Karaoke Song Reviews (Part 2): Lana Del Rey, Nick Cave, Spice Girls, Sam Smith

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Once again we went to karaoke and once again here my elaborate reports on songs we tried to conquer. (Part 1 is here). We adopted a different format this time because we have no idea what consistency actually means.

Lana Del Rey – Summertime Sadness

While it’s easy to mock a Lana Del Rey selection at karaoke (or anything Lana Del Rey-ish), it’s hard to deny her strength as a karaoke artist. I think any Lana Del Rey song is good for karaoke, let’s look at the facts:

  • Slow. Lana del Rey songs are paced at a leisurely pace, perfect for reading the song and then figuring out how you want to sing it
  • Simple. No tricky words here. Lana sticks to the basics for her song writing. one to three syllables at best.
  • Gender Neutral: Ldr has a surprisingly deep voice for a lady and so the song kinda lends itself to both Guys and gals

Conclusion: This is a great karaoke song to start with. it’s easy and the. “sa sa summertime summertime sadness” part is fun to both sing and say. Say it right now. “sa sa summertime”. So fun.

Nick Cave/Kylie Minogue – Where the Wild Roses Grow

If you are going to pick a duet you better assess your crowd and make sure that someone else in the crowd knows this track. For future reference, don’t pick a semi obscure Nick Cave song from the 90s, no matter how much you like it. Singing both the nick and Kylie part doesn’t really make sense to your friends and I guess it’s also awkward to sing a song where basically the murders the women he’s dueting with. Still a great song though.

REM – The One I Love

Simple lyrics and a great chorus to scream out with your fellow friends.. why not?

Nicky Minaj – Anaconda

This is a song du jour that will sound dated in about a month but when you pick this song, all you really wanna do is yell out “OH my god. look at her butt” without feeling weird. You don’t even know how the rest of the “song” goes.

Sam Smith – Money on My Mind

Another one of the songs where you have no idea what the verse is but gives you an opportunity to yell out “I got money in my mind, money on my mind” in a falsetto over and over again. It’s pretty fun to yell out shit in your highest voice.

Spice girls – 2 become 1

Nostalgia’s a bitch. Probably everyone’s favorite song of the night and really, quite the dirty lyrics for supposed teeny bopper music. It’s funny because we picked this karaoke place cos they had a healthy dose of indie music and I swear every other song we sang was either 90s pop, Beyonc√© or Drake

Placebo – Pure morning

15 years later and I still don’t know what the hell this song is about. that’s the weird thing about karaoke, it forces you to really look at the song writing and Brian molkos songwriting is well, confusing:

A friend in needs a friend indeed,
A friend with weed is better,
A friend with breasts and all the rest,
A friend who’s dressed in leather,

A friend in needs a friend indeed,
A friend who’ll tease is better ,
Our thoughts compressed,
Which makes us blessed,
And makes for stormy weather,

A friend in needs a friend indeed,
My Japanese is better,
And when she’s pressed she will undress,
And then she’s boxing clever


Pulp – Babies

Speaking of lyrics, Babies is a great tune but my fiend who had never heard of Pulp was like “these lyrics are messed up yo”. I guess a song about an adolescent teen hiding in the closet of his crushes house watching her sister get it on can elicit such response. Still this song has some good yea yea yea yea parts and after singing some songs with outrageously weird lyrics, it’s nice to sing something that tells a narrative.

Lessons Learned

Just like we do at my workplace, we have come up with some lessons learned from this recent karaoke session They are

- Be aware of songs that repeat chorus over and over again (it’ll get boring)
– RAP is always, always more difficult then expected
– Make sure people know the song if you intend on duos
– 90’s songs = popular
– Don’t pocket dial your friend at midnight and leave a ten minute message consisting of you singing Whitney Houston and RHCP

Hot Docs: Pulp [2014, Florian Habicht]

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As a die hard Pulp fan, you can only imagine my excitement when a Pulp documentary was announced. Similar in many ways to the LCD Soundsystem documentary, the film explores the time and space around Pulp’s homecoming (and potentially last) show, which of course, takes place in Sheffield. An ode to the city as much as it is to Pulp, we get testimonials from both city residents and traveling tourist about Pulp and how much the band meant to them. There are sweeping vistas of the mediocrity that is Sheffield and it doesn’t really strike you as a place to visit. These conversations are intertwined with the band’s account of key moments in Pulp history, from the beginning to the high that was Different Class and the ensuing drama afterwards. It was cool to see the other members (Candida talks!) of Pulp talk and there were definitely interesting stories shared.

