42/365: Under the covers part 2: Just R.E.M.

There are three songs on Dead Letter Office that blow my mind. Those would be the Velvet Underground covers, obviously.

Like a majority of R.E.M.’s cover versions in the ’80s, their arrangements for Velvet Underground tunes seemed intent on reverse-engineering them in order to uncover their connections to past generations kind of like a form of musical genealogy. This is especially true of their take on “There She Goes Again” from the Velvets’ debut album — stripped of Lou Reed’s tough guy persona, the song is neat and streamlined into pure bubblegum. It’s such a shame more people haven’t heard it.

“Pale Blue Eyes” and “Femme Fatale”are a slightly different matter. For both songs, the arrangements are reasonably close to the Velvet Underground versions, but Michael Stipe’s approach to the vocals is rather sentimental and straight-forward compared to the original performances by Reed and Nico, respectively. I love love love both of these songs. And I admit, I prefer the covers to the originals; R.E.M will always be in my top three bands, so it should be surprising that I like those best.

In this post and the post before last, I hope I’ve given you reasons to download Dead Letter Office. It’s so damn good.

Here are the songs I’ve mentioned.

41/367: Under the Covers

I thought I’d share my favorite Adam Duritz/Counting Crows covers today. These are songs either Adam recorded in his apartment, just him and his piano or they’re from the fun album Underwater Sunshine (or what we did on our summer vacation).

I’ll start with The Cars song “You Might Think.” I hate The Cars, but I love the arrangement of this cover.

Next up is Ryan Adams’ “Come Pick Me Up.” This is all around a great song. Ryan Adams is fantastic.

Again, I do not like Madonna. At all. But here’s a fantastic version of “Borderline.” It’s fun, it’s stripped down. I love it.

This one is originally by the great band, Teenage Fanclub. If you don’t have their album Bandwagonesque, go download it right now. I’ll wait. Ok, the song is “Start Again.” Here it is.

So, that’s a little of what I’m listening to right now. A different side of my favorite band.

Y’all have a fantastic weekend. ❤️

40/365: Headachey & foggy

I’m in a headache fog and the Olympic Opening Ceremony Parade of Nations is in the Korean alphabetical order and everything is weird.

So, this will be a short post.

Dead Letter Office is a fun album of B-sides and rare tracks R.E.M. released in 1987. I cannot tell you how much I love this album. Stupid love. I love the Velvet Underground covers — they are magic. But the best song on the album is “Voice of Harold.” The song is what happened when Michael Stipe was bored recording “7 Chinese Brothers” and picked up a gospel album called The Joy of Knowing Jesus by The Revelaires and started singing the liner notes to the music of “7 Chinese Brothers.” It’s weird, but weird-good. Here’s what I found on the You Tube because obviously there is no video (but I’m willing to make one.) Enjoy the weirdness! Love, KBF.

39/365: Songs That should not be Olympic figure skating songs

I love the Olympics. I don’t know why. My mom and I always watched the ice skating programs and those were my favorite (mostly to laugh when they fell) of all. I loved the musical aspect. I still do. Tonight, the male technical program was on and a skater skated to “Dust in the Wind.” Good Lawd no. I’d already started this post, but that sealed it.

And now, the Kerry Blog list of songs no Olympic skater should use to perform.

  • Smack My Bitch Up – Prodigy
  • Ben – Michael Jackson
  • Don’t Worry be Happy – Bobby McFerrin
  • It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp – Djay f/ Shug
  • She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy – Kenny Chesney
  • Your Body Is a Wonderland – John Mayer
  • Afternoon Delight – Starland Vocal Band
  • We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off – Jermaine Stewart (still one of The Kerry Blog’s personal favorites)
  • Inna-Gadda-Da-Vita – Iron Butterfly
  • I’m In Love With A Stripper – T. Pain with Mike Jones
  • Goonies R Good Enough – Cyndi Lauper
  • (You’re) Having My Baby – Paul Anka
  • We Didn’t Start The Fire – Billy Joel
  • I’m Henry VII I Am – Herman’s Hermits
  • Ebony and Ivory – Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder
  • Sussudio – Phil Collins (really, anything by Phil Collins)
  • Who Let The Dogs Out – Baha Men
  • Billy, Don’t Be a Hero – Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods
  • All For Love – Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting
  • Revolution 9 – The Beatles
  • Can I Touch You… There? – Michael Bolton
  • The Twist (Yo, Twist!) – Fat Boys featuring Chubby Checker
  • Ironic – Alanis Morrisette
  • I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) – Meatloaf
  • Rump Shaker – Wreckz-n-Effect
  • What’s Up? – 4 Non Blonds

And

  • Hey Foxymophandlemama, That’s Me by Pearl Jam

You’re welcome Olympians!

