To celebrate/exploit the release of Varshons, the new covers album by Evan Dando‘s Lemonheads, Bootleg City is covering its own covers-filled edition from July 27, 2007. Of course, back in those days there was no Popdose.

“But Mayor Cass,” the children always ask, “where did people go when they wanted to download music for free and write comments underneath the accompanying text that was only tangentially related to said text?”

“My my!” I answer. “What big words you have in your … um … don’t tell me … starts with a V …”

That’s when their smiles usually vanish. “Fine, we’ll dumb it down for you, old man. What was it called before it was called Popdose?

For those who don’t know, before there was Popdose there was Jefitoblog, and whenever its creator, Popdose’s Jeff Giles, was foolish enough to allow guest writers to contribute, he’d often have to upload all their MP3s for them along with all their text. Uploading MP3s is a time-consuming, hand-cramping, soul-fisting process. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun being mayor of Bootleg City, but if there was a way to charge you people a nonreading tax so I could buy some child labor that would upload the MP3s for me, I’d do it in a heartbeat. (Of course I wouldn’t underpay them. I love those little octothorp ampersand percent sign exclamation points.)

However, I’m glad Jeff no longer has to upload songs for me, because (1) he does more for Popdose than you’ll ever know and deserves our eternal gratitude, and (2) I don’t trust him one bit with my stuff. Never have, never will. The real Jeff Giles writes for Newsweek — who does this “Jeff DeWester” impostor think he is?

I’ve gotten several requests for the Lemonheads/Evan Dando rarities that were featured on Jefitoblog two years ago, including an e-mail the other day from a woman hoping to surprise a friend with the Lemonheads’ 1993 cover of Buddy Holly’s “Learning the Game.” Another request came from a Canadian gentleman who asked me to e-mail him some Lemonheads songs before traveling to a desolate backwater where Internet access would be virtually impossible. “Oh, you mean Montreal?” I said.

Je plaisante, Quebecois! You know I’m just jealous that Bootleg City can’t claim William Shatner as a native son.


N.I.B. (WERS, Boston: 1/11/88)
A Circle of One (“Peel Sessions,” BBC Radio 1, London: 7/4/89)
Gonna Get Along Without Ya Now (“Gonna Get Along Without Ya Now” 7-inch single, 1991)
Learning the Game (“Into Your Arms” single, 1993)
He’s on the Beach (“Big Gay Heart” single, 1994)
My Hero, Zero (Schoolhouse Rock! Rocks, 1996)
Keep On Loving You (“It’s All True” single, 1996)
I Don’t Want to Go Home (“If I Could Talk I’d Tell You” single, 1996)
How Will I Know (acoustic, “If I Could Talk I’d Tell You” single, 1996)
Black Gown (acoustic, “Become the Enemy” 7-inch single, 2006)


$1000 Wedding (Purple Dragon Studios, Atlanta: 4/13/93)
Silent Night (So This Is Christmas, 1994)
The Ballad of El Goodo (Empire Records soundtrack, 1995)
Hot Coals (Heavy soundtrack, 1996)
Rudy With a Flashlight (The Best of the Lemonheads: The Atlantic Years, international version, 1998)
Knowing Me, Knowing You (ABBA: A Tribute — The 25th Anniversary Celebration, 1999)
Tongue Tied (“Stop My Head” single, 2003; recorded in 1999)
Whoops (“It Looks Like You” 7-inch single, 2003)
Abandoned (live bootleg)
Sin City (live bootleg)


For Shame of Doing Wrong (with Syd Straw; Beat the Retreat: Songs by Richard Thompson, 1994)
Piss-Bottle Man (with Mike Watt; Ball-Hog or Tugboat?, 1995)
It’s Up to You (with Ben Kweller; Brattle Theatre, Boston: 10/18/00)
Love Song (Dando Lee Petersson Schwartzman, “Dead or Anything” single, 2002)

Finally, here’s the Lemonheads covering Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” — by way of Morrissey and Joy Division — at Lee’s Palace in Toronto (beat it, Montreal!) on July 24, 2007, three days prior to the Jefitoblog version of this trip to Bootleg City. The cosmic ballet goes on …

About the Author

Robert Cass

Robert Cass lives in Chicago. For Popdose he's written under the Sugar Water, Bootleg City, and Box Office Flashback banners and collaborated on the series 'Face Time with Jeff Giles and Mike Heyliger.

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