My daughter Freakette turned ten years old last week. As part of the celebration I wanted to pay tribute to her time on the planet so I decided to look for covers of songs that were in the Top 10 the week she was born. That was kind of limiting, as was the Top 40 for that week. So I’ve widened my net and am drawing this week’s covers from the Billboard Hot 100 singles of 2002.
Stretch Arm Strong “Get The Party Started” (Pink)
The original was a kickstart for a fun yet wholesome party. This version sounds like the start of the kind of party where the guests have sex in your parents’ bed and set the furniture on fire.
Captain Ahab “Sk8er Boi” (Avril Lavigne)
Avril Levigne has always bothered me. She was so transparently an attempt by a major record company to sell safe sanitized “rebellion” to a sea of mallrats. I like this bouncy synthesizer take on it because it seems more true to the frothy inoffensiveness the underlied the original.
Breaker 19 “Hot In Herre” (Nelly)
I don’t listen to much rap/hip-hop. Being a middle-aged suburban white guy I find that the musical style as a whole doesn’t speak to me. But then again I’m not the target demographic for that kinda stuff. So I wasn’t real familiar with this song until I started putting this post together. And I’ve gotta say that it’s one of the dumbest songs I’ve ever heard. Which makes it work so well as a stupid country-fried song.
Daniel Ho “Soak Up The Sun” (Sheryl Crow)
Cheryl Crow attended the University of Missouri at the same time I was there working as a college radio disk jockey. I never met her, but I like to think that she listened to my show regularly and that I directly influenced her musical direction. Don’t look at me like that, you can’t prove that I didn’t.
This is a breezy, more acoustic version than the original that sounds more appropriate to me for laying in the sun with a cold beverage.
Flaming Lips “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head” (Kylie Minogue)
I saw the Flaming Lips at the Pitchfork Festival a couple of years ago and was blown away by their live show. They also do the most interesting covers. Here they take a happy disco song and turn it into one of contemplative obsession. It sounds like Wayne Coyne is mooning over the object of his affection at 3 a.m. next to an overflowing ashtray.