Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Humpday Covers: Summer Special

This week Humpday Covers is proud to announce that it is having a Summer Special.

The start of summer break is just around the corner. In fact, this time next week I will be done with school for the year! Celebrate with me by listening to these covers! Some may just blow your mind-hole!

First Aid Kit -
The Swedish duo have done some rather amazing work recently. However, what really attracted my ears recently is their cover of the Fleet Foxes track titled "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song". First Aid Kit exploits the songs harmonies and create a unique cover that uses thier own strengths. (i.e. sing like angels with really awesome ranges) All in all this track is as awesome as the Fleet Foxes track, if not better. Use this song as a gateway to get into some of First Aid Kit's other stuff. If you like First Aid Kit, you should hear their album Drunken Trees.

First Aid Kit - Tiger Mountain Peasant Song (Fleet Foxes cover)
Buy First Aid Kit

Joey Ramone -

We all know the Ramones sound. For this next cover think about a Ramones version of the easy going classic "What A Wonderful World". Sure it may be over the top... sure it may sound like all of the other Ramones songs... But that doesnt mean it is a bad cover. In fact, I think Joey Ramone deserves some credit on this cover. Its exactly what we want it to sound like.

Joey Ramone - What A Wonderful World (cover)
Buy Joey Ramone

Michael Franti & Spearhead with the Gift Of Gab -

Michael Franti covers the Sublime classic "What I Got". Now for some reason Sublime always reminds me of Summer. It could be because of the laidback mellowness of Sublime...almost perfect to just sit back by the beach. Franti and Co. turn "What I Got" into a slightly more reggae version while giving proper respect to Sublime. (Which makes perfect sense because the track is off of a Tribute to Sublime)

Michael Franti & Spearhead with Gift Of Gab - What I Got (Sublime Cover)
buy Michael Franti

Isaac Hayes-
Ahhh the late great Isaac Hayes. Everyone knows this mans signature deep bass voice, now pair that with some Bob Dylan and you have some suprisingly good baby making music...Just in time for the summer. Isaac Hayes managed to turn "Lay Lady Lay" into a completely different song, one that I bet even Dylan would be satisfied with.

Isaac Hayes - Lay Lady Lay (Bob Dylan cover)
buy Issac Hayes

Remember, if you like it buy it.
And comments are always welcome.

-Happiness Is A Warm Gun

Monday, April 27, 2009

Just Discovered: Ronald Jenkees

During my last radio show of the semester I had a caller tell me that I should check out this guy he found on youtube. His name was Ronald Jenkees. I wrote down the name and decided to check him out once I got back to my house. Well, we all know what happens when we put something in our pockets...It gets lost until laundry day!

As I was cleaning out my pockets I came across the name and decided that I have to check this guy out. I found myself on youtube looking at a guy who addresses his viewers as youtubers in a high somewhat country-ish accent. So far, not impressed. It took me approximately 30 seconds for me to completely change my mind. However, it wasn't enough for me to go out and buy his album.

Then I came across this video:

It completely blew me away, and as a result I now own his album.

Ronald is a master at Fruity Loops and he is also a really good pianist.
I am anxious to see how his career is going to pan out. I hope he starts playing with bands like STS9 and Lotus. If you really dig Girl Talk, Dan Deacon, STS9, and Lotus you will probably dig this dude.

Listen to Ronald Jenkees
Ronald Jenkees - STS9 Collab
Ronald Jenkees - Clutter

Remember if you digg this buy his stuff!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ben Folds Presents: University A Cappella!

North Carolina native, Ben Folds has once again experimented with a new musical style and has come out on top. His new album is as experimental as Fear of Pop Vol. 1, but this time instead of experimenting with instruments and production, Folds has toured around the country to find A Capella groups to pick sing his sounds.

Seeing that I spent a good deal of high school studying music and singing, Ben Fold's new project University A Capella! is very exciting. In recent years A Capella has been slowly creeping into the indie scene. More and more groups are covering indie artists like Animal Collective and Fleet Foxes. The end result is something that is magical because all of the sounds are coming from human voices. The harmonies, beat boxing, and the obvious choral talent in this album is a testament to all A Capella groups. I am sure this album will inspire others to take up singing other indie artists in A Capella.

This disc grows on you and is something that is truly something to be proud of. This disc is the reason why music should still be taught in schools. I sincerely hope that you will listen to this album. Even if you are not a A Capella Fan, or a Ben Folds fan, you can still appreciate this albums message.

You can listen to the whole album streaming from Ben Fold's iLike page, Or you can listen to local UNCG's Spartone's version of Not The Same (Which happens to be the first song on the album) Right here.