As with most concert films, there was no shortage of live performance and it was nice to see the mixture of uncontrollable excitement and anxiousness of the fans before the show. I felt those same emotions three years ago when I was in Spain waiting for my Pulp show. A must watch for any fan and there’s no doubt you will leave with Common People stuck in your head.

Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, Sun, Apr 27 11:59 PM
TIFF Bell Lightbox 1, Mon, Apr 28 4:00 PM
Royal Cinema, Sun, May 4 7:00 PM

Cover of the Day: Nick Cave – Disco 2000 (Pulp, duh)

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NIck Cave by Cat Stevens

Photo: Cat Stevens

Sometimes things collide and it’s great. Sometimes, like when a skier and a tree collide, it’s horrible. Luckily, the combination of Nick Cave and Pulp is the former and not the latter. Back in 2002, Pulp released their last single before going away. It was called Bad Cover Version (and had one of the best music videos you will ever see). Because it was still 2002, and things like singles still mattered, the single was accompanied by b-sides. Given the theme of the song, it was very appropriate that the b-sides were singles. Since it was the last single Pulp would release, they were able to conjure up a few of their good friends for their take on Pulp’s popular songs.

First up was Roisin Murphy, who did a very Roisin Murphy version of the track Sorted, it was fairly average (Moloko, was quite average – let’s face it). It was the second track on the b-side that was fairly mind blowing. Nick Cave’s take on Disco 2000 (in my top 5 songs of all time, and the song that turned me into a music nut) was a completely original take on the song, eschewing the Laura Branigan rifts for simpler arrangements. The result was a lounge version of the track that further highlight the amazing melodies and story that made Disco 2000 such a great song.

Speaking of Nick Cave, he seems to have had a rebirth in the last six years. It just seems like more people know about him now then ever before. I remember when Nocturama came out in 2003, there wasn’t too much fanfare about it. However, with his new album Push The Sky Away set to arrive in late February, it seems like all the stars have aligned. Maybe it was his work with Grinderman, or doing soundtrack for Brad Pitt movies, whatever it is, everyone has now taken notice and his popularity is exponentially rising. The man has already sold out shows for most of his North American tour and anticipation is pretty high. I can’t wait for him to headline SXSW this year as well (speculation).

Anyways, listen to the first track off Push The Sky Away here after you listen to this cover.

Friday Top 10: 10 Reasons to Get Excited About Coachella

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This week, the 2012 music festival season officially kicked off with Coachella making their lineup announcement. This, of course, was followed by your Facebook newsfeed being bombarded with comments about people who are “so going this time” and the other people saying “I’ve already been there, and the lineup was better in (fill in year)”. Whether you decide to go or not is of no interest to us, but being in the amateur music promotion industry, we figure we would provide you with some reasons to get excited about this annual Palm Springs party.

10. Jimmy Cliff doing Rancid Covers

When people think of Jimmy Cliff, they thing of the song I Can See Clearly Now, a cover of a Johnny Nash song that was on the soundtrack of surprise hit movie Cool Runnings. What people don’t know is that Jimmy Cliff is more or less a reggae legend with ties back to the 60s. Last year that Jimmy Cliff worked with Tim Armstrong, of all people, and released an album of covers called Sacred Fire. One of the tracks he covered was the Rancid track Ruby Soho. Guess what? Both Jimmy Cliff and Tim Armstrong are on the bill for Coachella. Should be quite the show.

Jimmy Cliff – Ruby Soho by rocketboy75

9. Celebrities

Did you know Palm Springs is close to Hollywood? Every year, Coachella is populated with endless young celebrities, frolicking about the campgrounds and trying to pretend they are normal. Just check out this popsugar or ONTD article of people at last year’s Coachella – Twilight actors, reality tv stars, the Transporter, Iron Man. They are all there. If you worship celebrities and enjoy music, there’s no better place of convergence. Plus, if you are lucky, you can hold up Tara Reid’s hair while she vomits.

