Weatherbox - Contactus, The Little Green Man - Audiotree Live
Andrew Solomon on Robin Williams:
“He played an alien so well because he was an alien in his own mind, permanently auditioning to be one of us. Suicide is a crime of loneliness, and adulated people can be frighteningly alone. Intelligence does not help in these circumstances; brilliance is almost always profoundly isolating.”
Above: Robin Williams, September 14, 1978. Photograph by Jim Britt/Getty
Here is the original Paul McCartney version. Thanks for reading! See you next year!
Dylan: Perfect. 10/10.
Here is the last cover before I review Paul McCartney’s original tomorrow. I wanted to say thank you to anyone who read these stupid things, and everybody who wrote a guest review. If anything, this silly project made me realize how insanely funny and talented my friends are! A lot of the reviewers are people I met in the last year, and I can’t say how excited I am to see what they get to do in the future. You’re all great. Ok – here’s the review!
Dylan: What is happening in this cover? I was laughing the entire time. That ghost that lives in your closet exclusively recorded the vocals for this track, and guess what? That ghost killed it! I am thoroughly confused about the vocal track to the point that it is impossible to listen to ANYTHING ELSE in the song! The instrumentation isn’t actually that bad. I don’t hate it. It almost out cheeses the McCartney version which is shocking, surprising, and quite admirable. There’s literally nothing good to say about the vocal part, though. Is it a joke? It has to be right? Oof – welp, I won’t be sleeping tonight!
I will be riding out this sleigh on my own. Much like Frodo on his quest towards the Death Star, I will have to do this alone. I was helped by many along the way, and to them I say thank you – but this is a job…I finish by myself. Also, like Santa kind of does with his elves.
Dylan: This is a tricky cover, because IT FEATURES THE MAN HIMSELF. That doesn’t seem nearly fair. Paul McCartney gets liner credit on this song. Is it a cover then? If Van Gogh helped paint a rip off version of Starry Night – would it be a different cover?! Ah! Christmas Existential Crisis! My liberal arts education, complete with a class titled “Adaptation,” has trained me for this moment. However, I simply don’t have the time. I still have to give Straight No Chaser props for this one, because, even without McCartney, the arrangement is pretty dope. These dudes can harmonize like the straight thugs their silhouettes suggest they are on the cover of their album. It’s a fun acapella version. Also, peep the one comment from my main man (actually a stranger), Chris Arrey who tells this chestnut of a personal anecdote:
“One Day i was singing this song at the park, and My friend says look behind you but i didnt acknowledge so when i was done with the song i hear clapping behind me! Almost everybody was recording me with their phones! I felt so embarrased! Then one of them came up to me and said i sang exactly like Paul McCartney! And i said no way! Then he showed me the video and i was amazed i did sound exactly like him!’
Humble to the brag and NOBODY BELIEVES YOU CHRIS!
I’m giving this cover 8/10.
Today’s reviewer is Rekha Shankar! Rekha is on the improv team, Gayle, and the sketch team Split Comedy. She has a personal blog (spacejam.tumblr.com) and has also written a bunch of stuff for Reductress. She’s also the host of Kaleidoscope at the Creek and the Cave, every Monday at 8pm - check it out!
Rekha Shankar: The song is catchy in itself, so they already have a leg-up, but this cover was a lil dumb. I think it’s got a sense of humor, and I respect that four dudes just wanted to film themselves having [a wonderful] fun [Christimas]time, but it’s not super viewer-friendly, and makes the song feel longer than it is. There’s no real thread except “vaguely Christmas” that ties anything together, and they seem to have only had five different shots to choose from for the entire thing (minus the random shots of limes, raw chickens, and that crappy cake). The main singer also sounds like Sufjan Stevens / Homsar Runner which was a turn-off, too.
Again, props for just doing whatever the hell you want, but it’s probably not worth watching, unless you are one of these guys, in which case, I’m so sorry and I’m sure you’re all very nice.
This song gets a big-time 4 –- .75 points to each guy in the group, and 1 to Sir Paul himself.
Dylan: What is happening. What is happening. I can’t explain how uncomfortable I am watching this video. I think it’s probably the incessant smizing at the camera for 3 minutes and 42 seconds. I also can’t say how disappointed I am with humanity that we, as a human race, have given Dog Is Dead 20,000 views. Overall, the cover is pretty fine. Once again, not much to write home about. Bonus points go to anybody who punches that saxophone player in the face, though. 2/10.
A cover of Paul McCartney’s Christmas song.
Today’s reviewer is Andrew Massey! Andrew Massey is a playwright, performer and cook who lives in Brooklyn. He can be seen improving occasionally with Coaster and The Brothers Massey, however he is most often caught cooking at Pies N Thighs in Williamsburg. Stay tuned for upcoming performances of his plays and a brand spanking new blog, coming this spring.
Andrew: This song crated both parts happiness and blinding hate in me, while occasionally creeping me out. The intro and outro sections are great, full of Christmas spirit nicely translated and morphed into modern electric sound. Then, like a stocking full of chestnuts being swung and cracked on the back of my head, come the drums. It’s overwhelming and a little scary, like my uncle at Christmas dinner. But, then, after the initial shock, this version calms down into a pleasant enough little ditty. It needs to be mentioned that the way the lead singer delivers “a choir of children sings this song” borders on creepzilla or summer turtleneck (does that make sense?). Basically, this version is fine. It’s fine. But it feels like two different songs depending on present the drums are. Dylan is going to like this one. That’s as obvious as Breckin Meyer’s weed use. And I sort of like Dylan, so I sort of like this song. 5/10.
