Cover songs again? (Burgas edition)

Eli’s Comin’

lesley gore
Lesley Gore

I must blame Greg Burgas. Cover songs again? I wrote about them in 2019. But I forgot that I had ALSO done a post back in 2013 as well as one in 2021 that I did as a response to a meme.

But Greg wrote: “My Question of the Week is a pretty easy one, I think: What’s your favorite cover song?” EASY? Is he out of his mind? (Don’t answer that.)

ALSO, my friend Mary is currently studying cover songs. She tells me that Steven Van Zandt, he of the E Street Band, discussed in his biography what makes a great cover. He said it differs from the original by having a different tempo, different arrangement, different or slightly different genre, is sung by someone of a different gender from the original, and/or a different style.

In any case, I’m going to list MORE cover versions. I believe I haven’t written about them in my previous cover posts, though I may have noted them in pieces about a particular artist.

Oh, yeah, there is something called a re-cover, in which the artist covers their previous recording. One of my favorites is You Don’t Own Me by Lesley Gore. Here’s the original and the remake.

Seven Separate Fools

I think that Three Dog Night was one of the best cover bands ever. Mark Evanier wrote about them recently.

Chest Fever: The Band3DN
The Loner: Neil Young3DN
Lady Samantha: Elton John; 3DN
Mama Told Me Not to Come: Randy Newman3DN
Sure As I’m Sittin’ Here: John Hiatt3DN
I wrote a whole post about the history of Black and White, which is not my favorite 3DN track

13th Confessional

Most of the songs of Laura Nyro I first heard by someone else.

Eli’s Comin’: Nyro3DN
Stoned Soul Picnic: Nyro; The Fifth Dimension
Wedding Bell Blues: Nyro; The Fifth Dimension
And When I Die: NyroBlood, Sweat, and Tears

JT

James Taylor did some nice covers. Here’s a list, though some are re-covered. Not all were better than the originals, and in fact, to me, his COVERS album was not that great.
Mockingbird: Inez and Charlie FoxxJT and Carly Simon
How Sweet It Is: Marvin GayeTaylor
Up On The Roof: The DriftersTaylor
Handy Man: Jimmy Jones; my favorite Taylor cover

Fabulous

Money: Barrett Strong; The Beatles
Chains: The Cookies; The Beatles
Got To Get You Into My Life: The BeatlesEarth, Wind, and Fire                      We Can Work It Out: The BeatlesStevie Wonder

QoS

(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman:  Aretha Franklin; Carole King, the co-writer
I Say A Little Prayer: Dionne WarwickAretha Franklin
Piece Of My Heart: Erma Franklin; Big Brother and the Holding Company, featuring Janis Joplin

Dear COVID: I have tired of you

high transmissibility

Dear COVID:

Let me tell you what happened yesterday. After a quick dinner, I took out the trash. Then I walked a block to catch the #10 bus downtown. About two minutes before the bus was scheduled to arrive, my wife drove her car up to my bus stop. I was puzzled; I didn’t need a ride.

No, she explained. A member of the choir called. The rehearsal was canceled because someone in the group had gotten COVID. That’s at least the third member of the choir who has contracted the disease this calendar year. This is getting kind of old, COVID. At least two choir members got in in 2020 or early 2021, but that was before the vaccines were widely available.

We try so hard!

And why, COVID, in upstate New York and northern New England? Our vaccine rate has been pretty robust. Yet of the 56 counties in the whole country that have high transmission rates, 37 are in MY state, north and/or west of Poughkeepsie.

For example, here’s a notice from the Albany City School District this week. “Due to the significant rise in new COVID-19 cases among City School District of Albany employees and students over the past week, the district is strongly encouraging everyone to wear masks inside all buildings.

“Mask-wearing indoors remains optional in New York. However, the Albany County Health Department issued a public health advisory earlier this week strongly recommending all residents to wear masks in indoor public spaces. The district is aligning with that recommendation during the current COVID-19 surge.”

Now “the district has reported 72 new COVID-19 cases in the past seven days, compared to 47 during the first 20 days of April and 48 through the entire month of March. The 72 cases in the district from April 21-27 are more than the district has experienced in 16 entire months since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.”

