Friday, August 31, 2012

100 Cover Versions #91: Patti Austin sings 'Smoke Gets In Your Eyes'

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes was first composed in 1933 by Jerome Kern and the lyrics of the song were by Otto Harbach. It featured in the Broadway musical Roberta where it was first sung by Tamara Drasin. Many of the facts that I feature in this list of cover versions are ones that I have just recently read about. I think the history of each song is so important. The legacy of popular music should always start with those who created it. The first person who recorded Smoke Gets In Your Eyes was Gertrude Niesen in October of 1933. Irene Dunne sang it in the film version of Roberta two years later in 1935. In 1958 The Platters had a number one hit record with their version in the American Billboard charts. That for a long time was the version that I loved most as a child. Regular readers to this blog will know that I grew up with a radio station beside our house and music was on in our house all day long so that is why it is so important to me.

When I first moved away from home in 1989 I had to leave my record player behind until one weekend my dad brought my record player to me. I just remembered that. Back in the early 1990s I also bought music on cassette. I still have all those cassette singles and albums. One of those albums was The Real Me by Patti Austin. It was her album of the songs that she grew up with and was released in 1988. It is a truly gorgeous album. I could choose several songs from that album on this list such as Lazy Afternoon or Someone Is Standing Outside but as Smoke Gets In Your Eyes is one of my all time favourite songs and because Patti's version is pure beauty this is the song I have chosen from that album. If someday I meet someone who loves music as much as I do I would want him to love this song.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

100 Cover Versions: #90: Sandra Bernhard covers 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough'

When I first moved to Dublin back in the early 1990s one of the great things of living in a capital city was that there was a bigger variety of cinemas to go to and a wider selection of films. For the first time in my life because of the Irish Film Centre (now the Irish Film Institute) and also the Lighthouse Cinema when it was on Abbey Street I was introduced to arthouse, documentary, gay and lesbian and classic cinema. One of the first films I remember seeing and absolutely adoring was Sandra Bernhard's performance film Without You I'm Nothing. I had never seen anything like it before. Her mix of humour, music, popular culture and sexuality in that film is still one of the greatest cinema moments in the many, many films I have seen over the past 20 years living in Dublin. 

Each performance of the songs in Without You I'm Nothing had it's own story. Sandra mixed both autobiographical and completely fictional monologues in between the lyrics of songs that I both knew from radio days and ones I had never heard before like the country song I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry. Sandra became the song and the singer. She was Sylvester singing Do You Wanna Funk, she was Billy Paul singing Me and Mrs Jones. She made you think about the songs and hear the lyrics in another way, another wonderfully funny way. I was only coming out then and that film made such an impact on me. 

I have been lucky to have seen Sandra's show twice over the years. Once in Dublin in Vicar Street and the second a few years later in New York in Joe's Pub. Each time was brilliant. They were two different shows, new stories, new songs.

The funniest bit in Without You I'm Nothing I think is a monologue when she is talking about Madonna without actually mentioning her and then she adds a bit about Martika who was a big music star during the time of the film's release. If you have seen the film you will know the part I mean. If you haven't then I won't spoil it. Sandra's one liners are like bullets or knives in the most fabulous way.
The surreal thing about life is that I adored Martika and her music and still do and through the amazing medium that is Twitter she has tweeted me back a couple of times. I hope if Martika knows the film that she finds her mention in it funny. 

The most famous song from Without you I'm Nothing is at the end when she performs Prince's Little Red Corvette. There are a few songs from the film on Youtube. Here is one that I love, well I love them all but this captures the whole atmosphere of the film very well. It's Sandra's version of Ain't No Mountain High Enough. It is all very Supremes as the version is more Diana Ross than Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell who had a hit first with it in 1967. Older than me! Diana had her first number one with the song in 1970.

I have Without You I'm Nothing on both video tape and DVD so if you haven't seen it and you see it in a movie store or on line do check it out. It works best as a complete performance.  

