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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03.06.09 – Friday

Whereabouts: Philadelphia, PA

Word: reductio ad absurdum [ri-duk-shi-oh ad ab-sur-dŭm] Latin 1. proof of falsity by showing an absurd logical consequence  2. proof of truth by demonstrating the falsity of alternatives  3. the carrying of a  principle to impractical lengths

Birthday: Michelangelo (1475), Cyrano de Bergerac (1619), Lou Costello (1906), Ed McMahon (1923), Wes Montgomery (1925), Alan Greenspan (1926), Marion Barry, Jr. (1936), Ivan Boesky (1937), David Gilmour (1946), Rob Reiner (1947), Tom Arnold (1959), D.L. Hughley (1963), Shaquille O’Neal (1972),

Occurrence: 1899Aspirin becomes a registered trademark of Bayer. Still the best thing for a headache, in my opinion.

Irksome: An impoverished Michael Jackson held a news conference yesterday in London’s O2 arena announcing that the 10 farewell shows scheduled there for July of this year would be his last. The King of Pop uttered, by my count, 12-15 full sentences. The rest of the press conference amounted to, judging by the footage, a mostly adult-male audience screaming “Michael!” at the top of its lungs. Besides his brief statement, Jackson managed to bust out some impromptu moves and concluded the event by jutting his fist out in defiance (most likely aimed at his depleted bank accounts), poignantly staring at the crowd and blowing kisses, presumably at some of the younger members in attendance. People love to debate whether Jackson is still technically a member of the male gender. After watching yesterday, I’m inclined to debate whether he is still technically a member of the human race. At this point, I’m reasonably sure that he is the sole member of his own species.

Quotation: Damn, it feels good to disagree with the towering minds of the past. – A.J. Jacobs

Tidbit: The Lovenstein Institute of Scranton, Pennsylvania estimates that George W. Bush’s IQ score is 91. It puts Bill Clinton’s at 182. Click HERE to see how these conclusions were reached.

Song: You’ll either think “Jesus Was Way Cool” by King Missile is really funny or really stupid. There is no in-between.

Link: The Onion – Great site that makes fun of just about everything. Not a huge fan of the layout but the content can’t be denied.

Gallimaufry: Click HERE to listen to Miley Cyrus talk about how she is going to “ruin” Radiohead. Wow…Anyone out there want to explain the value of Twitter to me? I’m ready to listen…I’m becoming more and more embarrassed to be a member of a society that is actually debating Prop. 8. With all of the world’s problems, I find it unbelievably ridiculous that so many people waste energy on denying same-sex couples the opportunity to be happy…If you are looking for something to do this Saturday night, catch Ben Arnold at The Tin Angel. Showtime is 7:30pm…On a personal note, I would like to thank everyone for reading during the inaugural week of this blog with over 700 hits this week. I was hoping for 400. Keep coming back and remember to post comments. Let’s get some chatter started, people. Next post on Monday. Have a great weekend.