Knock wood

As I’ve noted, in 2020, my primary care physician said sternly, “Don’t get COVID!” I took the advice seriously. You know I was one of those people clamoring for the vaccine when it was still difficult to access. I got my two shots in March 2021. Then my first booster in September 2021 and my second in April 2022.

I never stopped wearing masks going to the CVS or the grocery store. The first time I ate out, in April 2021, the establishment had a rule. Masks can be off if you’re sitting, but if you’re standing or walking, your masks should be on. The Capital District Transportation Authority still requires masks on their buses. But the bus drivers, I’ve noted, are far less likely to enforce the requirement. And I get that.

It was exhausting for flight attendants, restaurant greeters, and mall cops to have to act as the mask police. I witnessed more than a few uncomfortable exchanges.

So far, no one in my household has contracted the disease. SO THERE, COVID. My wife and my daughter tested themselves before returning to school after spring break. I’ve been checking myself twice a week before choir rehearsal and church. Good thing I stocked up with those free test kits – well, free if you have insurance, at least.

Still, I’m feeling that it could still happen. COVID, you are a tricky SOB. But I won’t surrender easily.

Not running for office

Vote in New York for school budgets on May 17

First, I should make it crystal clear that I am NOT planning to run for office. I found this question on Quora asking people to show the Presidential electoral college map based on the states they had visited.

I should define “visited”, I suppose. Almost every blue state I have slept in, except two: Delaware and South Carolina. But I have eaten in both of them. Delaware was a stop to and/or from some antiwar demonstration in DC. Re: South Carolina, my father went there in order to sell stuff when he used to sell at flea markets.

Mississippi I was in very briefly c. 1970 on a trip with a bunch of teens from my high school. We went to either Shelby or Fayette County, Tennessee, described to us as one of the poorest counties in the United States at the time. We were walking down this dirt road and crossed into Mississippi, went a short distance, then decided it may not be that safe for a bunch of young integrated Northerners.

At some level, when I was much younger, I suppose I thought I would someday consider running for public office. I was president of the student government in my high school. Someone signing my high school yearbook anticipated that I would be president of the United States one day!

When I ran for the Financial Council at SUNY New Paltz, it was a discouraging process. For one thing, there was quite likely voter fraud. Also, there were members of the Council who were… not as scrupulous as they might have been.

Petitions

But mostly, I just hate campaigning. I’ve carried petitions in 1974 for a Congressional candidate named Matt McHugh, who won. But I really hate getting folks to sign papers, though I’ve done so four other times.

There was a time in this century when I did actually consider running for office. There was a guy who ran MULTIPLE times for Albany Public Library trustee. How do I say this politely? OK, he was a neo-Nazi. And if he were likely to get elected – if there were only two slots and he was one of two candidates, I would have scurried to get on the ballot. And if I were too late, I would have run a write-in campaign. Fortunately, this never happened.

In fact, this year for the library board, I understand that there were 17 people carrying petitions for the four slots open. And I know two of them personally. “The library budget vote and trustee election are held in conjunction with the City School District of Albany budget vote.” The vote is on May 17; the polling places are NOT always the same as the primary and general election sites.

April rambling: shadow docket

1950 Census

John Roberts joins dissent blasting extremist Supreme Court conservatives for abusing the shadow docket

Ginni Thomas Debacle Is a Warning That Trumpism Lives On in the Halls of Power

Battle Against School Segregation in New Jersey

Weekly Sift: Elon and Twitter; will Elon regret the purchase?

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver:  Police Interrogations and
Data Brokers and Truckers and Harm Reduction

Florida Eliminates Disney’s Special District

He Was an Ex-FBI Serial Killer Profiler. Then His Lies Caught Up With Him

Viewers Feel Overwhelmed by Too Many Choices, Nielsen Survey Finds and What Happens When an Industry Becomes a Squid Game and Behind the Scenes of CNN+’S Stunning Fall

Lily Tomlin THR interview

Gilbert Gottfried, Comedian, ‘Aladdin’ Star Dies at 67 from a   condition called myotonic dystrophy. In the documentary called Life, Animated (2016), about a child who learned to communicate by watching Disney films, the young man Owen had a club and he invited Gilbert to one of their events. Gilbert was such a mensch.

