Get yer covers out (take 2)

Posted: January 30, 2011 in music, Record reviews
Tags: , , , , , , ,

My learned colleague Clark Hays raises an excellent question about Cat Power and her cover of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” Why didn’t I mention it in my round-up of Stones covers?

Power released this song on The Covers Record (2000). On this disc she planes 12 mostly obscure tunes into sawdust. The results are interesting and strange but at times so spare and desolate they border on the nihilistic. The Big Lebowski taught us that nihilism is nothing to be afraid of, but I find that nihilism is nothing much to listen to, either. So I didn’t include her cover of “Satisfaction” in my list even though I think it’s good and certainly one-of-a-kind. I just I can’t recommend more than an annual listen without your doctor’s consent.

While I’m on the topic of multiple covers from the perspective of one artist or band, you might like Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs’ two Under the Covers records, which are happy and Beatles-like. (You older teenagers will remember Ms. Hoffs from The Bangles.) Phil Collins has a new collection of soul covers, Going Back, but it burned my fingers just to type “Phil Collins,” so you’ll have to listen to him on your own.

Portland’s cuddliest, happy-go-luckiest writer
And while I’m on the topic of nihilism, Clark and I had an email exchange at work after I helpfully observed that the lunkhead had refused to smile at a local book-signing event:

Clark: Writers never smile, dude. We’re too “tortured.”
Run-DMSteve: Not when they’re “inebriated”!
Clark: Shut up, I’m a famous author!
Run-DMSteve: Are you inebriated?
Clark: What if I am!!!! What’s it to you? You wouldn’t understand the pressures I’m under…I’m too good for this place. I coulda been writing greeting cards…I coulda been something…
Run-DMSteve: Introducing the Clark Hays line of greeting cards:

  • White card, no picture, black type: Happy Birthday. Inside: Blood stain, probably yours.
  • Card that hasn’t even been dyed white, no picture, rubber-stamped: Happy Anniversary. Inside: Stain.
  • Card from Hallmark, Hallmark logo crossed out with magic marker, big black X on front, inside message crossed out. Card looks like somebody cried in it.

“You get me,” sobbed Clark. “You really get me!!”

  1. Clark says:

    You really do “get” me. And I believe there is money to be made in that line of greeting cards. Drunken Hays greeting cards: when you barely care enough open your eyes in the morning, we’ve got the card for you.

    As the old saying goes, “nihilism sells.” Errrrr, or is it “sex?” For sure, one of those two things sells. Possibly both, but probably not together …

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