Not The Same (The Spartones from Univ of N Carolina Greensboro) - From Ben Fold's presents University A Capella!

Remember that Ben Fold's presents University A Capella! comes out this Tuesday 4/28.
Please go out and buy this album! Seriously.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Duke: LDOC Concert Review: Girl Talk, Gym Class Heroes, Ben Folds

I love music. This blog is a testament to that. What do I love more than a good concert? An Awesome FREE CONCERT!!

My wishes were fufilled with Dukes LDOC festival, which happened to be on Earth Day this year! LDOC stands for Last Day Of Classes. In the past they have had musical talents like Common, Kanye West, The Roots, Guster, and Third Eye Blind. However, this year they finally made it a true festival with the inclusion of Girl Talk, Gym Class Heroes and Ben Folds.

The concert was free and tons of students at Duke and the surrounding college's came to witness some of the free goodness. Now, to be honest I was there for Girl Talk and Ben Folds. I had barely heard of Gym Class Heroes and I had only heard of "that one song they do", we all know it, the one that samples that Supertramp song. Its titled "Cupid's Chokehold", so from my previous experience of Gym Class Heroes I wasn't too stoked to see them.

That all changed in a matter of seconds.
They put on a hell of a show and I was groovin', dancin', and singin' along to some really catchy songs.

Sometimes they sounded like beastie boys, other times they sounded like Atmosphere, and other times they sounded like a pop group. Their eclectic sound was very much needed at LDOC, and great to dance to.

LISTEN To Gym Class Heroes
Gym Class Heroes - Peace Sign/Index Down feat. Busta Rhymes

Speaking about great to dance to...
Girl Talk was everything you could expect. A skinny white guy, who sheds his clothes, while spitting instant dance party magic from the magical computer he has. And no dance party can be complete without toilet paper guns, giant balloon heads, and a guy who looks like one of those samuri things in 300. Of course the finale was the best, and I found some really awesome pictures and a clip from J Caldwell's flickr account.

Listen to the Finale!

Kelly Clarkson - Since You Been Gone
MC Hammer - 2 Legit 2 Quit

***Girl Talk***

U.G.K. f/ OutKast - International Player's Anthem
Roy Orbison - Oh, Pretty Woman
DJ Funk - Pump That Shit
Isley Brothers - You Make Me Wanna Shout
Rich Boy - Drop
Birdman & Lil Wayne - Poppin Bottles
Journey - Faithfully

***Girl Talk***

U.G.K. f/ OutKast - International Player's Anthem

Girl Talk - 2 Legit 2 Quit (live at Duke's LDOC 200

Ben Folds was a great performance, however, after seeing him already once this year, you can kinda tell that he was out of his element. It must be tough to be the headliner after Girl Talk, and Gym Class Heroes. By this point in time, people in the audience were good and boozed up, and ready to continue the party. Not a lot of people appreciated the A Cappella performance of Duke's A Cappella group before Ben Folds came on. This is obviously a promo for his new cd Ben Folds Presents: University a Capella, coming out late next week. I felt bad for Ben, not a lot of people recognized his new songs and they kept shouting requests for "Rock This Bitch" which in my personal concert experience is very rare to hear. However, Ben still put on a good show. Some highlights include the revitalized "Bitches Ain't Shit (Dr. Dre Cover)" and basically everything from Rockin' the Suburbs, including "Still Fighting It," "Annie Waits", "Not the Same", and" Rockin' The Suburbs". Ben Still Rocked that Bitch at the LDOC, even if "Rock this Bitch" was absent.

Here is Ben Fold's setlist:
Lovesick Diagnostician
Dr. Yang
Hiroshima (B-B-B-Benny Hit His Head)
Annie Waits
Still Fighting It
Sentimental Guy
Bitch Went Nutz
Free Coffee
Zak and Sara
Rockin' the Suburbs
Not the Same
You Don't Know Me
Bitches Ain't Shit

[Photo by Kevin Norris]

LISTEN to Ben Fold's
Ben Folds - Bitches Ain't Shit (Dr. Dre Cover)

It was awesome to be up on the front row for all of this! I had an amazing time. Lets see Duke top this years LDOC next year!

buy Ben Folds
buy Gym Class Heroes
buy Girl Talk

*More Pictures and possibly Gym Class Heroes setlist later this week*

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Humpday Covers: The Braids

So its Humpday Again,
If you are a regular you may notice, posts are becoming thinner and thinner mostly due to the fact that school is taking up my life.
Its ok though, cause I am still posting these humpday covers and tonight I'm going to a Ben folds/Girl Talk/ Gym Class Heroes concert. So a review will be in order.
This Humpday I was thinking about how showcasing a Braids cover of the epic Bohemian Rhapsody, Originally done by Queen.
It is featured on the soundtrack of High School High. Its kinda like if the Fugees did Bohemian Rhapsody with a Lauryn Hill stand in and a less talented Wyclef.
But its still mad good.
buy High School High

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

OHHHH SNAP Its Humpday Covers!