38/365: One cool thing

Today when I was in the prescription pickup line at CVS, my 14 year old told me she walked into choir and before class a good friend was singing “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” by the band Cake. My daughter started singing along. The friend said “you know Cake?!” Of course she does, I play it often. Here are my top three by Cake.

“Short Skirt/Long Jacket”

“Love You Madly”

“Let Me Go”

37/365: Things I did when I couldn’t sleep last night

I couldn’t sleep last night. Here are the things I did because I could not sleep:

  • Rearranged pantry. The pantry was a little out of wack. I’m not OCD in the least, but I like my pantry a certain way as most people do. The spices were all crazy. The honey was with the spices! The cumin was next to the nutmeg! For Pete’s sake, spices can’t be placed just anywhere. Some people might not care. Those people are animals. Some people may organize their spices alphabetically, not me. My spices are on a little shelf — top shelf: Italian spices, 2nd shelf: savory spices, 1 shelf: Mexican/chiles, bottom row: the aromatic spices associated with desserts or breads. The tall spice mixes such as Tony Chacherie’s are on the left, extracts on the right. See, no OCD here.
  • Watched an episode of Psych. This show is all fun. I don’t know how I didn’t see it when it originally aired.
  • Deleted a few songs from my “Kerry’s 90s +” playlist.
  • Played on Instagram.
  • Decided that Facebook and Instagram are profiling me. I’ve seen an ad for some chubby girls clothing company several times on FB, now Instagram. I know I’m chubby, but the clothes look cheap. I don’t do cheap.
  • Deleted photos off my phone.
  • Stared at my surgerized finger forever wondering if it’s ever going to look right again. There is a fairly big hole in my nail that’s growing out and looks pretty ugly. I was told it might not grow back pretty. If you know me, that isn’t an option.
  • Made a mental grocery list.
  • Thought about the kids’ Valentine goodies. I’m pretty sure I’ll get them big chocolate heart boxes, then take the chocolates out and replace them with chicken nuggets. I’ll keep the chocolates because my mama didn’t raise no fool.
  • Made a mental list of what to bring to my mom’s next week.
  • Watched another episode of Psych. I’m telling you — funny stuff.
  • Clorox wiped the kitchen counters. That’s A LOT of granite.
  • Filed my nails.
  • Paid the kids’ school lunch money online
  • Wrote down the words “second hand drunk” in my phone notes because 1) that’s funny and 2) that’s a good short story title.

And that’s when I went to bed. How about a song for tonight?

“Up All Night (Frankie Miller Hoes to Hollywood)” by my boys Counting Crows was released in 2002 on the Hard Candy album (fantastic album). It was my Canada album, as I was living in Canada right after it came out. It’s one of my absolute favorite driving songs. The reason you’re getting the album version and not one of the four or five live versions is because Adam Duritz really shines with his range and big vocals and the boys have some excellent harmony.

Love it. Play it several times a week. Enjoy — especially if you’re up all night.

36/365: Unspirational quotes

This is me faking a blog post with unspirational quotes. Also, pick up needlepoint for fun. Don’t read this if you’re sensitive to curse words and shit like that.

35/365: Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk

It’s game night and no one’s reading blogs, so I don’t feel the pressure to write a “real” post. The truth is I’m in the depressed part of my brand (of mental illness). I’m ok, I’m going through the motions and I can manage like this, though I don’t like to.

So, Dear Readers, here’s a song by Rufus Wainwright and covered by Nataly Dawn that I consider to be a pretty perfect song. It’s a little stream of consciousness, which I like. Plus the wonderful ending stanza:

“I’m just a little bit heiress, a little bit Irish

A little bit Tower of Pisa

Whenever I see ya

So please be kind, if I’m a mess”

34/365: Photographs

Sometimes I think I’m fine or that something won’t bother me anymore. Maybe time takes time, like Ringo said. Maybe. Another song by Mr. Starr is beneath the poem.

This is a poem by Lang Leav. She writes all the feelings.

“Photograph” by Ringo Starr

33/365: Not only Groundhog’s Day, but everyday

In a lot of ways it feels as though I’m stuck like in the film Groundhog’s Day, but mine is more of a bi-polarhog’s day. I guess I’ve felt this tug for a week or so and I’ve had a few headaches too. It’s the feeling that I’m not quite myself. It’s not bad, it just feels different. Less me. I guess that means more illness. I’m not going to let it get me down because I’ve been doing pretty damn well. I’ve had my days. And I’ve yelled at inanimate objects and maybe a photo or two, but that’s perfectly normal (don’t act like you haven’t done that).

Still.