Lights (Adil Laresh Remix) - Ellie Goulding

Ellie Goulding is currently at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 with her singles Lights which is one of the biggest American hits of 2012. She got as far as number two in the charts but a number one still isn't impossible judging by the way songs go up and down constantly on the Billboard chart. I still think Lights should be a proper chart hit in the UK and Ireland too.

Here is a remix of Lights which is by Aril Laresh which I like a lot. Ellie has one of those voices that is so suited to this style of remix.

Adil's Facebook page is here for updates on his other remixes too and his Twitter page is @AdilLaresh

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bom Bom - Sam & The Womp

My favourite song in the UK singles chart at the moment is Lost in Your Love by Redlight. It's like the House songs that I liked back at the end of the 1980s are starting to come back into the charts in an updated way.

Bom Bom by Sam & The Womp is another new pop song that I really like. It reminds me of several pop songs in a good way. The video has been compared to Deee-Lite's Groove Is In The Heart but I think it has more of a vibe of Steve Strange's Blitz Club of the New Romantic period mixed with all of the Acid House music videos of the late 1980s.

Bom Bom is released on Stiff Records on August 19th. You will find this song either addictive or completely annoying which is exactly the reaction that successful pop songs should have.

Campaign to name Dublin's newest bridge after Maeve Binchy

If you live in Dublin or outside of our capital city you will be aware that there is a new bridge being built at the moment that will connect the LUAS railway system. It will make the city centre even more assessable than it is at the moment. A few months ago several people noted through websites and other social media that there were very few statues or bridges named after well known Irish women in Dublin. Panti wrote about that fact on her blog here back in June of this year and has also wrote about the story since. 
Over the past week or two there have been suggestions that the new bridge in Dublin's city centre should be named after the great Irish writer Maeve Binchy who died at the end of July. I know many people will think this is a really great idea and would be a great tribute and lasting mark of respect for her.

More and more nowadays in Dublin and around the country people don't just say they should do something, instead they go and do it. I was delighted to see that a blog, Facebook page and on line petition has been set up to collect signatures to send to the department of Transport to consider naming the bridge after Maeve.

If you would like to do so the link to the petition is here.

Their Twitter page is @MBinchyBridge for updates on the progress of the petition.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

100 Cover Versions #89: Chromatics cover 'Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)' by Kate Bush

Kate Bush will be one of the highlights at the closing ceremonies at the Olympics later today. She is said to be performing a  new version of her song Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) this evening and it is already climbing the UK Itunes singles chart. 

It is still one of Kate Bush's most popular and most covered songs. It is a song that various covers really divides people's opinions. Placebo, Kiki & Herb, Patrick Wolf and Tori Amos are just a few of the music artists who have performed the song either as recorded versions or in concert.  
I think Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) is just one of those perfect songs. It is pop and dance and so much more. It is simply a Kate Bush song. She is her own genre of music. 

Here is a version of Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) by the American band Chromatics.  It featured on their 2007 album Night Drive and their version is simply called Running Up That Hill. Chromatics are from Portland, Oregon and their most recent album is Kill For Love. Their lead vocalist is Ruth Radalet.

The video below features the original Kate Bush video which was released in 1985. Kate's fellow dancer in the video was Michael Hervieu and the choreography was by Diane Grey.

Friday, August 10, 2012

100 Cover Versions #88: K.D. Lang covers 'The Valley' by Jane Siberry

A couple of years ago I was at my friend Linda's house for dinner. Linda worked with me in one of my bookshop jobs. The thing about booksellers is that they love their music and their taste is often very good indeed. That evening Linda played a CD by K.D. Lang which was her most recent album Hymns of the 49th Parallel. I had never heard it before and I will never forget hearing those songs for the first time. All of the songs bar one of her own early songs were songs by fellow Canadian singers that K.D. Lang loves. Three of the artists featured have two songs covered. They are Hallelujah and Bird on a Wire by Leonard Cohen, Helpless and After the Goldrush by Neil Young and Love is Everything and The Valley by Jane Siberry. I could really choose any of the songs on that album to feature on this list, her versions of them all are so good. 

