Tuesday, August 09, 2005

It Is What It Is

Heard a few bits of Paul Anka’s new record on Fresh Air yesterday, of covers of rock hits, which was, um interesting. First they played “It’s My Life,” a Bon Jovi song, I believe, which sort of works as a standard. But then they played “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – and it’s bizarre – but Terry Gross asked him if he thought that some of those lyrics (a mosquito, my libido) were meant to be heard as clearly as Anka sang them. And his answer was sort of interesting I thought – he talked about how the meaning of a song isn’t necessarily spelled out, it’s what an individual takes from it, and that he didn’t know if Nirvana set out to obscure some of the lyrics, nevertheless, “it is what it is.” Made sense to me. Still rather listen to the original of course.

16 comments:

Teodoro Callate said...

Well, that's just silly.

Johnny Cash could do Soundgarden because he was Johnny Cash.

And Paul Anka...even though he wrote "My Way", I believe...shouldn't be doing "Teen Spirit". There are probably other Nirvana tunes that he could have done that would have been very cool. That Kurt Cobain was a hell of a pop songwriter underneath the band's approach, and those songs would totally hold up to other styles. But there are a few tunes that just can't be redone. (His comments about lyrics are believable to a point, but his comments are also, well, ridiculous. Dude's trying to pull a fast one.)

Ever hear Hendrix's "Foxy Lady" or John Denver's "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" or Aretha's "Respect" or Cheap Trick's "I Want You To Want Me" done by anyone else? Or done well by anyone else? The reason I picked those artists was to illustrate that it's not just about superstars...it's just that some songs are too closely identified with one artist to really be done by someone else. No one is going to re-do "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and make it believable. They just aren't. (Lone exception to this? "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" done by the Hawaiian guy. I'd find his name but I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. His version worked equally as well as Judy Garland's.)

An hysterical clip of Paul Anka was sent to me a few months ago. One of those backstage rants after a Vegas show went sour. That Paul Anka can swear, that's for sure. I'll see if I can find it.

I'm rambling.

DAM said...

Teodoro, Lord you was born a ramblin man ;-)

DAM said...

ETA: I think you're talking about Israel Kamakawiwo'ole. Love that rendition of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow."

Teodoro Callate said...

yep, that's the one.

Betsy said...

If anyone's been watching Rockstar: INXS the last couple of weeks, it's a good argument for Ted's point. It's true whether they get a song by Nirvana, or the Stones or even Seal, if you can believe it. The contestants don't have much choice about the song selection - they choose from among a dozen rock hits - and you feel pretty bad for the ones that get stuck with Nirvana for exactly this reason. The girl who sang Nirvana last night prompted Ben to say, "See, this is why I hate the world." And I just had to laugh for about ten minutes because I knew exactly what he meant. Plus, the world wasn't helped by Dave Navarro, one of the judges, who always says stuff like, "Dude, that outfit is smokin' hot, and you've improved light years, but I just wasn't feeling that."

Daniel Ridges said...

Dave Navarro is a box of rocks, IMHO...

Not that I wouldn't trade places with him for a day, though!

ROCK 'N' ROLL!

Teodoro Callate said...

Lord have mercy, go to http://noisetank.com/integrity/ for the best Paul Anka entertainment you can find.

Betsy said...

Mozilla ain't trying to have that, dang.

Dave Navarro and his wife have a wall-sized portrait of themselves in their living room, which IMHO is something the word vanity doesn't really even cover.

Daniel Ridges said...

Heh. Wall-sized portrait.

On second thought, I wouldn't actually trade places with Dave Navarro bacause that would mean he'd have to be in close proximity to my children.

I just want to suck his guitar talent dry and transfer it into me via the internet. Are there any free online programs that do that?

Betsy said...

Maybe if I were Carmen Electra I'd want to stare at myself all day too.

No programs I know of like that, Dan. And I agree he should not be near anyone's children. Think about this though: Tommy Lee actually has children.

Daniel Ridges said...

*Shudder*

jackie said...

Ben so does not hate the world! Trust me, I know from world-hating, and Ben is one of the least world-haters I can think of.

B said...

in moulin rouge they do a cover of that song...that song only belongs in the 90's.

Betsy said...

Shudders all around. I never saw Moulin Rouge - after Romeo and Juliet I was temporarily blinded by the colors and didn't think I could handle it. Jackie, you're so sweet - of course he doesn't hate the world - but we both do despair about it from time to time, and lean towards drama whenever possible in our expressions of it.

Anonymous said...

I dunno, I kinda like the Tori Amos version of "Smells Like Teen Spirit".....

/going to hell
/enjoyed the Tom Jones cover of "Kiss" as well

Teodoro Callate said...

Tom pulled of "Kiss." But could he have done "Darling Nikki"?