Monday, October 31, 2011

The Lucky Thirteen: 10/31/11

Ever since I started doing my radio show, I've really backed off of the Lucky Thirteen playlists. And while the radio show meets the vast majority of my needs for sharing music, there are rare exceptions where a playlist works better. This is one of those exceptions.

As you may know, I've made a Halloween tradition out of doing a playlist consisting exclusively of cover tunes. Cover songs may not seem obviously connected to Halloween, and yet there is a connection. The cover song allows the musician to do a sonic dress up of sorts, putting on their favorite song by another artist. So for those who love a good cover as much as I do, then this playlist will be right up your alley.

Standard playlist disclaimer: any artists, record labels, etc. who do not wish to be on the playlist for any reason whatsoever, email me at and I will gladly remove the track. And if you'd actually like to be on the playlist, you can use the same email address to email me your mp3's. If I like the song, then odds are it'll wind up on a playlist.

  1. "Hello Susie", THe BAcksliders
    When I first received this single from THe BAcksliders, I just assumed it was a new tune of theirs. When I looked at the songwriting credits, I came to realize the track was not theirs originally. Instead, a British bands from the 1960's called The Move were the original performers. So, now you know. And no, I wasn't going for a BAcksliders reference with that, but I'll keep it anyways.

  2. "Shut It Down", Sarah Jaffe
    Much like how people often dress up as Halloween characters that are unlike his or her normal personality, covers can often showcase aspects of an artist's taste that would seem unlikely. This cover of Ms. Jaffe's of the Drake song would definitely qualify as unlikely. The amazing thing is how her haunting voice so brilliantly transforms the song into sultry, moody, and gorgeous. I shouldn't be surprised though. This is, after all, Sarah Jaffe.

  3. "To Love Somebody", Slobberbone
    Slobberbone does a fine job of capturing the heartache of this Bee Gees classic.

  4. "Dangerous", Nicholas Altobelli
    Mr. Altobelli is full of surprises. Those who know him would likely expect a cover of a Ryan Adams song, or maybe something of Sam Cooke (he has a real weakness for classic soul music). But Nicholas singing Roxette? Roxette??? Still, it's a quite interesting listen.

  5. "All The Pretty Girls", Lovie
    I think this song has made it on each covers edition of my playlist that I've done. Just thought I'd share that.

  6. "Driver 8", Old 97's
    Out of all the covers in the list, this one seems to sound the closest to the original. The biggest difference? Rhett Miller's voice is much less nasal than that of Michael Stipe.

  7. "Folsom Prison Blues", Frankie 45 & Ben Martin
    Frankie, you're still missed.

  8. "Don't Worry Baby", Little Black Dress
    LBD's cover of The Beach Boys is a perfect blend of staying true to the original while adding enough new sonic elements to keep this cover sounding fresh. The band's shoegaze style is a perfect fit for the song.

  9. "Beauty School Dropout", Toadies
    Sometime back in the 1990's, someone got the idea to release Sandy Does Dallas. The concept was to have local artists cover the soundtrack to Grease. It's sad that while in many ways it has become easier for bands to record, nobody is pushing the idea of cool compilations and tribute CDs like this anymore. Heck, I'm still waiting for that Toadies tribute CD that Kirtland talked about years ago.

  10. "Revolution", Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights
    This is a live recording from New Year's Eve 2009 at Granada Theater. Technically, this song was really recorded on New Year's Day. I was there for the show, and all I can say is it was the perfect choice for ringing in the new year.

  11. "Never Let Me Down Again", Kristy Kruger
    Before I met or listened to Kristy Kruger, my strongest memory of her was that she won a Depeche Mode box set from the Dallas Observer. Having been such a big fan of the band back in my high school days, I envied her for winning it. So it's only fitting that I put her Depeche Mode cover on the playlist.

  12. "You May Be Right", Holy Moly
    The band's new CD, Grasshopper Cowpunk, is easily the best effort ever put out by the band. But for today, I go back to Drinkin' Druggin' and Lovin' (the CD, that is) for this fun Billy Joel cover.

  13. "Lithium", The Polyphonic Spree
    When Kurt Cobain sang the song, he sounded like a man in desperate need of Lithium. In the Polyphonic Spree cover, the band sounds as if they have overdosed on it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Crowning Achievement

  • Sons of Sound

  • The Chemistry Set

  • Hi-Fi Drowning

  • Pleasant Grove

  • The Happy Bullets

  • The Deathray Davies

  • THe BAcksliders

  • Somebody’s Darling

  • Pale Horse

What do all of the bands in this list have in common? They are among the great bands I have had the privilege of watching (and in some cases, discovering) at The Cavern. The Cavern was a magnet for first rate bands. The shows were incredibly fun, especially when the not very large space became packed with an energized audience. Earlier this year, The Cavern changed its name to The Crown and Harp. It was more than a change in name; the bar received a complete transformation to a more pub like feel. The bar also significantly increased its selection of beers (always a good thing). And while the venue has continued to book quality bands (Goodnight Ned and Tweed EQ jump quickly to mind), there has been a misperception that the venue is not as interested in booking live acts anymore.

That’s changing right now.

I am proud to announce that I, The Ghost, will now be the head booking agent for The Crown and Harp. I consider this to be a great privilege to be responsible for the quality of entertainment found at this establishment. After all, for many years The Cavern had Spune as its booking agent, and Spune was never lacking in great bands to bring to the venue.

So what is my vision for The Crown and Harp? It’s very simple: I plan to bring some of the best local acts (plus a few non-locals) to the venue. I believe that the most important factor in any live music venue’s success is the quality of bands that perform there. As mentioned before, The Cavern consistently had a great track record for bringing quality entertainment, and I will make certain that The Crown and Harp continues with that track record. Be on the look out for bigger name local bands in the coming months at The Crown and Harp. I already have a number of fine acts playing this and next month, including The Chloes, Suzanne Kimbrell, and California band Case in Theory, among others. If you’re a musician who would be interested in playing The Crown & Harp, let me know. Send an email to, along with some mp3’s or videos. I invite all of you, both musicians and music lovers, to experience a Crown and Harp show in the very near future.