The song I'm choosing to feature on this list of covers is The Valley by Jane Siberry. I remember that song standing out when I heard it for the first time. 

The video below is a montage of photos by Merhlin. This is the album version.

and here is a live performance by K.D. of The Valley.

100 Cover Versions #87: Ruby Modine covers 'As Tears Go By' by Marianne Faithfull

Here is a really beautiful version of As Tears Go By sung by Ruby Modine. As Tears Go By was originally written by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and the Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham. It was first recorded by Marianne Faithfull and was her debut single in 1964. It was then released by The Rolling Stones in 1965 and throughout all these decades has been a song associated with both stars. I think it is one of those perfect songs.

Marianne Faithfull was only 17 when she first recorded As Tears Go By so today in 2012 it is like it is being presented again to a new generation by Ruby Modine. The video is also perfect for her elegant style. I featured Marianne Faithfull singing her version of Yesterday on Twitter and Ruby forwarded her song on to me. Thank you, I am honoured to include it on my list of songs that I love.

Ruby's website that features her music and short films is here.

100 Cover Versions #86: Lisa Stansfield covers 'Down in the Depths'

In 1990 the first Red, Hot + Blue album was released which raised money and awareness for HIV and AIDS related illnesses. It featured covers of songs that were written by Cole Porter. There were no singles released from it but it was really a superb album that fans of each of the artists involved would have added to their music collections. It included songs such as You Do Something To Me sung by Sinead O'Connor, Night and Day performed by U2 and Don't Fence Me In by David Byrne. I remember feeling a sense of pride that Irish artists such as Sinead, U2 and The Pogues were involved in such an important album. 

The song I'm featuring from the Red, Hot + Blue album is Down In the Depths sung by Lisa Stansfield. It was originally recorded as Down in the Depths (On the Ninetieth Floor) and featured in the musical 1936 Red, Hot and Blue which is also the musical that gave the album it's name. It was first sung by Ethel Merman. 

As part of the Red, Hot + Blue project there was a series of videos made for all bar two of the songs on the album. Each of the videos were directed by famous directors of both film and music video. The video for Down In The Depths was directed by Phillippe Gautier.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ce Soir (Tonight) - The Dean's List featuring Dani Ummel

Here's Ce Soir (Tonight) by The Dean's List featuring Dani Ummel. There's a real addictive quality about this song. I like Sonny Shotz rap a lot, his style kind of reminds me of De La Soul. Ce Soir (Tonight) features on their album Generation X which was released in april of this year. 

Festival Flea Market at the Little Ghost Gallery in Kilkenny

My brother Mike Minogue is running a Festival Flea Market in the Little Ghost Gallery, Coach Road in Kilkenny from Saturday 11th to Sunday 19th August. It takes place during the Kilkenny Arts week. There is always a good buzz around Kilkenny that week and the Little Ghost Gallery is located right in the town centre so if you are there that week check it out. It's open from 11am to 5pm each day. I love the poster that he made for it.

100 Cover Versions #85: Marianne Faithfull covers 'Yesterday' by The Beatles

In 1965 Marianne Faithfull recorded her cover version of Yesterday by The Beatles. Her version featured on her 1967 album Love in a Mist. Yesterday is almost 50 years old, what a landmark in music that will be in 2015. Yesterday is still one of the most covered songs of all time but I think Marianne's version is still one of the best, it is so beautiful and as good as the original.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Never Played the Bass (Wideboys Remix) - Nabiha

Never Played the Bass by Danish singer Nabiha is featured on More Cracks the re-released edition of her album Cracks.  It got to number four in the Danish singles charts in 2011. I only discovered it this year and it is one of the catchiest pop songs that I've heard over the past few months especially with the fab sample of Womack & Womack's 1980s hit Teardrops that it uses. Here is the great Wideboys remix of Never Played the Bass

My Brothers

My Brothers is directed by Paul Fraser and is released in selected Irish cinemas on August 17th. My Brothers is set over Halloween weekend in Ireland in 1987. It tells the story of three brothers; Noel, Paudie and Scwally who set out on a road trip to replace a watch for their dying father. Along the way, in the great tradition of road movies, the three brothers meet various characters and they both bond and fight. 

