29 December 2017

29 December 2017 - Transvision Vamp - Baby I Don't Care

Yesterday, readers of Totally Covered were witness to a cover by an artist most of them had never heard of, of a song most of them had never heard of. I can't fix that first part.  But I can fix the 2nd. 

Transvision Vamp are a band that was a relative reliable hitmaker for a few years in the UK. Their only US hit was not this song, but a cover of a Holly and the Italians song.  This song, their biggest UK hit, was the lead single and opening track off their 2nd album, Velveteen, one of my favorites of all time - strongly recommended.

The song itself is pretty standard pop.  However, the combination of a band that has serious chops and a deep pedigree, with ties to bands as diverse as X-Ray Spex and Bush, and a dynamic lead singer that was not only not fearful of the spotlight, but embraced it, makes the song memorable.

Wendy James went on to a semi-successful solo career after the band broke up in 1992.  This is one of their last performances.  Incidentally, I would love to start a campaign to get them to reform, like The Darling Buds  (for which we take far too much credit) and The Primitives (I discuss the unfair comparisons between TV and these two bands in that post) did.

28 December 2017

28 December 2017 - Sia - Cheap Thrills (with and without Sean Paul)

Do you remember that time that Sia was on American Bandstand?

That's because it never happened.  But this lyric video - which somehow became the de facto video for this song, even though there's an official video - did.  And it's a really good lyric video, that even mostly gets the lyrics right.  As a bonus, this video also features a version of this song - which was a hit - featuring Sean Paul...

....but the official video - which actually has Sia in it!!!!!!! - features a Maddie Ziegler-centered dance performance - and Sia!!!!!! Facing forward!!!!!!  - and deserves attention.  Since, you know, the song is about dancing. Without Sean Paul, it is, in my opinion, a better song, but either way, it's catchy.

27 December 2017

27 December 2017 - Kesha ft. The Dap-Kings - Woman

I know that we've been kind of slow posting things on here.  But this lateness is inexcusable - after hers was the best motherf***ing show I saw in 2016! - and I am going to fix that motherf***ing s**t right now.

Kesha's comeback this year was perhaps the best motherf***ing story in music in 2017.  Her 2nd single post-comeback - this empowerment anthem made more poignant by her motherf***ing legal troubles with Sony Music concerning the alleged sexual assault of her by Dr. Luke - is a hell of a "I'm back, you motherf***ing bitches" song.  At any rate, it's clear that she's not going to be f***ing pushed down.

What is missing from this song that was present in her earlier songs is Auto-Tune. Because the woman the pipes and doesn't need motherf***ing Auto-Tune. (Which, if you read Totally Covered, you already know).  Any doubt about that fact should be squashed by the fact that she's keeping up with The Motherf***ing Dap-Kings, who are better known for being the backing band for the late big-piped singers Sharon Motherf***ing Jones and Amy Motherf***ing Winehouse.

And this song has spirit.  Ignoring for the motherf***ing overuse of "motherf***er" in the song.  Kesha starts laughing at about 1:13 in this video.  The song is free and fun, intentionally.  In the artist's words:
"I wanted this song to capture that organic, raw, soulful sound and keep the imperfect moments in the recordings." (Source: Rolling Stone)
 I can say more about this great, fun, exciting song, but I'd rather you just listen to it yourself.  Enjoy.

15 December 2017

15 December 2017 - The Smithereens - Blood and Roses

On Tuesday of this week, the lead vocalist of the band the Smithereens, Pat DiNizio, died.  It was tragic, and he was gone far too soon. 

In tribute, I wanted to share one of my favorite songs by the Smithereens. If you've seen the movie Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion, you've heard this song, which was their first single from their first full-length album (Especially for You, from 1986, which I cannot recommend enough!).

I was hooked on the band from the opening bassline in this song. Lyrically, it's subtle but still heart-felt and poignant.  Overall, it's just a well-written and compelling song.

Perhaps one of the most striking things about this song is, although it was clearly written by DiNizio to be heavily bassline-focused, it translates well to an acoustic performance, such as this solo performance by him from 2009. 

It's songwriting like this that will be missed.  Farewell to a great songwriter, who left behind some great material.