05.15.09 – Friday

Word: fulsome [fool-suhm, fuhl-] adj. 1. offensive to good taste, esp. as being excessive; overdone or gross: fulsome praise that embarrassed her deeply; fulsome décor 2. disgusting; sickening; repulsive: a table heaped with fulsome mounds of greasy foods 3. excessively or insincerely lavish: fulsome admiration 4. encompassing all aspects; comprehensive: a fulsome survey of the political situation in Central America 5. abundant or copious

Birthday: L. Frank Baum (1856), Richard J. Daley (1902), Eddy Arnold (1918), Utah Phillips (1935), Wavy Gravy (1936), Madeleine Albright (1937), Brian Eno (1948), Chazz Palminteri (1952), George Brett (1953), Dan Patrick (1956), David Krumholtz (1978), Jamie-Lynn Sigler (1981)

Standpoint: When a music artist performs a new rendition of another music artist’s established song, it’s called a “cover version.” It’s widely accepted that the cover artist’s rendition is the weaker one based on the assumption the original must be better because it’s just that – the original. However, there are certain artists and songs that go against the grain in that regard. After devising my own list and  asking for your suggestions on Twitter and Facebook, I’ve compiled a list of 7 Cover Songs Better Than Their Originals.

While doing the searches for these songs on YouTube, I discovered that in most of the cases, the cover was more popular. This is only a small sample of songs that are better that the ones they’re covering. How about you? Got any favorites you think should’ve been included here?

Weekend: Each Friday, I’ll provide you with 3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead – my list of events for spending this weekend in Philadelphia as if it was your last:

  • Today (05.15.09) – MMA Famous Singles Pub CrawlThe Public House – Tired of spending Friday nights without a significant other. Here’s your chance to do something about it. Meet Market Adventures presents a night of “No Covers. No Driving. No Worries.” Riding around from bar to bar on a bus with complete strangers, drinking and mingling? What ‘s stopping you? Get out there and find someone special.  Time: 6:30pm to midnight
  • Saturday (05.16.09) – The Shins – Electric Factory – One of the poster-bands for the indie music scene, The Shins hit the stage with a revamped lineup. I’ve seen them a few times and can testify to the fact that James Mercer and Co. put on one mean live show.  Time: 8:30pm
  • Sunday (05.17.09) – 9th Street Italian Market Festival – South 9th Street from Fitzwater to Federal – In its official press release, the Festival boasts, “halfball, great food, wonderful people and live performances from three stages.” Sounds great. Sign me up. But first, what in the world is halfball? Time: 10am – 5pm

Quotation: A rock show, if it is any good, should make you feel younger.John Sellers

Gallimaufry: Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, the 10-year old star of Slumdog Millionaire, was ordered out of his home yesterday, just before he watched it bulldozed to the ground. An Indian government official called it “a pre-monsoon demolition drive.” I call it pretty shitty to tear people’s homes down in such an abrupt manner. Apparently, the young star has a trust fund set up for him by the makers of Slumdog, but hasn’t received any assistance yet out of fear the money will end up in the wrong hands. ∞ HELP! Paste Magazine is in danger of having to close up shop. For those of you who don’t all ready know, Paste is one of the best music publications in circulation. Help The Campaign to Save Paste! ∞ Is Jordan coming to the Philadelphia 76ers? Maybe. But not “His Airness“. Eddie Jordan is set to interview with the NBA team to fill their head coach vacancy.

Incoming: Next week’s going to be a good one. I can feel it. All right, that’s it for me. Thanks for reading. Come back Monday for some more.

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03.02.09 – Monday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: sacrosanct [sak-roh-sangkt] – 1. extremely sacred of inviolable 2. not to be entered or trespassed upon 3. above or beyond criticism, change or interference

Birthday: Sam Houston (1791), Dr. Seuss (1904), Desi Arnaz (1917), Mikhail Gorbachev (1931), Tom Wolfe (1931), John Irving (1942), Lou Reed (1942), Karen Carpenter (1950), Jon Bon Jovi (1962), Ben Roethlisberger (1982)

Occurrence: 1962Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors against the New York Knicks in a single game. This record has never been broken and, chances are, it never will be.

Irksome: As I write this, it is Sunday evening and it is snowing heavily outside. The forecast is calling for 6”-10” of snow for Monday morning. In the city of Philadelphia, a snowstorm brings out three distinct groups of people:

  1. Alarmed – You walk around your workplace, ask for a weather update every other minute and express absolute astonishment that it might snow as if you live in Mexico City. After work, you drive as fast as you can to the supermarket, buy enough groceries for approximately 6 weeks, speed home, gather your family around, tell them how much you love them and hope that the sun rises in the morning. The sun does rise in the morning and you now have to find a way to use 12 cartons of milk before they spoil.
  2. Ecstatic – You can’t wait for the snow because it means (a) you don’t have to work the next day, and (b) you can get completely drunk like there is no tomorrow. The next morning at 6AM, you wake up to a call from your boss saying that you indeed have to work and you spend the rest of the day cursing “the goddam weatherman.”
  3. Stoic – You are prepared for it to snow. You half-believe the weatherman. You live your life like it is just an ordinary day. The next day is business-as-usual.

Quotation: “Some days it’s incredibly easy to write four thousand words in an afternoon. Other days, it’s impossible to write two sentences. There’s no consistency with the difficulty of the process.”Chuck Klosterman

Tidbit: The term five-hole in hockey refers to the space between the goalies legs. The other holes are the four corners of the goalmouth. As long as I’ve watched hockey and I didn’t know that until this weekend.

Song: Army Navy’s rendition of Maxine Nightingale’s 1975 “Right Back (Where We Started From)” is a cover that makes me realize that even dopey songs from the 70s have some kind of musical value.

Gallimaufry: Click HERE to read all about the feud between The Chestnut Hill Local and The Chestnut Hill Community Association…Saw Milk last night. Great movie. After Into The Wild, I planned on boycotting Sean Penn for eternity, but I lifted the ban last night and thought it was one of the best portrayals ever. Also, James Franco was fantastic. Go see it…There are over 70 sites in the Greater Philadelphia area housing sex slaves. Click HERE to read Tara Murtha’s article about in Philadelphia Weekly.