It is the first feature length film directed by Paul Fraser who has previously written the screenplays for acclaimed films such as Somers Town and A Room for Romeo Brass. He was also writer on Heartlands, a film from 2002 which was directed by Damian O'Donnell and was one that I remember really liking a lot when it was in the cinema. It starred Michael Sheen and Celia Imrie. 

My Brothers will screen at the Screen on D'Olier St, the Lighthouse Cinema and at Movies @Dundrum which are all in Dublin and will also screen at the Gate and the Triskel in Cork. Hopefully it will be shown in other cinemas too. The soundtrack also features original music by Jacknife Lee and Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol.

The Twitter page for updates on the film is @MyBrothersMovie and the film's Facebook page is

Film Noir at the Lighthouse Cinema in Dublin

One of the great things about living in Dublin over the past few years has been the creative programming in our city centre cinemas. For years cinemas such as the Irish Film Institute, Cineworld, The Screen on D'Olier Street and The Lighthouse Cinema have added once off screenings of classic Hollywood and world cinema to their weekly listings. The Lighthouse Cinema was originally based in Abbey Street in Dublin. It re-opened a few years ago in Smithfield but closed down. It has since re-opened and has re-established itself as one of the most important and exciting cinemas in Ireland. This weekend I went to see several films at the Gaze film festival and the atmosphere was so brilliant.

Later this month and into September there is a short Film Noir season with screenings of five classics of the Golden Age of cinema history. Admission to each of the films is €9 or €7.50 concessions or you can go to all 5 films for €30. Booking can be made in advance at the cinema's box office or by calling 01-8728006. If you are a film student or simply a fan of the best of that genre of American cinema this is a great opportunity to see these landmark films on screen. 

The five films in the programme are: 

- Gilda (August 15th)
- The Big Heat (August 22nd)
- The Big Sleep (August 29th)
- Mildred Pierce (September 5th)
- Laura (September 12th)

The Twitter page for the Lighthouse Cinema is @LighthouseD7 The poster featured above was designed by @MickMinogue and Paddy Dunne @Bawpsherep

Here is also the trailers for all five films.

The first is Gilda (1946) which was directed by Charles Vidor and stars Glenn Ford and most famously Rita Hayworth in her signature role.

The second film which screens on August 22nd is The Big Heat (1953) which was directed by Fritz Lang and starred Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame and Lee Marvin. The video clip below also features a montage of movie posters of The Big Heat.

The third film screens on August 29th and is The Big Sleep (1946) directed by Howard Hawks and starring Humphrey Bogart and Laureen Bacall. The beginning of the trailer is wonderful. You wish marketing for movies was still like that. 

The fourth film is Mildred Pierce (1945) which screens on September 5th is one that was remade as a TV mini series for HBO in 2011. It is one of the ultimate Joan Crawford films. Mildred Pierce was directed by Michael Curtiz whose most famous film is Casablanca.

and the fifth film in the season which screens on September 12th is Laura (1944) and was directed by Otto Preminger and starred Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews and Clifton Webb. 

100 Cover Versions #84: Marcus Collins covers 'Tightrope' by Janelle Monae

Marcus Collins self titled debut album was released earlier this year. It features eleven tracks; eight of which are original songs including his most recent single Mercy. The other three songs on the album were cover versions which are Seven Nation Army his UK singles chart top ten debut solo single, his cover of (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher which he had sang on X Factor and the third song is his cover of Tightrope by Janelle Monae which was a single released from her 2010 The ArchAndroid album. While both of the other two covers suit Marcus's voice really well Tightrope is the cover I think that suits him best. I listened to it a few times again yesterday and it's really great.

If you live in Dublin Marcus will be singing at the Dragon music club venue next Friday August 10th. Here's a poster with all the details. 

Here is Marcus and his cover of Tightrope.

