Best Cover Songs: Dancing in the Dark Edition

John Legend visited Howard Stern the other morning and performed a bunch of his songs. Yes, there are people that still listen to Howard Stern and that person in me.

The one song that’s been haunting me, however, is not one of Legend’s originals. It’s a cover song originally performed by Bruce Springsteen, who I can’t stand.

I grew up in the 80’s which meant I was attacked by the video for “Dancing in the Dark” constantly. Yes – the one that Courtney Cox is in.

I’ve heard this song so many times that I never really paid attention to the words. I just glazed over and waited patiently for a new Duran Duran video. I had no idea how bleak the lyrics were. They’re so dark and melancholy that I immediately fell in love with it. It’s amazing what some piano can do.

If The Boss is this depressed, than I might start giving his stuff another listen. Or it might just be better if other people kept covering his songs. Actually, yeah – let’s go with that.

Edited to add the first time Legend performed this on Jimmy Fallon, which is amazing.

Before You Know Kindness : Kindle Quickie Book Review

I confess – I didn’t finish this book. It just didn’t reel me in immediately and then I decided life was too short to plod through boring books, especially when I had Gone Girl to contend with. Sorry, Before You Know Kindness. You just weren’t interesting enough.

I love how there’s sticker that says “read by Blair Brown” at the bottom of the book. WHO GIVES A F&CK? Put a “Read by Stevie Wonder” sticker there and then I’ll be intrigued, buster.

However, Amy Poehler, who is awesome,  thought it was a good book to read with hard nips and a smoke. Perhaps THAT’S the promotional text they need to include on the bottom of the books.

 

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Are you listening book promoters?? What can I say? I’m tomorrow’s adwoman…Today

Best Cover Songs: Baker Street Edition

Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty. This quintessential 70’s song is somewhat of a paradox – It is simultaneously the best and worst song existing at once; it’s relaxing with underlying a sense of urgency; manly and wussy; vadge rock’s ying to cock rocks’ yang.

 

 

Does the sax make it more badass or more annoying? Is it kickass or soothing? Irritating or relaxing? I have no idea. But it’s uneven and perfect.

I hope scientists study this aural anomaly and apply it to pop stars like Rihanna to even out the suckage with something delightful.

Enter Foo Fighters’ amazing cover.

Dave Grohl recognizes and respects the duality power of Baker Street. However, he knows that the sax part is unparalleled and wisely decides to not match it with another sax. Instead he uses a guitar for the sax part and the result is EFFING BANANAS!!!

He updates the lyrics somewhat with our despondent protagonist giving up the “crack” instead of the “booze”.

 

I was always thought of Rafferty’s voice to be something of audible ambian; staying at an even, mellow, calming keel. Grohl’s unique voice, however, also contains this subdued tone but he also can switch to an intense, despairing growl howl.

In the hands (and instruments) of the Foo Fighters, I think this song becomes what it was always meant to be: an intense accusation born of despondency and hopelessness. (And an awesome addition to my running playlist)