Hornswaggler | The culture, the humor, a bit of the sports, not so much the politics, and the workplace distraction

Hornswaggle is an alternate spelling of hornswoggle, an archaic word that means to bamboozle or hoodwink. I take my pronunciation from the late Harvey Korman in "Blazing Saddles" --

"I want rustlers, cutthroats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, conmen, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswagglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass kickers, shit kickers and Methodists!"

Culture, Humor, Sports
Workplace Distraction

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

"Two! No, six! No, twelve! Baker's dozen!
I told you that I'm crazy for these cupcakes, cousin!"

[Updated 1/16/06] Some notes on popular music:

I never really listen to pop music channels on my own, because I just never like the songs, but my better half does, so I've heard my fair share of pop music songs over the past couple months and I can say that, of them all, I like maybe two. Out of every crappy alt-rock song I've heard.

I like the new song by Death Cab for Cutie, "Soul Meets Body," though I was on the fence until I learned who wrote it, because it's a little wimpy, and there's so much wimp rock out there whose creators I can't much stand. And I like "Holiday" by Green Day, though the lyrics leave me a bit dissatisfied, given the political nature of the tune and what it seems to aspire to.

"Mr. Brightside," by The Killers, is easily my least favorite song on the radio. Is the singer British? He'd better be, because he's singing with an accent. Wait, I'll look it up. Nope, Las Vegas, NV. And apparently they wrote "Somebody Told Me." Which figures, because though the song is not as aggravating as "Brightside," it is similarly lacking in the melody department.

Coming in second among my most-hated pop songs is "The Reason" by yes, they actually thought it was a good idea to name their band this: Hoobastank.

What's really killing me right now is, I had to look up who did it, The Goo Goo Dolls' cover of Supertramp's "Give a Little Bit." The cover doesn't add anything to the original or diverge from it in any significant way and is, in fact, worse than the original, which is a good song by an underrated band. There is no reason for this song to exist or at any rate to be on the radio, and it drives me nuts.

A cover, to be released on a record, should reinterpret the original. See "All Along the Watchtower," Jimi Hendrix's cover of the Dylan tune, Eric Clapton's cover of the Bob Marley original, "I Shot the Sheriff" or his rocking reinventions of J.J. Cale's "Cocaine" and "After Midnight," Phish's (unreleased) cover of Robert Palmer's "Sneakin' Sally through the Alley," which is used as a vehicle to jam, or even the reggae cover of Neil Diamond's "Red, Red Wine" by UB40. Then there are covers that insipid-ize songs, like The Byrds cover of "Mr. Tambourine Man," which I find unlistenable.

Alanis Morrisette has a cover out of Seal's "Crazy," which does add something to the original, which is flat and passionless, though my initial reaction upon hearing the new rendition was, Why? Speaking of Seal, has there ever been a one-hit wonder, whose hit really wasn't even that good a song, who has major, disfiguring scars on his face, who has schtupped more supermodels? Now it's Heidi Klum, but before that it was Tyra Banks. And there are probably more. Okay, I've googled Seal and he's won about 8 billion Grammys, but I still don't know any of his songs other than the aforementioned.

Anyway, as far as covers go, they're great in concert. Lots of fun. But there's too many superfluous covers being released as singles. I swear I remember there was a cover of a Simply Red tune in the last couple years, or some band like that. Trying to remember ...

.: posted by hornswaggler 6:36 PM

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