Here also is the rather fab Full Intention club remix of Mercy which I am a  bit addicted to at the moment too. Marcus is on Twitter @MarcusCollinsUK

Monday, August 6, 2012

Unstoppable - Ayah Marar

Unstoppable is the new single by Ayah Marar. It is released on her own label Hussle Girl on August 26th. Ayah has to date worked with various music producers including Calvin Harris and Toddla T. She also featured on Follow U; her collaboration with Yogi on the Ministry of Sound label.

Unstoppable is released from her debut album Hussle Girl which is due out in September.

Ayah's website is here and her Twitter page is @AyahMarar 

Kiss Now (UKG Remix) - Artful "v" High Heels & Low Lifes

Mark Hill is also known as Artful the music artist and producer who was one half of Artful Dodger who had a big hit with Craig David with their song Re-Rewind. Artful has collaborated with High Heels & Low Lifes and the UKG mix of Kiss Me will be released on September 30th. 

High Heels & Low Lifes are indie/dance/pop duo Bekki and Mista Mee who are based in London. Over the past few months I have discovered many new music artists through fellow bloggers and through Twitter and social media and High Heels & Low lifes are one of my favourites. It only takes one track for them to make it big and I know their collaboration with Artful will raise their music profile especially in the UK and here in Ireland. A previous post on High Heels & Low Lifes from earlier this year on this blog is here.

A teaser of the UKG mix of Kiss Me was posted on line recently. Here it is.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dream of Me - Kristina Train

Here's a song I discovered today on Twitter through @IammusicTV It's Dream of Me by Kristina Train. It is absolutely gorgeous. A real timeless quality. There is a lovely piece about Kristina and her song written by Vicky Gottschalk here on the I Am Music website.

Kristina's Facebook page is here and her Twitter page is @KristinaTrain

Dream of Me is released in the UK on August 27th.

100 Cover Versions #83: Jilo Music cover 'Rule The World' by Take That

Early in my list of 100 Cover Versions I featured Jilo Music's version of Pumped Up Kicks by Foster the People. Loreen and Jim from Jilo Music have recently started posting some of their songs on SoundCloud and here is their version of Rule the World by Take That. I think in years to come Rule the World will stand out as one of the great pop songs of this era.

Jilo Music's Soundcloud page is here where you can also hear their versions of Pumped Up Kicks, My Heart Skips a Beat and For The First Time.

Here is their version of Rule the World which also features Lony and Jordy.

Lost in Your Love - Redlight

Redlight had a number 18 hit in the UK singles charts earlier this year with Get Out My Head. The follow up single is Lost In Your Love and it is currently climbing the UK ITunes charts. It has a great classic House sound and it definitely one of the better dance tracks on release at the moment.

His website is here and his Twitter page is @UKRedLight

Here's the video for Lost In Your Love.

Friday, August 3, 2012

100 Cover Versions #82: The Bird and the Bee cover 'One on One' by Daryl Hall & John Oates

On my 100 Cover Versions list I have already featured a song by The Bird and The Bee which was Kiss on my List. That song was featured on their album Interpreting the Masters Volume 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall & John Oates. Here is another song from that album. It's One on One which got to number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1983 for Hall & Oates. It was taken from their album H20 which also featured their classic songs Maneater and Family Man.

Song of the Day: 'Wednesday' - Wolf Alice

Wolf Alice are based in North London. I found their website link today through a link on Karima Francis's Twitter following list. On their bandcamp page they note that 'they write songs about their short lives on the Holloway road'. They released their Wolf Alice three track mini album in February and the three songs on that album are Wednesday, Destroy Me and Every Cloud.

There is a link to listen to or buy that album here.
Their twitter page is @WolfAliceMusic

This is their song that I liked the most; Wednesday.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

100 Cover Versions #81: Little Eye covers 'Part of Me' by Katy Perry

Scottish band Little Eye have several cover versions of well known singles chart songs on Youtube including songs by Rihanna and Paramore.  