Alright, Halfway through the week, with just two weeks left of college until summer!!!

This week I am not gonna post a cover.

Im gonna post 2 Covers!

If you don't know why I post covers, think about this: a cover is a way for old music to be revitalized,  redone, and reborn. New styles, new art, and new sounds come from the covers and its a great experience to listen to a song in a completely different context. Sometimes the covers are similar, sometimes they are rediculously different. But covers allow people to realize that music is not static, it is ever changing. No performance should be completely the same. When you read sheet music you are playing whats written, when you are preforming your playing what you know, feel, and want to play. Thats why I post covers.

here is this weeks cover(s)

First off we have a great cover of a The Beatles While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
Harrison's composition gets a wonderful solo guitar treatment that is both beautiful and remeniscent of the original.I do not know much about this artist other than what he says before he preforms. I would like to know more, so if you have any information please leave a comment.

this is Jake Shimabukuro playing While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Originally by the Beatles)

Jake Shimabukuro-While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Originally by the Beatles)
buy The Beatles

For the Second cover, I thought it would be great to pay tribute to Bob Dylan in the form of Reggae. I know what your thinking... Why the hell would you mix those two together? I was skeptical too, until I heard this cover of Ain't No Man Righteous. It works, and it's a great tune to try to ease into the summer season. This song came from a CD called Covers of Dylan's Gospel Songs. Give it a listen!

Here is Jah Malla performing Ain't No Man Righteous.
Jah Malla-Ain't No Man Righteous (Bob Dylan Cover)
buy Bob Dylan

*We need feedback- What do you like, What do you want to see, What Do you want to go, What don't You like? Leave a comment or email us! -Happiness Is A Warm Gun*

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Boston Area Shows

While the venue is new to Boston, The House of Blues has already managed to get some pretty big artists to play in the next few months. Check it out.

4/18- State Radio.

5/02- OPETH

5/14- Animal Collective. Hooray for the best new(ish) band coming to Boston! Too bad it’s already sold out.

BU’s Agganis Arena has a few notables as well:

4/17- Flight of the Conchords. Perhaps you’ve heard of “New Zealand’s second best folk-parody group.” They’ve enjoyed relative popularity since their HBO series started up a year or so ago, mostly due to their cleverly crafted, hilarious songs about racist dragons, hiphopopotami, and erobots.

4/18 & 4/19- Kings of Leon. They’re a great band and judging by their live tracks, put on great shows.

And finally, some scattered shows-

4/16- Indigo Girls @ The Orpheum. They’re pretty darn fine; or, close to it. (that is meant to be a play on their most famous song, "Closer to Fine." I think its funny.)

4/20- of Montreal @ The Paradise. You all know these guys, but you don’t realize it. Outback Steakhouse’s catchy “Let’s go Outback tonight” jingle is actually a cover of an of Montreal song…”Wraith pinned to the mist and other games.” Yeah, they’re quirky.

4/22- Interrobang?! @ Great Scott in Allston. This South Shore based band recently got signed, and for good reason.

4/25- Ben Folds @ Johnson Center in Cambridge. He’s good at piano and whatnot.

5/9- Boyz II Men @ Showcase Live in Foxboro. 90's flashback, anyone?

It's Eli's Birthday!!!!!!!

Hello readers,

Today Eli is celebrating his 20th birthday! He is the heart and soul of this blog...and even if you haven't met him, his continued dedication to this blog is a testament to the type of guy he is. It's been a pleasure working with him on Happiness....and just knowing him in general (see picture at right...). Today may be a day meant to celebrate the rising of our Lord or what have you, but today is also a day to celebrate the being that is ELI. 


Check out these birthday-related tunes...

Happy Birthday To You by Jay Jay Pistolet. "Well if I had my way, you'd have a birthday every week, and you'd choose to spend them all with me. I'd come down to your bus stop so you couldn't go to work..." etc etc. Yeah, the lyrics are a bit creepy...but they're genuine. A toe tapper, which tells a story along the way. 

