All posts tagged: Robin Monica Alexander

catcovers

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 …

Introducing Songwork: A Popdose Mini-Series

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 …

Popdose Contest: Win “Southland: The Complete First Season” on DVD

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 …

Random Play: Sting (in the ’80s)

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.”

Random Play: “Robotech”

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 …