Here is one that I really like. It's their version of Katy Perry's Part of Me which I prefer to the original now. It's so great to hear that beautiful Scottish accent in his singing voice.

I think I saw Little Eye on fellow pop blogger's Nick's Re-View Twitter page so thanks to Nick for that.

I Follow Rivers (The Magician Mix) - Lykke Li

I Follow Rivers by Lykke Li was released in 2011 and has already been number one in both the Belguim charts, Romania and Germany. It also recently got to number 19 here in Ireland. I'm sure it will eventually be a hit in the UK. Fellow blogger Enda wondered why I Follow Rivers was a hit in Ireland and a big part of the reason was that it was used as the background music in a montage of forthcoming TV shows for the summer season on our national station RTE.

I Follow Rivers features on Lykke Li's album Wounded Rhymes. Here is the totally addictive Magician remix.

Some Blue I Used To Know

Regular readers to this blog will know that I absolutely love the editing work of Panos T. He has recently being working with Mash Up Germany and one of their recent collaborations was called Some Blue I Used To Know.

I know the last song that most people want to hear is Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye in a song but it works so well in this mix.

The songs featured in the mash up are:
  • Somebody That I Used to Know - Gotye (Kimbra had a day off)
  • Baker Street - Gerry Rafftery
  • Blue - Eiffel 65
  • It's a kind of Magic - Queen
  • Uprising - Muse
  • Live My Life - Far East Movement (Justin Bieber met Kimbra that day).
Panos T also mixes scenes from Back to the Future. The poster above is from the website and could have once been the poster used in foyers when the film was first released.

100 Cover Versions #80: Linda Ronstadt, Valerie Carter & Emmylou Harris cover 'After the Gold Rush'

In 1995 Linda Ronstadt covered After the Gold Rush by Neil Young on her album Feels like Home. The backing vocals and harmony on that song were by Valerie Carter and Emmylou Harris. In 1999 Linda and Emmylou recorded After the Gold Rush again with Dolly Parton for their album Trio II. I love that version but if you know it Dolly definitely sings lead vocal with Emmylou and Linda singing harmony backing vocals. Linda Ronstadt is another one of those singers who I could have featured a dozen or more of her songs. I have loved her voice since I was a child, there is an 'all with be well' quality in her singing, a comfort we turn to when we need music to do that. 

So even though I adore Dolly I want to feature a version of After The Gold Rush with Linda's vocals most prominent. You can also clearly hear Valerie's and Emmylou's beautiful voices so clearly.

Genevieve - Stealing Sheep

One of my favourite songs of the past year is Shut Eye by Stealing Sheep. It was the first single release from their forthcoming album Into the Diamond Sun. The follow up single is the equally lovely song Genevieve which is released on download and limited edition 7" vinyl on August 13th in the UK. 

Fade 2 Forever EP - Le Galaxie

Le Galaxie recently released their five track EP Fade 2 Forever. The five tracks on the EP are Love System (featuring Elaine Mai), Heart 2 Heart, The Nightcaller (featuring Laura Smyth), Heat City and Gotta Go.

Here are two of those songs.

The first is Love System featuring Elaine Mai.

and the second is a live performance of The Nightcaller featuring Laura Smyth.

If you live in Dublin Le Galaxie play a DJ set at the Mother club night on Saturday 11th August.

Their Fade 2 Forever EP is available to buy on ITunes here.

Everybody in the Nite - The Dead Heavys

Here's a song that was recommended to me through Twitter yesterday. It's Everybody in the Nite by the Irish band The Dead Heavys. I liked this song straight away. It's has a definite 1970s rock influence which is such a classic sound.  

There so many different genres of music in Ireland now. We are renowned for our pop acts and singer songwriters but I love hearing international influences from past decades in new music too. 

The Dead Heavys play the Spraoi festival in Waterford on August 4th, The Indiependence Festival in Mitchelltown, Cork on the 5th and Shortts in Waterford on August 11th.

They are on Twitter at @TheDeadHeavys

Thanks to Margaret O'Brien for posting link to the song on her Twitter page @MargaretWriting