There's Always Someone's Birthday  by Erik Hallden. While the lyrics are nowhere online, I truly hope that my interpretation of the line "There's such a thing as too much beauty, its when you dance and shake your booty" is accurate. An upbeat song with (hopefully) awesome lyrics.

Birthday Song by Erik Hallden. Less upbeat, very lo-fi. Guided-by-Voices if they were singing about a birthday. Checkk it out.  

Thursday, April 9, 2009

This Just In: Blackmore's Night

If you are new to this blog, last week I introduced a new weekly segment that will continue until the end of the collegiate school year.

This week I found this new CD in the stacks: Blackmore's Night - Secret Voyage

This is a really interesting band with a really interesting concept: A Modern take on the music of Medieval England. Now before I continue let me inform you that this band is made up of ex-Deep Purple Guitarist Riche Blackmore and Candice Night!!

These songs have a gypsy feel, medieval sound, and ballads.

Very interesting stuff, great performance work but not really my cup of tea...

Here is God Save the Keg which is an instrumental that goes into the up tempo track Looked Within The Crystal Ball.

Take a Listen and As Always if you like it, Buy it!

Blackmore's Night - God Save the Keg
Blackmore's Night - Looked Within The Crystal Ball

buy Blackmore's Night

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Humpday Covers: Aztec Camera

Its Hump Day!!
You know what that means!!! You survived half the week, the weekend is near! AND!! We have a new cover for your listening pleasure. 
This a nice version of Van Halen's Jump! It has a very different feel but for some reason it works, even with out the shredding guitars and shouting that Van Halen brings to the song. 
Oh and did I mention that they have a cool name, 

Here is Aztec Camera's cover of Van Halen's "Jump"

Thursday, April 2, 2009

This Just In: New Rotation at Radio

Some of you may or may not know that I have a radio show on 90.9 WQFS Greensboro. Webcasting of 90.9 is already in the works and will (hopefully) be up and running by the summer.

Because I work at the an independent radio station, I have access to brand spankin' new music that many radio stations don't even know about. Once I find some new music in rotation that is great, I just want to spread the word.

I am thinking of installing a new installment to the blog called This Just In: New Rotation at WQFS... If you think its a good idea leave a comment. In fact communicate with us about what you want to see, hear, or know and we will do our best.

Sooo... here is the first, experimental installment of This Just In .

This Just In: Lady Dottie and the Diamonds

Lady Dottie and the Diamonds is an amazingly rambunctious, rock band with a blues influence. Lady Dottie has a hearty full throttle voice that is backed by a band filled with keyboards, harmonicas, drums, bass, and grooving guitar. It is a groovin' album and they even do a cover of the Jefferson's theme song.

Oh and this band really does rock.

Take a listen:

Lady Dottie and the Diamonds - I Ain't Mad At Ya
Lady Dottie and the Diamonds - Have Love, Will Travel

Take a look & if you like it buy it!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fools!!

So Since It's April Fools day,

We are gonna do something a little different today. Instead of posting just covers, we are gonna post covers, b-sides, and rare tracks!! (with a loose April Fool's theme)

To see some of history's top 100 acts of April Fool-ery click here.

First Off, to celebrate the seasonal cheer, I am gonna post a B-Side from The Red Hot Chili Peppers B-sides for Stadium Arcadium. These B-Sides have been compiled into an album called Venus (to go with the theme of planets that is seen in Stadium Arcadium). Some say this B-Side album is better than the original album, but I dunno, I think its definitely worth a listen.

Here is Funny Face by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Funny Face

Buy Stadium Arcadium

The second track is actually a cover, so it fits well in this Wednesday spot that is usually Humpday Covers. This is a "rare" cover of a Beatles song that was done by none other than Aretha Franklin. I actually do not know much about this cover, other than its one of the better covers that Aretha has done. This cover also fits nicely with the April Fools day theme, seeing that Aretha covered Fool on the Hill.

Here is Fool on the Hill

Aretha Franklin - Fool on the Hill (Beatles Cover)

Buy Aretha Franklin Unreleased and Rare Recordings

Here is another "Fool" related track. This track is called "Foolish Fool" by none other than Sublime. This is a track that I found the on Sublime's Box Set. It is a remaster of the song Crazy Fool off of Sublime's album Pure Anus. It is a great song, and it certainly is a shame that Sublime's lead singer Bradley Nowell died in 1996. However, Sublime fans may see a reincarnated Sublime coming soon. Rumors and talk from the original band members have indicated that a possible Sublime reunion with a replacement singer may be in the near future.

No Fool's about that,

Here is Sublime's Foolish Fool,

Sublime - Foolish Fool
buy Everything Under the Sun


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