in part, about the sweat you put into it, the constant scrutiny, the self-editing, the willingness to take a little constructive criticism without feeling like your ego has been run over. That will get you halfway there, but then there’s the rest of the ride where strange things start to happen, an alchemy between the players, the parts and even the times in which the song arrives collude to make something greater than the parts alone. To get to the latter, you have to be ready to accept the former and do …
Join Robin Monica Alexander in a filthy, fascinating world of neurotic gunslingers, psychotic whoremongers, and corpse-eating pigs, won’t you?
The recent rash of celebrity deaths has Robin Monica Alexander thinking of River Phoenix’s untimely demise.
So, are there any Southland fans still reading Popdose? Excellent! This giveaway is especially for you. A lucky reader will win the brand-new, uncensored Season One set courtesy of Warner Home Video, but we’re not going to just give it away (you knew there was a catch!) We all know Southland Season 2 is now a part of TNT’s roster after the show was dumped by NBC to make space for The Jay Leno Show. Apparently, in between that and Leno’s return to The Tonight Show, there was some sort of controversy, some late-night melee I wasn’t aware of. I’m confident our readers are much more up-to-date and, therefore, our little quiz will be a piece of cake. The first reader to answer all five questions correctly via e-mail wins the prize. Do a little dance, make a little love, get down… NOW! 1) What was Tom Hanks’ nickname for Conan O’Brien? 2) What did Leno say Jimmy Kimmel did to him when he was a guest on The Jay Leno Show? 3) Leno went …
What’s a cave bear, and how many to a clan? We aren’t sure, but after reading Robin Monica Alexander’s latest column, we want to learn.
This is where the party ends, ’cause we can’t stand here listening to They Might Be Giants’ Flood turning 20 years old. Twenty! Where has the time gone? And why does someone keep moving my chair?
There have been a lot of boys, and men, whose pictures I have torn out of magazines for my personal use. The first may have been Michael Jackson, of whom I was so publicly enamored that one Christmas, two different people gave me an MJ calendar – the same one. (This was in the Thriller period, when his skin was still brown and his nose still apparently functional.) The most recent was Robert Downey Jr., whose rehabbed visage is this very moment hanging on my bedroom wall. Possibly combining the best attributes of both of these examples – artistic brilliance, overwhelming charisma, unflappable self-confidence – is the artist formerly known as Sting. Well, I suppose he’s still known as Sting, but it seems strange to me that that bearded, New Agey staple of Adult Contemporary radio is the same guy whose 1988 concert at Madison Square Garden imbued me with such a feeling of well-being that I referred to it as “the Sting high.”
Robin Monica Alexander delves into the psychology of guilty pleasures, and recalls her childhood fascination over the movie “Irreconcilable Differences.”
I barely knew him. Yet here I was, on a cold Tuesday night, at his apartment. We had had a drink or two at the bar/lounge/restaurant down the street from his place. As one would expect of a screenwriter, he had framed classic film posters on the walls, and a big bookshelf full of DVDs dominated the living room. I confess I remember only one, the one that made my breath catch and my heart skip a beat. “Oh, yeah,” he said as I gently took it down and turned it over in my hands. “I wrote the first draft of the screenplay for that project.” My face began to get hot. It was a sign. Despite his ponytail and potentially cheesy facial hair, I really was supposed to be here. “To be honest,” he continued, “I don’t really like the source material much.” Gentle reader, I wish I could say I walked out upon hearing this. But I didn’t. He did have excellent taste in literature, and despite the hair choices, he was definitely …
Join our newest writer, Robin Monica Alexander, as she takes you on a genre and era-bouncing trip through pop culture — today, she looks back at her teenage obsession with V.C. Andrews’ “Flowers in the Attic.”