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Cover Battle – “Bohemian Rhapsody” September 19, 2014


Bohemian Rhapsody“. What words can I use to describe it?. Epic. Operatic. Dramatic. Theatrical. Performed by the legendary group Queen, this … masterpiece is like nothing you’ve ever heard. It sweeps through different tempos and stylings and vocals and levels. Excuse my French, but, it’s mother-fucking-brilliant! As such, this is one of those songs you think of as untouchable, not that others haven’t tried. But for most, they’d consider it sacrosanct – not to be tampered with, redone, reimagined, or covered. Except by The Muppets. Theirs is the only alternate version I would even deem worthy. It’s totally cute and hilarious and fun. But that’s it. Up until last week, that is.


During the season episode of the final season [ 😦 ] of Sons of Anarchy, the ending montage begins – a variety of scenes with a musical underscore – I’m looking at the screen, and listening to the music. I hear the opening words, and they sound familiar, and I’m like “wait – what? No. No way; they did not do this” But yes, they did: they covered “Bohemian Rhapsody”.


The musical director for SOA, Bob Thiele, has always been incredibly adept about finding just the right songs for the show. They’ve redone a few other songs over the years, that I never thought I would like as covers and they’ve blown me away each and every time. This was no different. I was floored by the audacity, but it was so well done, and so appropriate, that I loved it.


As mentioned above, the cover done by The Muppets is a true joy. Not only do they cover the song, but they pretty much recreate the stance of the original Queen video. They do change the words in some parts to fit into the whole Muppets world, but it’s still pretty perfect.


In checking the internet, I also found another really fun one. It’s a parody version with a Star Wars basis. It’s well executed, with a lot of attention to detail. I’m sure it would go over big at any Comic Con.


The group Panic! At the Disco does a live version which, surprisingly, I actually like. I don’t think it has the same force and power as Freddie Mercury’s vocal with Queen, but it’s really, really good. And I’m not just saying that because the lead singer is shirtless, I swear.


Actor and singer Adam Lambert performs parts of the song on stage with the surviving members of Queen. During the performance they play major portions of the original video, then Adam and the band come back in. It’s very effective and captivating. It gave me chills.


Adam actually performed the song for his audition on American Idol. Leading judge Simon Cowell clued into his theatricality and flair, and seemed a little unsure of him being a good fit for the competition. He ultimately gave him a “yes” vote. As did the other 3 judges, enthusiastically, because Adam is a good singer. The drama and exuberance is just a thrilling bonus.


In addition to performing the song with Adam Lambert, the band also did a performance of it with Elton John, tackling the earlier, more ballad-like section, and Guns N’ Roses front man Axl Rose, taking on the later raucous role. They come together for the very end. I like hearing Elton’s voice. There’s a true respect and admiration for the material, the band, and Freddie that’s evident in his care with the song. Axl gives the later hard rock section his usual all-out frenetic gusto. It’s a respectable job.


A few years ago, a new hotel, The Cosmopolitan, was opening up in Vegas and they brought out a series of really … interesting commercials. (Their tag line was “Just the right amount of wrong”.) One of them featured the song, acted out, in a very dramatic way, using only the lyrics. The guitar riffs and whatnot were brought in at the end. I thought it was very creative and successfully done.


The most unexpected cover has to be the one from Jake Shimabukuro’s 2010 TED Talk presentation. On the ukelele. It’s unbelievably cool. This video is longer than the other versions only because they tack on a 3 minute Rolex commercial at the end. So, unless you’re seriously into Rolex watches you can shut it off after the 7:03 mark.


As they tend to be, cover versions done by William Shatner are usually pretty out there and have a strongly WTF? flavor. But this has to be one of the most batshit crazy things I’ve heard in quite some time. I think medication might be in order. For him, and for me.


I found a documentary on the making of “Bohemian Rhapsody” that you might also be interested in. It runs just under an hour.




… And So It Begins September 9, 2014






Season 7 is Coming!!!! July 9, 2014




Cover Battle – “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of The Bay” October 25, 2013


(Sittin’ On) The Dock of The Bay, originally performed by Otis Redding is one of those classic songs that everyone knows. Especially with the whistling at the end. Despite the melancholy and homesickness you hear in the tone of the song, it somehow comforts you when you’re listening to it.


The Pearl Jam cover was an unexpected gem. In the intro Eddie Vedder mentions how honored he is “to play one of his songs with him tonight”. For the record – there was no hologram of Mr. Redding. (That whole singing with dead people thing is just creepy to me. The Natalie/Nat King Cole thing, and the Tupac hologram in concert, etc? No. Just stop it.) Steve Cropper, who co wrote the song with Otis, was onstage with the band.


He’s also onstage with Justin Timberlake at a White House performance. Looking dapper and slick, Justin brings it. But, it’s Justin, so you know he’s got the chops to pull it off. Maybe the falsetto is a bit off, but he acquainted himself very well.


Steve Cropper also pops up in a live performance with Dave Edmunds and Robert Cray. The gentlemen share vocals during the course of the song and I think Robert does the song the most justice. The guitar showcasing, though is a good addition that plays to the strength of each artist, and the horns sound nice as well.



Neil Young, with Booker T & the MGs, is good. I’m not into Neil Young, but I don’t hate this. I know it sounds like I’m damning it with faint praise, but I did enjoy this. Really. I swear. Okay, the harmonica opening threw me a bit, but I’m fine now. Stop laughing at me.


One of my Twitter friends introduced me to Shinedown, and it’s a great band. I very much enjoy the casual way they do the song on stage.


The fabulous, the talented Sara Bareilles gives a nice stripped down take on the song that really highlights her skills. Simply fantastic. There’s also a concert version with her on piano.