8. Refused

Of all the bands reuniting to play Coachella, Refused are probably one of the least likely, but also one of the most anticipated. With their seminal record The Shape Of Punk To Come, they really did innovate the sound of punk/hardcore and even though they’ve spawned countless inferior imitators, it doesn’t really take away from the impact of that record. This will be the set a lot of people will be buzzing about afterwards.

7. At the Drive In

Like Refused, another unexpected reunion that will attract hordes of fans who didn’t manage to catch them the first time around along with those who did and want to relive the moment.

6. James

One of my favorite bands – James is playing Coachella. I’ve seen them a bunch of times and there’s no denying that they will steal whatever time slot they get. I salivate at the thought of them playing the track Laid live in a massive field. Everyone will sing along, it will be bonkers.

What’s even MORE salivating is this fact: American Reunion is released April 6, Coachella is a week after. Now as you know from this American Pie trailer:

Jame’s Laid is prominently featured in the trailer and for better or for worse, will forever be associated with this song in North America. Given the movie’s release date and the date of Coachella, can’t you imagine some kind of crazy cross promotion thing happening? Wouldn’t it be cool? Not sure if the Hollywood people are that smart though.

Anyways, James will be absolutely amazing either way and would definitely be a reason to get excited about Coachella. I was just staring at that picture of American Reunion and was wondering..what happened to these guys? I mean, that movie was huge in the 90s and you would think their careers would have gone somewhere big after that. I don’t think it has. Let’s take a look at the careers of the people in that picture (starting top left, going clockwise)

Rookie of the Year – That dude starred in the dumbest baseball movie in a long time (which was a hit) but then I don’t think he did anything after American Pie. I don’t even know his name.

Mena Suvari – Might have pulled the topless card too early in American Beauty, but that movie was a big hit and people thought she was going to be a big star from then on. Hard to believe Annette Benning/Chris Cooper has had the best post-American Beauty career of all the prominent actors involved in that one.

Guy who sleeps with Stiffler’s Mom – Where is he now? is he even an actor or someone’s best friend who landed a part? I don’t know.

Chris Klein – I remember he starred in some lame ass tragic rom com where he or his girlfriend has a terminal disease or something. His career faded faster than his hairline.

Stiffler – playing the same role over and over must be fun.

Tara Reid – Tabloid fodder. I don’t recall her being in any other movie besides Big Lebowski. However, she is a good lesson of what the harsh Hollywood party scene can do.

Jason Biggs – I think he was in some CBS sitcom last year with the girl from Scrubs, can’t really remember anything else he did.

Alyson Hannigan – By far the most successful one here, Lily from HIMYM, Willow in Buffy.

So basically, only one out of 8 had a decent career. Let’s not even count the meth addict who was found in a dumpster somewhere a few years ago in New York. Where am I going with this? I don’t know. Let’s move on.

5. Bands frolicking about during the week in between shows

Since Coachella is taking place over the course of two weekends, the question that needs to be asked is: What the hell are bands doing the week between shows? Some may play other shows around California/Arizona/Nevada, but there’s gotta be a fair amount of bands staying in Palm Springs for some chill times. If you are in Palm Springs for the week, it would definitely be interesting to see when you run into a band member. Maybe M83 goes bowling? Maybe you’ll run into the Black Keys at Walgreens. You might run into the Weeknd at the liquor store. The possibilities are endless.

4. Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg

The ultimate west coast rappers playing the ultimate west coast concert. Expect the two hip hop veterans to pull out all the stops for this show. If you have ever wanted to experience what it’s like to get high via second hand smoke, just stand in the middle of the pit for about fifteen minutes.

3. Radiohead

It goes to show you just how great Radiohead is that they are once again headlining Coachella. Here is a band that has never broken up/reunited, has never had long periods between records and still, the mere mention of seeing them live sends shivers up most people’s spines. An excellent model of consistency partnered with an excellent discography that is unlike any other. Radiohead always brings their A game to the stage and there is no reason to believe that Saturday night’s headlining slot will once again fill the desert sky with the ethereal sounds coming from one of the premier bands on Earth.

2. Pulp

I’m not sure if this will be their stateside debut, but you can be sure there will be a few thousand people in Palm Springs who have waited a long time to hear Pulp live. This will be followed by surely the most epic singalong of Coachella. That of course, will be Common People, a timeless song about class struggles that will still hit home for people listening to it for the first time fifty years from now.


In true Hollywood fashion, we will play this one out and reveal this next week. (Trying to get ratings)

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