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Friday, 18 January 2013

If You Have Five Seconds to Spare

Everyone looks like everyone else to me lately. I meet someone and there is a 90% chance that they will remind me of someone I know/knew. It’s getting to a point where I am starting to raise an eyebrow at myself – wtf. Have I met so many people I’ve reached full circle and I’m starting all over again? They are not even from the same gene pool – people are reminding me of other people divided by continents, genders and other preferences (as in – a bit effeminate in the latest reincarnation).

I can see 2013 is going to be one of those years... few weeks in and its already weird.

So in the spirit of same but different – let’s talk about covers today. I like covers. I like mixes, remixes and mashups for that matter. I do not have an aversion towards my fave tune being chewed up and spat out as something else – a concept which is viewed as a serious insult by many I have discussed this with. I love a different take on the original – sometimes the result is a cringe-able drunken karaoke fail, agreed, but in the hands of musicians confident in their own style – the result can be the best homage a tune can receive.

When ‘The Smiths is dead’ first came out in 1996 (10 year anniversary of The Queen is Dead), my then bf, the person who introduced me to the Smiths for that matter, refused to listen. He looked at the CD, read the list of bands covering ten tunes of the Queen is Dead, and handed it back to me. ‘Blasphemy’ he called it, if I remember correctly. I wasn't deterred. 

I remember listening to it thinking – hm, Billy Bragg is butchering Never Had No One ever – and was introduced to Placebo for the first time via their rendition of Big Mouth Strikes Again and never looked back.

More recently in 2011- a tribute album was released 'Please, Please, Please: A Tribute to The Smiths' with today's indie bands bravely subjecting themselves to the wrath of hard-core Smiths fans. I never heard of most of the bands before listening to the tribute album (two CDs) - having said that - some big names were there, too - I was stunned to find Tanya Donnelly and Six Pence Non the Richer on the list. The Wedding Present blew me away with their fuzz-heavy version of Hand in Glove.

One of my favorite Smiths tunes is ‘There is a Light That Never Goes Out’. An ambiguous till-death-do-us-part in a bleak urban setting love song, sung to someone you are aching to meet, or to the one you have - take it as you need it. I’ve heard many a brave attempt at personalizing this masterpiece – and I will share my favorite two with you here. Relax hard-core Smiths fans, this will not hurt a bit.

Dum Dum Girls - There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (The Smiths Cover) from DJROCCOHORROR on Vimeo.

And if this is all new to you, feast your ears on the original:

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