Dylan: At this point in the game, you have to be doing something really different for me to take notice. This is a pretty straight forward cover that is not doing much. I haven’t heard from Ex Cops ever before and I think I get their schtick after hearing this cover. 4/10.
Give Me Motion – Wonderful Christmastime
Today’s reviewer is Conor Boylan! Conor is a comedian/writer/biped living in Brooklyn. He hosts a weekly comedy show at Poco Bar in the East Village. Go to it! http://afunnythinghappenedcomedy.tumblr.com
Conor: Christ what is this.
I don’t understand this.
Who is this person?
$10 says his name is Caleb.
Caleb’s voice is heinous.
It’s all thin and wobbly.
He sounds like a ghost cumming.
Like a gentle, effete little ghost that’s totally cumming.
(side thought: ghost cum is definitely called “boo goo.”)
(side thought 2: hahahaahhahaha)
Jesus what is going on.
I’m not very partial to the ukulele.
They always use ukulele music in commercials that talk about like, yogurt and kids imaginations.
“something good for your little superhero”
Some shit like that.
If this video was a commercial it would be advertising weird eye contact and sideburns.
(“on sale now at Talbots”)
But seriously his gaze is creepy as hell.
Like if his ukulele is folk/pop then his eyes are definitely champagne room r&b.
And they’re churnin out allllll the sultry slow jams…
Cut it out, Caleb.
Holy shit there’s another ukulele guy!!
Deuce ukes!!! Duece ukes!!!
You only see his arms, though, that’s kinda bullshit.
Is he trying to be cute?
Show us your face, not-Caleb.
The whole vibe of this video is just trying too fucking hard to be cute. The sweater, the tree, the ukulele…
How are there not puppets in this? Puppets would at least explain everything, but nope. No puppets.
2:53 THAT LOOK
3/10. Because that took courage.
Dylan: I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy this. Maybe I’m a sucker for the ukulele – maybe it’s the v-neck sweater. I’m sold! Give Me Motion has got me! This is a straight forward cover of Wonderful Christmastime and it’s kind of relaxing, enjoyable, and refreshing? This is the kind of guy you’d meet in your Intro to Women’s Studies class who knows way too much about Judith Butler off the bat. In conclusion, I like this simple cover of the song, but I’d be lying if I trust this guy. Wouldn’t trust him in a million years. Looks like he’s the kind of guy who’d make you invest some money in his startup and then invest it all in ukuleles. 6/10.
Today’s reviewer is Jess Combs! Jess is an improviser, writer and businesswoman (she added that last one in for her parents who paid for her MBA) living in Brooklyn. You can see her performing improv around the city with her team, Horse Room. She’s the one who initiates most of the scenes about crying, miscarriage and male genitalia. You can find her all over social media because her job is in the industry. That’s her excuse…
I’m not coming from a place of hate here but the original version of this song is painful to listen to. And by the way, if the children really did practice all year long, they should definitely find another hobby because they fucking suck. Also, this is way off from my favorite Christmas song, “All I Want for Christmas is You” by our TRUE lord and savior, Mariah Carey. But onto the cover…
Woah, hold on…something weird is happening…
FLASHBACK TO HIGH SCHOOL! I’m driving around in my gold Ford Explorer screaming to Dashboard Confessional. I’m skipping school and headed to the beach. I’m at the Wendy’s drive-thru getting a Frosty. I’M UNTOUCHABLE!!!!
But really, as the astute and eloquent RJ Watters declared via a YouTube comment just one mere week ago, “WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS?” This is not punk. This is a quarter of the way to punk. I bet their moms think this cover is adorable.
I had to do some digging to find the name of this band. They call themselves June and in case you were wondering, as of February 3, 2008, they went on an indefinite hiatus. Sing a little ding dong for their demise.
Knowing that, I think I get why the lead singer sounds like he wants to cry the entire song. I sound the same way when I sing Cat Stevens alone in bed after I try to get late night McDonalds and they’re out of McNuggets.
They almost won me over by removing some of the ding dongs up top. And then at 1:53 the singer seems to break through his sadness. The tears subside, a rainbow appears, and he brings some energy to his voice! But then OH, WAIT. They tricked me! Now they’re just donging away! They saved up the dongs for use later! Seven dongs in a row?! FUCK YOU GUYS!
They haven’t really done anything exciting here but it also doesn’t make me feel like I have restless legs syndrome like the original does. I’d like it better if it were sung by Mariah Carey. 7/10 ding dongs.
Dylan: Alright. Maybe I’m jaded. This is, what, like my third punk version of this song? Maybe it’s starting to hit me. I mean I haven’t heard the original McCartney version in weeks! In theory, this cover is good. It’s certainly ok – we have a nice sleigh bell percussion being used. The lead singer is killing me, though. He’s bumming me out. He’s singing so much through his nose that it’s comical. Points go to June for the acapella break down after the 2:00 mark, and the guitar solo is somewhat amateurish, but ok as far as “punk” solos go, I guess? Maybe the exhaustion of all these covers is finally getting to me, but I can’t muster anything more than a 4/10.