THE GUEST SERIES FROM JONNY THE FRIENDLY LAWYER
Charged Particle Covers
Isolation – Mercury Rev. This would be the John Lennon tune, not the Joy Division one. I’m not the biggest Mercury Rev fan, truth be told, but I like this cover more than the original. I think it’s the brushed drums, the relaxed vibe, and the extra instrumentation (Lennon’s version was just him on piano with Ringo purporting to be a drummer and Klaus Voorman’s bass mixed so low you can’t hear it). The acoustic guitar “solo” is kind of funny, too.
Satisfaction – Devo. Bending the rules here to exclude the (I Can’t Get No) from the title to qualify this song. In America during the late 70’s everyone dropped whatever they were doing promptly at 11 pm on Saturday to watch Saturday Night Live. (You’re all familiar with SNL across the pond, right?) When DEVO played this song in 1978 I was at some suburban party with a bunch of other teenagers. We had absolutely no idea what to make of them. YouTube the video — it’s still remarkable.
Depression – Dirty Projectors. My son turned me on to Dirty Projectors when he was in high school. At the time he was getting into vocal music and found the technique of “hocketing” really intriguing (example: ‘Remade Horizon’ from DP’s LP ‘Bitte Orca’). Dirty Projectors were really capable at that type of singing, and were generally really interesting, creative and unique. One of the interesting, creative and unique things they did was reinterpret the whole of Black Flag’s album Damaged, without having listened to it for a period of years. Suffice to say, it doesn’t sound anything like Black Flag – or anyone else for that matter.