Bobby Rydell, Pop Singer, ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ Actor, Dies at 79

Robert Morse, Two-Time Tony Winner, and ‘Mad Men’  Star, Dies at 90

Bruce Willis’ Aphasia

How Colorblind NHL Players See The Game

Comics For Ukraine

The Most Beloved Comic? How and Why Calvin and Hobbes Disappeared

The (Edited) Latecomer’s Guide to Crypto

Chuck Miller changes his name

Human connections light up This Brilliant Darkness by Jeff Sharlet

Making popcorn

The remarkable brain of a carpet cleaner who speaks 24 languages

How Come People Say ‘How Come’?

A poem about libraries

A puzzler from Presh Talwalkar.

That Old Twitchy Feeling – linkage to linkage

Information, please

The Census Is Broken. Can AI Fix It?

Fertility Rates: Declined for Younger Women, Increased for Older Women

Official 1950 Census Website

How Many Humans Have Ever Lived?

State Tax Collections per Capita, Fiscal Year 2020

100+ Statistics and Trends in Social Media

Maps of Albany

Now I Know

Indiana Jones and the Porcelain Throne? and When Belgium Flipped the Coin at France and We Shouldn’t Forget Ignaz Semmelweis and Why Doctors Wear Green (or Blue) Scrubs and The Walls (and Book) That Can Kill You and The $64,000 Fake New York City Tourist and Why You Shouldn’t Hold in a Sneeze and An Initial Reaction to Disaster Relief?

MUSIC

Rebecca Jade was gearing up for San Diego Music Awards performance; she won two awards, Best Video; and Best R and B, Funk, or Soul Song for What’s It Gonna Be.

Possibly Neil Diamond’s most significant Sweet Caroline performance, Fenway Park in Boston, April 20, 2013.

Elmer Bernstein at 100

Rest in peace, C.W. McCall

Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor by Sergei Rachmaninoff, performed by Khatia Buniatishvili

Good Day Sunshine – MonaLisa Twins

Three Visions by William Grant Still 

Town Of Tuxley Toymaker

Le Palais Hante by Florent Schmitt.

Coverville:  1396 – Tribute to Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins and 
1397 – The Elton John Cover Story IV and 1398 – The Hollies Cover Story II

Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland 

Twelve cellists from the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra play the theme from The Pink Panther

 The Crown of India by Edward Elgar

Introverting – The Holderness Family

Amadeus clip

All By Myself – Eric Carmen

John Denver

K-Chuck Radio: You mean they’re not related?

 

Lydster: scrub a street of Albany?

most artistic

Most Albanians – i.e., people from Albany, NY – know, the city has been holding the Tulip Festival every May since 1949. This started during the 40+ year reign of mayor Erastus Corning. It is the city’s “signature spring event featuring annual traditions rooted in the City’s rich Dutch heritage.”

We love our tulips in Albany much as they do in Holland, MI. Washington Park is strewn with them every year, different varieties planted at staggered times to maximize the beauty regardless of the vagueries of the 518 spring.

As part of the tradition, started in the Netherlands, young women in costume would ceremonially scrub a street, a small section of State Street, prior to the celebration. It’s a bit kitschy, I know, but I would often watch it when I was working downtown.

My daughter was one of eight people from her high school’s senior class chosen for the task on Friday, May 6. It would involve getting picked up from school at 10:30, participating in a photo session at 11 at City Hall. The ceremony with the mayor is at noon, then symbolic scrubbing of the street until 12:20. Lunch at the mayor’s office, then returning to school by 1:30. We all thought this was rather cool.

But she can’t go. She has her Advanced Placement final in Economics on that very day at noon, and that is inflexible. We’re all a little disappointed that she can’t participate in this Tulip Festival activity.

College

At the same time, we recognize that she had accomplished quite a bit in her high school, despite the very disruptive COVID interruptions and distance learning. In that senior superlatives thing they still do, she won most artistic, which is no surprise.

I’m looking forward to the final decision on what college she will be attending. That is, I can’t wait, so I can clear out my email inbox. She applied to eight colleges and was accepted at seven. They are all in New York State or New England. Since she has to give them MONEY by May 1, this will be determined VERY soon.

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