Another really good stripped down performance comes from artist Craig David. And, you know, he’s pretty easy on the eyes. It would be nice if we could see his eyes, too, though. 😉



The deeply impassioned singing of Michael Bolton, with the modern pop arrangement sounds good and helped bring the song back to mind for a modern audience. I love Michael’s voice.


From the very first notes of the Sammy Hagar version I was not thrilled. A few seconds in that feeling of underwhelm continued. It sounds sooo cheesy. Sammy doesn’t seem to have a bad voice but this whole production is just not my thing. Sorry Sammy.


Now, from the ridiculous to the sublime. The version by Billy Valentine & The Forest Rangers, recorded for an episode of Sons of Anarchy, is so freakin’ good! It’s extremely soulful. Billy’s voice and the familiarity of the song draw you in without losing the sense of sadness at the heart of the song. And, I think … I’m just gonna say it: I think this might be even better than the original. I’m also including a live video.




My Pop Culture Obsessions (just a few) September 17, 2013


The following was inspired by a questionnaire given to actor Kim Coates on the website POPsession on his pop culture obsessions. I decided to take the questionnaire as well.



1. What website do you visit when no one is watching?

       No comment


2. What was the first movie you saw?

       Can’t really remember all the way back to the stone age – “Fantasia“,     maybe?


3. What movie makes you cry?     

       Bjork’s Dancer in the Dark


4. What is your karaoke song?

       Never done karaoke, but probably an acapella “Is She Really Going Out With Him” or Holly Cole’s version of “Jersey Girl


5. Who is the movie character you wish you could be?

       I’m coming up with a total blank


6. Who is your favorite Tweeter?

       Other than my personal friends I’d have to say Jim Beaver (@jumblejim) and Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady)


7. What article of clothing can you not live without?

       Pants. Most of the time


8. What was on your favorite t-shirt growing up?

       I don’t know. I think it was something pink


9. What do you eat/drink while watching a movie in the theater?

       Popcorn with lovely fake melted butter, 2 hot dogs with mustard and relish and a coke. I also get some Reese’s pieces which I always end up eating after I get home


10. What’s the TV show you never miss?

       Sons of Anarchy (Actually there’re are a ton, but this is my main obsession)


11. What TV show would you like to live in?



12. Who is your TV crush?

    Crowley from Supernatural (okay, maybe it’s just Mark Sheppard, the actor     that plays him)


13. What TV theme song do you still remember the words to?

       “Living Single


14. What’s the guiltiest pleasure currently on your DVR?

       “Sister Wives


15. What is your favorite album?

       “Moondance” by Van Morrison (I wore out 3 cassettes of that), closely followed by “Rooms in My Fatha’s House” by Vinx


16. What was your first concert?

       The Commodores with the Jackson 5 as the opening act


17. What song was playing during your first kiss?

       There was no music playing


18. What phone app do you use the most?

       No apps on my phone. Unless you consider “hanging up” an app


19. Did you have a poster of a celeb on your wall as a kid/teen? Who?

       I honestly can’t remember. I’m sure I did    


20. Have you ever dressed as a celeb for Halloween? Who?



Finally!!! September 10, 2013















10 PM






I’m excited. I’m nervous. I’m worried. I don’t know what to expect. The only thing I can think to say is:






IT’S COMING!!!!!!!! July 17, 2013

Filed under: Found Objects — jerzygirl45 @ 2:11 pm
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SONS (1)



31 Seconds of Pure Squeeeee!!! July 11, 2013

Filed under: Found Objects,Videos — jerzygirl45 @ 1:05 am
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Cover Battle: “Oops, I think I did it again” May 31, 2013


Released in 2000, the original is classic Britney: head bopping beat with teen pop vocals, but super, super catchy; something you love to sing along with (but might not admit to). Britney before the crazy annulled Vegas marriage, the whole Kevin Federline thing, the shaved head or the umbrella brandishing thing. Back when Britney was young and innocent. Well, “not so innocent”. Ah, the good old days of the new millennium.


Richard Thompson is a British musician who I first heard through Sons of Anarchy. He gives a great performance and kind of elevates it to more than just a little disposable pop nugget. He also gives a surprising (and fun) scholarly analysis of the chord structure.


The Children of Bodom thing sounds a little scary and may just give me nightmares, but in the comments people seem to like it a lot. To each his own.


I found the last video by accident. It’s a fun little take by comedy writer Shek Baker. He’s doing the song as the “original”, performed by Louis Armstrong(!). Very cute.




Cover Battle: “House of the Rising Sun” May 10, 2013



The Animals’ original version was the only one I ever knew existed. It was kind of creepy and melodramatic yet kind of cool. Then, in watching my show, Sons of Anarchy (ha ha, you thought you were free from hearing about SOA until September, didn’t you?) they did a cover. And not just a straight cover, they actually changed the opening lyrics to work in the framework of the story being told.


I was initially taken aback by the alteration, but I quickly got on board. Because it worked. If it hadn’t I would’ve been all over that shite. Well, I probably would have just been silently indignant and ranting, on the inside. But I would have been annoyed, you know? The SOA track was deep and mournful, as befits the situation on the show, at this time.


The wonderful actress Katey Sagal (Gemma, on SOA. Oh yeah – once I start with the SOA stuff, it doesn’t stop) also does this song, with Battleme and The Forest Rangers. I think she actually sounds a lot like Dusty Springfield in certain parts.


Sinead O’Connor’s voice is lovely and angelic, but no less passionate. She still conveys those deep emotions of resignation and dread.


I’ve included a rare jam session version from the Beatles. The boys are obviously, um, … impaired, shall we say. Would have liked to hear a straight, sober version, if one exists.





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