Tag Archives: Michael Jackson

The Raconteurs

The Raconteurs‘ second album Consolers of the Lonely is released everywhere all at once today; buy it.

Jack White and Brendan Benson know telling a story is an art (hence the name of their collaborative effort), and so they gave the press very little advance warning about the album and did not release advance copies or songs. It was driving the critics nuts to not be able to listen until the hoi polloi had access. It’s a ploy to get press; it’s egalitarian; but more to the point it prevents advance-leak burnout: fan downloads two songs, and therefore lose the fire to go buy the album on iTunes.

When I first went to the throw-back Raconteurs website in anticipation of the first album, Broken Boy Soldiers, I remember thinking (and telling my friends) that The Raconteurs could be the next evolutionary step in rock music. I was let down in a big way because the band is merely very good, not paradigm-shifting good. But I have circled back around with more sane expectations, and can now truly enjoy things like watching them rock out Level, from that album. I can’t wait to see them at Bonnaroo!

Check this video for Steady, As She Goes, that really captures what it sounds like to listen to Jack wail, though in its close-ups his face often looks similar to Michael Jackson’s. Download the album version of the song, or get this fantastic acoustic version of Steady, As She Goes. The hook is from Joe Jackson’s Is She Really Going Out with Him? (which I first knew from the Goldfinger cover : )

U.S. tour dates for The Raconteurs:

April 20 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom
April 21 – Seattle, WA – Neumo’s
April 22 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
April 23 – San Francisco, CA – Bimbo’s 365 Club
April 25 – Indio, CA – Coachella
April 26 – Las Vegas, NV – The Joint
April 28 – Denver, CO – The Fillmore Auditorium
April 29 – Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theatre
May 1 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues
May 2 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s BBQ
May 3 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s BBQ
May 4 – New Orleans, LA – New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
June 13 – Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo

Brendan Benson writes songs that sound like The White StripesCoke Ad song. Download five songs of his if you’re not familiar. And, yeah, the ipod commercial for What I’m Looking For is his.

~~~

In other news:

The new Gnarls Barkley album The Odd Couple is in stores today, earlier than expected.

Blikk Fang is a side project for a dude from MGMT and another from Of Montreal; the convoluted details can potentially be discerned from this muddy Pitchfork article. I listened to two downloadable tunes here and just didn’t care for them. However, it is news, for sure, and the collaboration of Jack and Brendon reminded me to post something about it.

6 Comments

Filed under Concerts, Covers, Music Videos, New

Quality Cover Songs

I have compiled some links to other blogs’ I-drink-your-milkshake-good mp3 downloads of covers. Enjoy.

Chris Cornell masterminds a gritty, soulful, mind-blowing cover of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean.

Sufjan Stevens croons a cover of R.E.M.’s This One Goes Out to the One I Love.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience rocks Cream’s already-rockin’ Sunshine of Your Love.

Andrew Bird sweetly covers Bob Dylan’s Oh, Sister.

Tangoterje remixes Paul Simon’s Diamonds on the Souls of Her Shoes into Diamonds Dub.

And there’s a CD of covers to be bought: Stax Does the Beatles, featuring Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, and lots more.

1 Comment

Filed under Covers

Top-Shelf Jukebox Songs

So I’m chalking my pool cue at the pub this loverly St. Patrick’s Day, and I says to my friend, I says, “List of the best jukebox tunes? …”

Billie Jean
– Michael Jackson
Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl) – Looking Glass
Roxanne – The Police
Superstition – Stevie Wonder
Fishing in the Dark – Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Cecilia – Simon and Garfunkel
Fire and Rain – James Taylor
Gloria – Van Morrison
Black Betty – Ram Jam
Amie – Pure Prairie League
Me and Bobby McGee – Janis Joplin
Melissa – The Allman Brothers Band
The Weight – The Band
Can’t You See – The Marshall Tucker Band
Proud Mary – Creedence Clearwater Revival (sorry Tina)
Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers
Chain of Fools – Aretha Franklin
Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who
Son of a Preacher Man – Dusty Springfield
War – Edwin Starr
After Midnight – Eric Clapton
Come Together – The Beatles
Sympathy for the Devil – The Rolling Stones
All Along the Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix
Somebody to Love – Jefferson Airplane
Black Water – The Doobie Brothers
American Pie – Don McLean
Sunday Bloody Sunday – U2
Oh! Sweet Nuthin’ – The Velvet Underground

1990s:
No Rain – Blind Melon
Self Esteem – The Offspring
Are You Gonna Be My Girl – Jet
Say It Isn’t So – Weezer
Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden
Heaven Beside You – Alice in Chains
Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
Bound for the Floor – Local H
In the Meantime – Spacehog
Hunger Strike – Temple of the Dog
Santa Monica – Everclear
Creep – Radiohead
Mary Jane’s Last Dance – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Lightning Crashes – Live
Super Bon Bon – Soul Coughing
Possum Kingdom – The Toadies
Killing Me Softly – The Fugees
Time Bomb – Rancid
What I Got – Sublime
If You Could Only See – Tonic
Closing Time – Semisonic
Hey Man, Nice Shot – Filter
Mr. Jones – Counting Crows
1979 – Smashing Pumpkins
Yellow Ledbetter – Pearl Jam
Pepper – Butthole Surfers
Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart – Stone Temple Pilots
Machinehead – Bush
Devil’s Haircut – Beck
When I Come Around – Greenday

Bonus:
Hurt – Johnny Cash

Such lists are necessarily, perpetually, horrendously incomplete. Make things right in the comments section!

4 Comments

Filed under Lists

Michael Jackson

Last week the Michael Jackson empire rolled out Thriller 25, a remastered anniversary edition of the best selling album EVER. It includes a bonus track recorded with in the original studio sessions but previously unreleased, titled For All Time, plus some songs reworked by artists inlcuding will.i.am, Fergie, Beyonce, Wyclef Jean, Akon, and Pharrell Williams. You can buy it here, if you want to assure yourself the cover art of your choosing, or here where you cans stream clips of the new songs to judge them for yourself.

The video here pimping Thriller 25 features some of the artists and Quincy Jones; it’s fun to watch.

The reviews are mixed, but the general consensus is that the new songs look pretty bad next to the nine tracks that the world knows so well. Gimmicks? Sure. But I’m strangely comfortable with it; I’m just glad they’re reason enough for another generation to get on board.

The best bonus of all on the 25 is hearing Vincent Price’s maniacal laugh: “Michael Jackson is the Thriller. Can you dig it? Ha ha ha….!”

Also, it’s imperative you watch MJ’s 1984 Grammys performance of Billie Jean on YouTube. Rolling Stone hails that song’s influential pop brilliance thus: “Madonna made her own version of ‘Billie Jean,’ retitled ‘Like a Virgin.’ Stevie Nicks called her version ‘Stand Back,’ Pat Benatar called hers ‘Love Is a Battlefield.’ Bob Dylan called his ‘Tight Connection to My Heart.’ Yet none of them could touch the original.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Covers, Music Videos, New